Franchise Advisory Councils – A Franchising Best Practice

The franchise world may seem overwhelming and crowded to those exploring it for the first time.  There are multitudes of franchise companies offering all kinds of services, with their own individual rules and regulations, spread throughout the country.  Through experience, however, you’ll start to notice that the most successful franchise companies have a lot in common when it comes to best practices for a successful and cohesive system.  One of these practices involves productive communication between franchisees and the corporate office through a Franchise Advisory Council (FAC).

As the name implies, FACs are designed to provide franchise owners an outlet through which to communicate with the franchisor.  They are usually comprised of several franchisees who are either hand-selected by the franchisor, elected (on a rotating basis) by the other franchisees, or a combination of the two.  FACs meet with the franchisor several times a year to discuss a variety of topics from operational issues to new product or development ideas and beyond.  Below are some more details about the role FACs play in franchising and how each side (franchisees and franchisors) contributes to their overall purpose.

Role of FAC Members

Franchise Advisory Councils are designed to provide an open dialogue between the franchisor and its franchisees.  To be most effective, this group should be organized, focused, and energetic.  They should be thinking not only of their individual business issues, but of issues that effect many or all franchise businesses in their system. FAC members are chosen or elected to bring suggestions/comments from their fellow franchisees to company headquarters, have a productive discussion, and return feedback to the other franchise owners.  Members of the council do not have authority to make system-wide decisions, but are meant to represent their fellow franchisees.

Role of the Franchisor

The purpose of the FAC is to create a two-way street of communication, so responsibility for success lies as much with the franchisor as it does with the members of the council.  The International Franchise Association suggests that the key duties of the franchisor to the FAC are: “To consider all ideas with an open mind, encourage the FAC to strive for creative solutions to system issues, accommodate reasonable FAC requests, and recognize that franchisees have provided many a system with valuable ideas for innovation.”

Many FACs have a set of rules to structure things such as communication, confidentiality, and term limits, which help keep everyone on the same page both before and after meetings.  Frequency and subject matter of the meetings varies by franchise, but topics might include general industry developments, operational issues within the franchise, new brand ideas, and beyond.

Mosquito Joe Franchise Advisory Council

Mosquito Joe Corporate fosters open communication with our franchisees, and our FAC is just another way of doing so in a more formal manner.  The council meets several times a year, in person and over the phone.  Members are expected to share any issues or questions from the Mosquito Joe family, bring forth new ideas to the table, participate in productive discussions, and be fair representatives of their fellow franchisees.

Stephanie Simon, Owner of Mosquito Joe of Arkansas, says,

“I love that we have an FAC.  It’s a great way for franchisees to talk to another franchisee in the same situation.  This validates their thoughts and concerns since we are all going through the same journey.  FAC members get to hear the collective questions and concerns and bring them to the Corporate office. Whether it’s about products, marketing, new ideas in making our processes more efficient, introducing us to new vendors, concerns and suggestions – we love to hear it all!  Throughout the FAC meetings, we’ve discussed many issues, and Corporate has done a great job listening and responding, which has led to new analyzing software for more accurate reporting, new uniform options, upgrades to many of our programs, and more!”

Mosquito Joe’s franchise advisory council is one of the many benefits to becoming a franchisee.  If you’re interested in learning more about us, please visit our franchise information page.  Someone from our franchise development team will be in touch shortly to answer all of your questions and get you on the path to becoming part of the Mosquito Joe family!

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Zika Concerns Cause Mosquito Control Needs to Spike

If you’ve paid attention to the news lately, mosquitoes have been making regular headlines for yet another disease they spread.  As of April 18, 2016, 42 countries worldwide report active Zika virus transmission. Most are concentrated throughout Central and South America, however, countries in the Pacific Island and Africa also made the list. As of April 20, 2016, 40 U.S. states have reported 388 travel-associated Zika virus cases. No cases were acquired stateside.

 What Zika Means for Mosquito Control

While there is no cure for the Zika virus, avoiding mosquitoes is the best course of action for a strong defense. Earlier this month, the CDC held a conference to educate local state departments on prevention and their strongest recommendation is to reduce the mosquito population. Several states have already taken action. In Florida, a state of emergency was declared in areas where people have tested positive for the Zika virus and the Florida Department of Health is already conducting surveillance of mosquitoes to monitor whether the virus is present in living insects populations.

In Texas, the state’s health department has crafted an action plan in case of an outbreak and a team that will focus on potential birth defects from the virus. In Louisiana, the state health department is working to monitor both mosquitoes and people for the disease and is warning residents to make sure their homes are prepared by eliminating standing water.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also been proactive with making sure these local departments have all the information they need to tackle the issue. They have a Risk-Based Preparedness and Response Guide for states that’s available; unfortunately there isn’t much said about states providing mosquito control, which puts it back in the hands of home owners.

These warnings to be thoughtful about mosquito control around your home and eliminating breeding areas for mosquitoes have led to an increased number of calls for local Mosquito Joe owners.  With consumer concern rising, our professional mosquito control services are a bright light when considering the illnesses mosquitoes carry. We’re glad to be an added layer of defense to families wanting to take back their yards and enjoy the summer. Our certified technicians provide a service that is completely tailored to yards, making it a very effective way to keep yards healthy and itch-free, all while taking the guesswork out of the do-it-yourself approach.

If you check out our blog post published just last week with a Zika update,  you’ll read that due to lack of funding, over $500 million in unused Ebola crisis money has been re-dedicated to the fight against Zika. It’s a problem that doesn’t seem to have a quick solution in sight.

Becoming the Neighborhood Joe

The good news is that you can be the solution for your community by becoming the neighborhood hero. If you’ve been considering a franchise opportunity, the mosquito control industry is growing – and it’s growing quickly. This year we expect to have 170 mosquito control franchise locations open across 26 states.  You have a wonderful opportunity to be a part of a business that is helping in the fight against Zika virus and other mosquito borne illnessesA Mosquito Joe franchise is a high margin, seasonal business opportunity that can be run from virtually any home or office. For more information visit our website.

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Women of Mosquito Joe – Joanna Patterson

If there is one thing we’ve learned it’s that there are many misconceptions about women in the pest control industry! So while we could write a blog post about why women are a good fit for Mosquito Joe, we thought there were a few people who could do a better job. In our blog series the Women of Mosquito Joe, we highlight the incredible women that are a part of the MoJo family, and why it is no longer a man’s world!

This month we chatted with Joanna Patterson of Mosquito Joe of Suburban Pittsburgh.  Joanna runs the day-to-day operations of the business alongside her husband, Jeff – both of whom are certified pesticide applicators.  While Jeff works as a technician servicing customers, Joanna deals with everything else, from customer service and scheduling to inventory and marketing!

Chatting with Joanna

What motivated you to get involved with Mosquito Joe?

Joanna: Our friends had experienced two family members (father and daughter) having Lyme disease in the same season. After that, I heard about other friends and acquaintances who had Lyme disease with varying degrees of severity.  My husband is also a mosquito attractor, and I’ve heard him lament many times about being bitten on the porch.  I could understand the appeal of the service, and I also liked the people I met at Mosquito Joe Corporate.  The seasonality of the business was appealing too.  I now work part-time during the winter months in another job and full-time at Mosquito Joe in the spring and summer, so I’m never bored!

What is your role in the Mosquito Joe business?

Joanna: I run the day-to-day operations, working closely with my husband, who has owned his own business for 20 years and has a lot of knowledge.  He and I do everything related to the business.  We are both certified pesticide applicators, and Jeff does all of the treatments for our customers.

There are often misconceptions about the pest control industry, in particular, about women working in this industry because it’s “dirty” and “grimey.”  What are your thoughts on those?  Do you find them to be true or untrue?

Joanna: I have found that I’m a rarity in Pittsburgh as a woman who owns a pest control company.  In our business, we have the advantage of knowing exactly what is in our products and exactly how to use them so that concerns are minimized.  I am a certified applicator in Pennsylvania, and while the backpack sprayer is too heavy for me, the handheld sprayer is perfect.  And I would not hesitate to do a treatment. 

What do you find most empowering about your job?

Joanna: One of the most empowering things about my job is the autonomy of working when I want and need to.  This means that I am working 7 days a week, but it also means that if I have to leave for an hour in the middle of the day to do something, I can do that too.

Thanks Joanna!

We are so proud Joanna is a part of the Mosquito Joe family. If you would like more information about Mosquito Joe of Suburban Pittsburgh and their mosquito treatment services, be sure to check out their website. And if you’re interested in the Mosquito Joe franchise opportunity, we’d love to hear from you. You could be the next Woman of Mosquito Joe!

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