Number Plates: the antithesis of franchising

I think private number plates are brilliant.  The really clever ones always make me smile.  Here are some examples:

On a really smart Mercedes SLK roadster:

H12 MYX – the numbers were shuffled to read HI 2 MY X

On a fabulous, modern, smart horse truck carrying thoroughbred racehorses:


I could even get into private plate spotting.  I’d like to rack up G5 POT (G 5POT).  Finally, 2 BE and NOT 2B… which are actually owned by the same person, apparently.

I’d love to buy wife a private plate (remember she’s an accountant): LE55 TAX

Or (remember her name is Renee) R3 NEE or REN 33

I suspect these would be a little on the pricey side, though.

The thing is, I’ve noticed something about private plates and franchising… they don’t go together.  Or, rather, they don’t go together if a franchisee comes with their own private number plate; it’s fine if they acquire one to promote their business.

Let me explain what I mean.

The other week I was training a group of new franchisees.  It’s more of a blue colour franchise, so the sales, marketing and business element is a little bit smaller than some other franchises.

There were 8 fellas on the course and 7 of them were fabulous; really excited and looking forward to the challenge – nervous but excited.

The eighth guy had more money and had left a high powered job (for ‘left’ read ‘made redundant’) and he still had a chip on his shoulder and a big corporate attitude.  Personally, I also believe that he was feeling a little bruised by his experience and embarrassed to find himself in the position he was in.

This manifested itself in an aggressive attitude in the training room.  And guess what?  Yep, on this occasion, you’re quite right.  He had a private number plate.

This got me thinking and I kept my eyes open.  A trend soon emerged.  Private plate = less compliant franchisee.  In most cases this doesn’t show itself as aggression, rather as less willingness to follow the system because, quite clearly, they have a private plate and therefore, they know better.

Do you think I’m on to something and franchisors should follow this new approach to franchisee recruitment?  Even if everything else stacks up, you can’t join the network if you have a private number plate!

Perhaps not, but it would be interesting to do a formal study about the relative success of franchisees who didn’t have a plate that reads J4 SON (J4SON)… or their own equivalent.

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