Franchise Consultants Are Like Astrologers

First things first: some of you were kind enough to read my blog about the i-pad/no i-pad dilemma I was having with myself.

Well, eventually, I won and I bought an i-pad.  That was last Thursday and I already can’t imagine my life without it.  It’s Monday.

Hmmm… I think I might have been suckered into something here.

Anyway, as I write this blog (using the Pages app on my i-pad) I’m listening to the radio (also on my i-pad) and the astrology section is on.  Very funny it is, too.

The astrologer has just come up with a brilliant line which guarantees that ‘the stars’ are always right.  This is what she said: ‘The stars influence, they don’t compel!’

So, if it does end up being true (instead of a load of garbage) it was the stars.  If it doesn’t come true, well, it would have done if you hadn’t ballsed it up by being so willful.

To some extent, though, I get what she meant because franchise consultants are in the same quandary.  You see, they can only influence, not compel, even though they (generally speaking) know what’s required to make a successful network.

But there’s one thing that consultants often miss when they are working with their new franchisor clients.  And this is what it is: when a business person decides to franchise their business they have to change their mind set about what they do.

For example, if they used to clean cars, they no longer clean cars.  If they used to cut grass, they don’t anymore.  If they… well, you get the point.

No, when they become a franchisor, their product becomes the franchise operation, the business in a box whatever it is they give to their franchisees.  The fundamental error in franchising and the one that franchise consultants forget is that there has to be a mental shift before a franchisor will truly commit to their network and if they don’t truly commit, it’s doomed to failure.


Because if they don’t the franchisor believes that they are still a car valeter then that’s where they priorities will lie.  When they want to introduce a new service, they’ll do it willy nilly rather than testing it, writing the process, developing the marketing and releasing it with appropriate training to the network.

However, when the franchisor recognises that their product is franchising, things change.  They try to improve their product, they are proud of it and they are liberated from the other stuff they had to do.

It’s hard to do, though, because most people like what they used to be!

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