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The Hallmarks of a World-Class Franchise

By Veronica Cardinale Ellinger, Brain Balance CEO

Stepping in as CEO of Brain Balance the last few months has been rewarding and challenging. I have enjoyed many rich conversations with our franchisees and our home office team about taking the next step in the evolution of our organization: becoming a world-class franchise. But, of course, before we set out to reach this bold but attainable goal, we must first answer the question: what does a world-class franchise look like?  It’s easy to think that a world-class franchise only takes a good idea. The truth is it takes so much more. It requires a clear vision, a strong culture, respect for the brand and a commitment to growth. Let’s examine what I consider to be the hallmarks of a world-class franchise to better inform our journey. 


As a growing franchise, it’s easy to get distracted by all the possibilities for growth. That’s where vision comes in. It not only defines the future but lays out a roadmap to getting there.  At Brain Balance, our strategic vision brings us back to the basics to ensure we solidify our foundation for growth.  Our key initiatives include franchise performance and profitability, program expansion through a profitable virtual at-home, franchise development, superior center experience and program standardization, and expanded funding opportunities. This shared vision helps us focus on setting goals, aligning strategies, and making informed decisions, ensuring that all franchisees are working towards common objectives.


Having a clear vision is the first step toward fostering a culture of unity and collaboration among franchisees, which is important for building a strong, cooperative network that thrives on shared success and collective effort. This should start with the CEO and the executive team of the franchisor and trickle down to the franchise owners, employees, and ultimately consumers of the brand. A united vision enhances the overall strength and competitiveness of the franchise as a whole. 

But vision has to be met with mutual trust. The franchisor and the franchisee must invest in each other. Sometimes it can feel as though the franchisee and the franchisor have different agendas, but at the end of the day everyone in the Brain Balance network wants the same thing: a successful business that gives us an outlet to provide the mission of helping families. That’s why we’ve given our unified vision a name: One Brain Balance. A reminder that we all believe in the same product, purpose, and mission. 

Compliance is critical to a healthy franchise culture and will be at the heart of One Brain Balance. We will create a culture of compliance by influencing adherence to even the most insignificant rules and resist the temptation to allow exceptions. The network is the carrier of culture, so we employ smartly, promote honestly and we are concise but fair in dealings with franchisees and staff.


The media is powerful — especially with high-profile brands. They can help a brand grow or take it down. Inconsistency can create unhappy customers and they have the power to hurt a brand, so the franchisor and the franchise owners must be proactive about staying cohesive and respecting the brand that was designed.  Any situation or deviance from the brand's system that could lead to negative exposure can affect the entire brand network. At Brain Balance, we protect our reputation at all costs. As a good franchisor, we do not allow any network members to damage the brand, this includes franchisees no matter how much royalties they pay.


Great franchise networks are nothing without the tools, support, systems, and programs that enable us all to live up to the brand standards and ensure customer satisfaction. There is an expectation that both the franchisor and the franchisee will independently manage the day-to-day operation of the businesses so that we all enhance the reputation of the company in every market. Our systems, programs, and support should reinforce that expectation. Some of the support Brain Balance offers includes: 

  • Excellent onboarding of new franchisees including pre-opening and pre-marketing coaching, hands-on training, and continued support for our newly opened locations.
  • Support, and ongoing business planning, coaching, and profit and loss reviews for all franchisees in the system no matter how long they have been with us.
  • A voice and sounding board by offering opportunities to be on advisory councils.
  • Peer training and workshops run by the best-in-class in the system.
  • National and regional conventions 
  • Recognition and friendly competition
  • A marketing team that supports performance and provides useful resources and collateral.
  • Consistent and frequent program updates including research ensure we capitalize on the most current trends.

Several factors—including efficiency, resource management, and strategic decisions—can influence a company’s bottom line. Providing robust support ensures the franchisor and the franchisee are profitable—the ultimate goal of any business.


One of the most significant activities for Brain Balance will be franchisee development for 2024 and beyond. The benefit of franchise development is gaining automatic brand recognition. We want to attract customers in regions where we have not had a historical presence. With effective franchise development, we will see increased unit economics allowing us to expand upon the support and other tools necessary to become a world-class franchise that creates a happy, healthy, and wealthy Franchisee system. 

This is what a world-class franchise looks like and I have no doubt that Brain Balance has what it takes. But it will be a journey. One that demands dedication to a shared vision, a culture steeped in trust and collaboration, and a staunch commitment to brand integrity. At Brain Balance, we recognize that our strength lies in unity—One Brain Balance—where our common mission to empower families is the beacon guiding our every decision. As we continue to expand and innovate, we will uphold the principles of compliance, provide comprehensive support, and pursue strategic franchise development to not only meet but exceed the expectations of our franchisees and the communities we serve. Our collective success is a testament to the power of our franchise model, and together, we will build an organization that exemplifies excellence in franchising. Here's to a future where we grow not just in numbers, but in the value we provide to every life we touch through Brain Balance.


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