Franchising is deep water. Learn to swim first.
Part One of this article compared mythical Greek sailors to business owners who are tempted to franchise a business. The sailors and the entrepreneurs were drawn into dangerous waters by temptation.
Well-wishers are the catalysts that set events in motion. When a business owner says ‘I’m going to franchise my business’, sirens and well wishers will show up. But watch out. It’s often a mirage.
To understand the well-wisher’s role is to understand they are usually a temptation and a distraction to the real work of analyzing whether or not franchising is a good idea. Know that most of all, they can do a lot of damage. They motivate owners to take risks while taking none themselves. A casual comment from a customer like “you ought to franchise your restaurant” echos over and over again in the owner’s mind, but the customer has no real interest and should have no influence on such a decision.
Scenarios That Bring More Temptation
The friend, relative or customer who encourages franchising suggests they might be a franchisee. The hopelessly hooked owner begins a franchise site search on the way home that evening ‘just in case’. Don’t laugh, it’s true. The idea of franchising is addictive.
Although temptation can numb an owner to the realities of franchising, real danger can finally appear in the form of franchise development consultants. They’re the ones with the power to catapult the entrepreneur headlong into uncontrolled flight.
Encouragement from a franchise consultant plus an entrepreneur’s excitement is a force of nature. Stop and analyze. Why are franchise consultants so powerful in this scenario? Because they provide what the entrepreneur sees as real expertise, real authority, and living proof that franchising can become a reality. ‘Certainly this consultant knows I’m on the right road.’ Yeah, right, the road to failure if real objective study of the project is not the first order of business.
The hype and salesmanship brought on by most franchise consultants is far more powerful than the customer, friend, or banker. And it’s far more dangerous. The franchise consultant, really has the power to start the engine. The most interesting phenomenon concerning the appearance of the encouraging consultant is that the entrepreneur contacts the consultant, and guess what, the consultant will be happy to earn a fee.
“Franchise My Business” is a hypnotizing statement
The franchise consultant is not necessarily the enemy, but if they offer encouragement to go forward without complete investigation, then they are the enemy. The services of a good franchise consultant are essential to the process and to franchise without quality help is as insane as the decision to franchise prematurely, or the decision to franchise at all. Only YOU should make the decision based on facts not emotion.
There are disreputable and poorly qualified franchise consultants, just as there are bottom feeders in any field. The most difficult thing facing a prospective franchisor is choosing a consultant who: 1. knows what they are talking about, and 2. has the integrity to say, “don’t do it”. The FTC regulates franchising. It does not regulate franchise consultants.
To make a good decision, both the business AND the entrepreneur need careful, objective evaluation. And of course, it’s very hard to objectively evaluate ourselves.
The savvy business owner will do what the smartest Greek ship’s master decided to do about the Siren’s song. He was lashed to the mast so he could not be tempted. He sailed past danger. A true feasibility study, not a sales pitch, is the surest course to peaceful waters if you are interested in franchising a business. /fusion_builder_column]