Winner and losers

My daughter, the other day, held her forefinger and thumb in an ‘L’ shape to her forehead to indicate that she thought I was a loser.

She may be right (but, being thirteen, she thought she had to be right and there was no other possible answer) or she may be wrong, but I felt like repeating the gesture today when I guy came in to see me about franchising his business.

To be fair he’d been to see someone else and they had filled his head full of rubbish and told him he was ready to franchise… which he just wasn’t.

Here’s a rudimentary checklist of what you need to be ready to franchise, together with an indication of what this guy had in place:

  • Pilot operation – nope, not really. There was a business but it wasn’t operated as the franchisees were going to their businesses.
  • Legal agreement – nope, and this one rally made me laugh. The guy had written a couple of sides of A4 about the franchise and what franchisees were going to do and this was what he was going to get them to sign.
  • Prospectus – errr, no. He had a brochure which was so overtly salesy it was unbelievable.
  • Franchise package – ‘Well I suppose I could give them some headed paper, but it sounds like an expense to me.’ The franchise was to be sold for £25,500.
  • Systems and process – again, no. ‘They can learn through experience, like I had to…’
  • Training programme – nope. There were to be two approaches to training. 1: new franchisees were going to work for the franchisor for a month. Okay, this is possible if there’s a programme of development, which there wasn’t. The franchisor was going to treat them as free labour. 2: ‘I’ll train them myself, I’ve been doin’ this for years…’
  • Support function – YES… actually: no, I was pulling your leg. Franchisees would be given the guy’s mobile number.
  • Franchisee recruitment process – no. ‘That’s what I’m here for… I want to outsource that to you!’

‘Riggght, oookkkaaaayyy, let me think about it for a while… I’ve thought about it:

Good bye’.

I did manage to refrain from pressing my forefinger and thumb to the my forehead… but it was a close run thing.

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