If you had a penny for every How to Succeed in Business book you’ve seen, read, or have had someone try to sell you as the absolute BEST BUSINESS BIBLE EVER! – you wouldn’t need to work. Those pennies would add up to a ginormous pile of M-O-N-E-Y.
Not to disparage those American Dream-fueling people like Michael Gerber whose E-Myth series gave hope and insight to generations of entrepreneurs. It was actually quite enterprising of him to continually update the series – keeping the dream alive! not to mention the coin coming in.
You Know What Business Looks Great On Paper?
- A turnkey solution for success.
- Pride of ownership. Proven concept.
- Research and development: check.
- Vetted suppliers.
- Every pitfall that any business owner has ever endured: handled.
- Here’s the paperwork and the bank wire instructions.
It takes sweat equity and belief in your product or service, but when do franchisees flounder? When the franchisor fails them.
I don’t believe it’s only people with “no imagination of their own” who decide to purchase a franchise. They are wisely making a decision to buy into a concept; but they are also signing up for a system. Part of that system includes branding that is polished, collateral marketing pieces that can be customized for local audiences, franchisee websites that function flawlessly – basically, a business in a box.
The Franchise Intangible
The other element being purchased is the franchisor. Whether two stores in Ohio or an international giant, franchisees should never be ignored or inadequately supported. Conceptually, they are the best version of an employee – they have skin in the game. They are the backbone of a company’s success. Do not discount them.
What Happens When You Ignore a Franchisee?
- They can go rogue on you. In the absence of a means to promote the business, (marketing materials, etc.) they may instead generate sub-standard materials or flyers, etc. that are inappropriately branded – in other words, not representative of the brand.
- They can regret the investment. It is their business too, so in the absence of leadership and the support they bought into, the bad attitude may go right off the radar into the danger zone.
- They can trash-talk you. Your franchisees should not only help perpetuate the business as a whole, they should be raving fans. They are your spokespeople. They are in connection with their own sphere of influence which should be yielding new customers AND new investors who wish to purchase a franchise of their own.
Franchisees are the face of your business. You may sell the most decadent desserts in your chain of shops, but if each time a customer enters one of your bakeries and it is not well tended due to lack of pride, it will steadily erode your bottom line. You will fail. Failure should not be an option. After all, you have already determined that your concept is franchise-able.
Is Your Franchisee Viable?
In addition to wowing the world with those cakes and pies that embrace your dear grandmother’s recipes, you are in the business to make money. But to what end? Are you simply selling the rights to a person whose financials check out? Or are you actually conducting intensive interviews to determine if this future owner of your name shares your business belief system and wants success as much as you do?
You need to make that call, but an investment in investigating these prospects may well be worth the time. And then you need to support them wholeheartedly. That’s how everyone wins.