Watch out for the rocks when you say "franchise my business"

Be careful when you say “franchise my business”

 “Wow, I should franchise my business!” — Don’t let emotions dictate.

Are you familiar with ‘Songs of the Sirens’?  Not the screeching sounds of fire trucks racing down the street. The Sirens here are the ones from your high school Greek mythology class; the ladies who called Greek sailors to land on their rocky coast. Remember what happened to those sailors and their ships? They chased after the girls, crashed on the rocks, tore up their ships, and were left to drown before reaching shore. 

Those sailors wanted something 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, but it also pertains to franchising a business. If you keep repeating ‘I’m going to franchise my business’, then these two articles are just what you need. This is a reality check for all prospective franchisors.

The Road to Success

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 commercial 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 and temptation can be destructive in franchising

Our Greek sailors heard the siren ladies 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 their lives.

Tough minded, successful entrepreneurs are just as open to temptation as those sailors, and that’s precisely the message. Once the franchise seed 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 get into franchising’. If others see it, then it might make sense. Those encouraging statements plant a seed that once planted will produce a growing idea.

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 drop 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 then  read this critical information.