I’m disappointed…

…that I’m not doing better – I think the franchise doesn’t work.


When I hear this I’m always tempted to say, ‘no, it’s not the franchise that doesn’t work, it’s you.’

Of course, I don’t actually say it, but 9 times out of 10 it’s true.

Take the guy who called me earlier today. He’s been through his initial training, which included a 2 day marketing programme, which was all about, well, marketing the business. On the programme we talked, in detail, about ten marketing activities that franchisees should strongly consider doing.

We never say they have to do these activities, because it’s their business… but we do say that not to do these activities is a bit like employing an expert to do something for you and then arguing against the actions they take.

Anyway, that’s by the by.

I was talking to this particular franchisee who told me that he was disappointed with the way things have gone so far. He was expecting more customers to get in touch, that his marketing wasn’t working, Google wasn’t getting him anything, that his business plan (which he put together) wasn’t accurate and that the figures he was told when he met the franchisor just weren’t true.

Okay, let’s explore that a bit.

As long as the system is properly tested, understood and trained a franchisee will be successful to the extent they follow the system (and, therefore, unsuccessful to the extent they don’t follow the system). Not bits of it, not the bits they like doing and not the bits that are easy.

A franchisee has to follow the entire system.

Back to our case study.

When I asked him what marketing he was doing he told me. He was doing 5 of the 10 things we discussed on the training course and the easy things at that… listing himself on online directories and things like that. He wasn’t doing some of the things that are more challenging for him, things like networking, which is more likely to get him leads than anything else.

Funnily enough, he was doing exactly half the things he should have been doing and he was achieving exactly half his business plan.

So, I have to say, I was right – this franchisee was successful o the extent he was following the system.

But, so what? What does this mean?

I think this is a really important point for franchisors. I think franchisors can be more robust when faced with a franchisee telling them that the business doesn’t work. As long as they can, hand on heart, say that everything is fully tested, a franchisor should make sure franchisees are following the system.

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