What is the difference?

A franchise strategy outlines the big goals and objectives of the company.  This type of strategy encompasses the entire company and results from the executive team coming together and creating. 

An operations strategy focuses on the company’s operations (e.g. production, field support, training) and how these areas of the business will be maximized to achieve the overall franchise strategy.

For any company to succeed, you will need a company strategy supported by an operations strategy.  Many companies operate without a strategy, and putting one in place is to create focus.  Every action is aligned to the company strategy and each company strategy.

Franchise Strategy vs Franchise Operations Strategy

Common Types of Operational Strategies

  1. Product or Service Strategies – The primary focus is the quality control of current products and services. While simultaneously creating new ones. The feedback loop in this system considers inputs from franchisees and the product development team. The product or service team is responsible for developing the strategy for this process.
  2. Customer-Driven Strategies – Organizations that prioritize customer experience have a customer-centric culture driven by sales and marketing teams.
  3. Competitive Strategies – By identifying competitive traits within an industry or region, a company can adopt these traits and move towards a competitive advantage.  This might mean a higher quality product, more variation in a product, faster production time, and so on. 
  4. Core Competency Strategies – Mature companies that clearly understand their strengths can benefit from this strategy. Which involves using those strengths to the fullest extent possible to enhance their business. For instance, if a company’s strength lies in brand awareness. Then the strategy’s primary focus would be to continue growing the brand and finding new ways to maximize it.
  5. Corporate Strategies – When it comes to a franchise strategy, the main focus is to create a comprehensive plan for the company that aligns with its vision, mission, and is determined by the management team. It doesn’t matter whether the organization is small or large, or how mature it is, this should be the starting point for developing a strategy. The insights and outcomes gained from this process will help the company better prepare for future strategy changes.

Key Elements of Operations Strategies

  1. Production System – An organization’s production system includes workflows, quality control benchmarks, and supply chain management strategies to turn resources into marketable products and services.
  2. Plant – A company’s operational capabilities are dependent on production facilities that have clear safety procedures, inventory management systems, and achievable production goals.
  3. Technology – Technological advances like AI, machine learning, automation, real-time metrics, and market forecasting increasingly shape operations strategy.
  4. Product or Service – Quality management is a key aspect of any operational strategy that businesses need to consider. They analyze the lifecycle of their products and services to predict market trends, allocate resources to new product and service development, and make necessary tweaks to meet customer needs. Overall, the process helps companies stay competitive and innovative in their industry.
  5. Resources – A comprehensive operations strategy considers all available resources, including location, machinery, and personnel.


The distinction between a franchise strategy vs. franchise operations strategy boils down to two things. One being focused on the overall company and the second on a strategy for a department or team.  From my experience, a department can not have a strategy that will succeed long-term if the company does not have a strategy.  It’s the company’s focus that allows the department to clarify its objectives and how it will go about achieving them.