In many respects, the Internet has also helped franchisors build stronger relationships with their franchisees and provide a higher level of support. Molly Maid franchisees have the option to e-mail Molly Maid their operating information; the franchisor will then analyze it and e-mail it back with recommendations on how to improve daily operations.
"We've had a phenomenal response from this program," says David McKinnon, president and CEO of Molly Maid in Ann Arbor, Michigan. "It saves on paperwork and time. Many franchisees say they simply can't live without it."
Similarly, industry insiders see e-mail as an extremely effective way to heighten the frequency and quality of communication between franchisees and franchisors. "It's always going to be a benefit when you can have open lines of communication," says Haskell. "Because the Internet opens channels and allows franchisors to speak with franchisees and vice versa more often, the Internet is turning out to be a benefit to everyone."
McKinnon, who says he receives an average of 10 e-mail messages daily from franchise owners, sees the Internet as a speedy way to communicate with franchisees.