The trouble with franchising

I must admit there’s a second half to the sentence.  It should read: The trouble with franchising your business is that it takes away your focus from other things.

It’s not a very punchy as a title, though.

Punchy or not, it’s true.  One of the issues with deciding to franchise is that it will take away focus from other important things… like your current business and making money.

You see, whatever way you look at it, if you want a successful franchise operation you have to put in the right foundations and that means giving it some focus.

There are a few things you can do to make it easier if you are considering the franchise route for your business.  Before I start though, let me just re-iterate: there’s no such thing as a free lunch and these things will only make it easier, not take away the need for focus.

The first thing you have to do as a prospective franchisor is do just that: make the leap from thinking about what you currently do to being a franchisor… your product is now franchising, business in a box or whatever you want to call it.

This will change your decision making because you will start thinking about how the things you do will affect your franchisees… when you want to launch something new you’ll have to systemise it, think about how it’s going to be sold, produce, test and issue marketing materials and so on, as though you were going to issue instructions to third parties… i.e. franchisees.

Of course, thinking like a franchisor will also mean you recognise the need for investment into your franchise operation.

The next thing you can do is ring fence your current operation and turn it into your pilot operation.  You could even employ someone and treat them (within reason) like a franchisee.

This also means that your business will still get the focus is deserves.

Finally, you need to get expert advice and some who will actually ‘do’.  And now we reach the reason for this particular blog:

I was speaking to a guy last week who was half way through the process of franchising his business.  He has employed the services of a franchise consultant and so, out of professional interest, I asked him what the consultant was doing for him.

He looked sheepish.

‘Errrr… well, nothing really.  He just tells me what to do and I go and do it.’

Well, as a model, coaching is good, but the expert must be doing something, right?

‘No,’ he replied.  ‘Let me give you an example.  He told me I needed a manual and he told me to go and write it ready for our next meeting.’

Really?  And how much is charging for all this ‘expert’ advice?

£30,000.

Nice work if you can get it.

1 comment for “The trouble with franchising

  1. EntBrit
    10 November, 2011 at 10:08

    Years ago I came across a similar situation. I did not like it much and went out looking for an alternative and came across Richard. He started by questioning us and having a seemingly general conversation, and then drew it all to a conclusion. We knew at that moment we had the right person to take us forward, and we had not discussed price yet (Richard – you promised to teach me that trick).

    I quickly learned that franchising is what your business does when it goes down this route and it is no longer an operator of some kind. It takes a big mental and business switch to make the change, but if you are going to do it – it is worthwhile giving Richard a call.

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