Franchising a Business & Greek Mythology Go Together. Learn a Great Lesson.
Do you remember Homer’s Odyssey – ‘Songs of the Sirens’ back in high school or college? The Sirens were creatures from Greek mythology that enticed sailors to their destruction with beautiful singing. Half vision/half beautiful ladies who beckoned Greek sailors to sail their ships to the Sirens’ rocky coast. A story of temptation and desire as old as time.
Sailors wanted to go ashore very badly. They saw an opportunity and rushed in without evaluating the dangers. The story of sirens and sailors is folklore on the subject of temptation and irrational behavior. It also pertains directly to franchising a business. When a business owner starts asking themselves “Should I franchise my business?”, you can bet the Sirens are going to sing and the temptation to sail ahead is going to be strong. Here and in Part Two you’ll find a reality check for all prospective franchisors. If you find yourself wondering about franchising your own business, the last thing you need is encouragement. What you need is a team of horses holding you back and a mentor asking lots of questions. Lots of questions.
The Road to Success Prior to Franchising
Successful businesses are brought to life by smart, hard working entrepreneurs. Without the entrepreneur’s blood, sweat and tears, the business would not have succeeded. The entrepreneur feels a deep sense of satisfaction, but because of human nature, they want more than to count cash after a day of grilling steaks, inspecting houses, cleaning buildings, or a thousand other tasks that must be performed or managed over and over again to make a living.
Work is work and even the most enjoyable aspects of running a successful business leave a person open to change after five or more years of repeating the same chores. For many successful business owners a tune begins to play that goes something like this: “I’ve figured out how to make a success of this business. I’ve done what others have failed to do. I know how to avoid failure and I can show others the way. “Hey, I think I should franchise my business.” The seed is planted, and now it only waits to be watered.
Vanity & Temptation Can Make Franchising Destructive
Our Greek sailors heard the Sirens calling and understood exactly what they were offering. As mortals, they wanted those women. The thought of pleasure ruled over reason. They risked their lives for a chance to meet those women and they lost. The allure of franchising a business is not one bit different. When desire trumps reason, disaster has an opening.
Tough minded, successful entrepreneurs are just as open to temptation as the Greek sailors. Once the seed of franchising is planted, it quietly sits there ready to germinate. That’s when the sirens start showing up. Who are the franchise sirens? They come in the form of a satisfied customer, a relative, a friend, a bookkeeper, or the banker. One of those folks is going to say: “What a great business you have! You should to franchise it.” Boom, lightning strikes, and the thought of ‘Gee, I really should franchise my business’ takes hold. If others see it, then it might make sense. This is an exciting time for the entrepreneur. But the excitement has to be tempered with thought and reason.
Franchising offers tremendous appeal, but it demands careful scrutiny. Beware of the sirens’ songs, and temper your desire with a long, hard look before you proceed. Find truly knowledgeable franchise people. Find people who want to see you safely through the process and run like hell from consultants who are selling you on the idea of franchising. If you’re tempted by the franchise sirens, read Part 2 of this article and everything you can about franchising a business.