A Secret

There’s a new franchisor coming to the block in the next couple of months… I can’t tell you who it is yet, but I’m pretty certain it’s going to be successful.

And not just ‘cos we’re involved.

You see, the franchise in question has developed a whole new model for franchising. Not in terms of how the relationship between franchisor and franchisee but in the way the whole franchise is constructed.

To understand the logic behind what the franchisor is doing we need to talk about a couple of business ‘theories’. Now, before you switch off and start reading Dirk Van Dijl’s blog (which I know you’ll do anyway) can I just say these ‘theories’ a very short?

And, if I do say that, will you believe me?

Okay, the first relates to franchising’s position in the British economy. Imagine the British Economy as a continuum.

At one end there are sole traders, working on their own and based from home. At the other end are the multi-national corporates such as our wonderfully responsible banks.

Sitting slap bang in the middle is franchising. Franchising supports people who want to get into business so they aren’t on their own but, mostly, are not large corporate businesses with huge head offices.

Okay – keep that in mind.

The second theory comes from a guy called Jeremy Rifkin who wrote a book called The Age of Access. In it he said that both personally and in business we will own less and less stuff. Instead we will pay for access to it. Cars are a good example. Fewer cars a re bought these days, we actually pay to use a car through schemes like Options or Solutions or whatever they’re called! We never own the car because we give it back at the end of the agreement and get a new one.

In business it’s the same. Fewer businesses own ‘stuff’ these days, but they do pay a premium to get access to services. For example, our business doesn’t have an IT manager but we do pay monthly for someone to support us if things go wrong… we pay for access to the service.

The new franchisor I’m talking about is doing just this, but to the nth degree.

As franchisor they see their role as twofold. Firstly to make their franchisees successful and secondly as a hub, to find, select and bring together a group of specialists who, collectively, have the skills needed to make the franchise operation a success.

Rifkin called it the Hollywood Organisational Model. Read his book to find out why!

There are clear benefits to this approach. Firstly, true specialists can be used and secondly they can be used at a fraction of the cost of employing them. Secondly, the franchise operates almost without overhead using technology to link the constituent parts together into a virtual head office function.

I’m pleased to say we’re part of the group of specialists and we’re really excited about it…

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