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The Worst Franchise Attitude… and How to Avoid It
If you’ve done some research on buying a franchise, you’re probably starting to hear and read some of the same sentiments over and over as various experts prepare you for franchise ownership. Among the most common, and indeed one of the most important, is to “follow the system.” Following a franchisor’s blueprint is the essence of the franchise business model. The owners of the brand have found a model that has worked and can be duplicated to create success for other owners in other areas. Of course, that’s not always the case – sometimes the duplication of success isn’t quite so simple, and sometimes the brand as a whole doesn’t have the longevity it foresaw. Still, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a truly successful franchise owner who didn’t follow the system as best they could. By choosing a brand that fits your skill set and personality, and then sticking to the prescribed processes, you’ll maximize your chances of success. This brings us to an interesting piece of feedback we received during our franchisee satisfaction research. We won’t reveal the franchisee’s name or their brand, but this is a sentiment that could have come from just about any franchise system out there:
The franchise uses a homogeneous business system - a mold. If a territory deviates substantially from the average, then the system is going to be way off in its ability to drive the plan. And to make matters worse, the contract restricts the flexibility that a franchisee has in changing the plan to meet the realities of his/her territory. The training and support are all based on the current mold, not allowing the franchisee or the trainers to "think outside of the box" to solve the real problems of the territory. The franchise is so convinced that the same system will work in all markets, that it takes the stance that the franchisee is "just making excuses," when the plan does not yield results. Instead, the franchise should consider that the franchisee may be right, because unless that happens, it will be impossible to find the right solutions.A couple quick points:
- We don’t know this individual franchisee’s situation and experience, and the comments above may be entirely justified and spot-on.
- There are many franchisees who, likely through insufficient two-way communication with their franchisor, feel similar in their own systems, and most of them would be well served to follow their franchisor’s advice.