Franchise Best Practices = Superior Franchising
Our decades of franchise consulting have resulted in many critical insights, but one aspect of the industry still remains a mystery and a question. Why do franchisees and franchisors tend to adopt an “Us:Them” relationship? Is it simply a matter of human nature or is the industry unintentionally or intentionally designed to be two opposing elements? Whatever the answer might be, avoiding the conflicts that result from ‘Us:Them’ is the most important aspect of the industry and the best path to franchise success. We call that path FRANCHISE BEST PRACTICES.
In a nutshell, franchise best practices result from two essential elements: careful, ongoing analysis of the concept, meaning the system and model AND nurturing the relationship between the franchisor and franchisees.
First the model
No doubt, the model on which a franchise offering is built should come to market in its finest form. Unfortunately that is very often not the case. Of course, what’s worse is compounding the scenario by bringing in franchisees who in turn, spread the model further like a sickness for both sides. Franchisees suffer and the franchisor becomes bogged down in the mess that they themselves created. Franchise Best Practices can do a great deal to repair an imperfect system because it surgically analyzes problems through an unbiased lens. Of course, that lens had better be backed by capable, expert eyes.
It’s an unfortunate fact of life that many entrepreneurs are lured into franchising their business by unscrupulous consultants who are seeking nothing more than a fee. The business owner is always excited by the thought of great growth, wealth and glory and many go blindly into franchising because no one is studying the future with honest, open and expert franchise eyes. So, franchise best practices are essential even before the decision to franchise is made. In fact, that is the ideal time.
Next, Franchise Relationships
Franchise relationships are obviously critical to the success of any franchise system. This short piece concerns franchise best practices, but for in-depth look at franchise relationships and how they’re formed, see our articles on the subject (www.bibbygroup.com/franchise-articles/franchise-relationships-article-1/), parts one and two.
If you are new to franchising, especially as a new or prospective franchisor, do yourself a favor and read up on the countless enormous lawsuits wherein franchisors are sued by their franchisees, and most important, lost. Many, perhaps even most, of those lawsuits were the result of bad business practices, but rest assured that all of them found their roots in or resulted in bad relationships. Franchisors, even the most conscientious, are wrestling with new franchise sales, training, field problems, and countless other issues that absorb their time. An attitude of “I trained you and I offer you support, so get to work.” is not uncommon and not hard to develop given all the other demands. However, just like any other interpersonal relationship, feelings are sensed even when not spoken and feelings of resentment on either or both sides begin to run deep. Franchise best practices, when performed professionally and impartially, can bring to the surface and resolve many business and emotional issues that otherwise can ruin the entire system. What’s better – litigation or peaceful conflict resolution? Or better yet, identifying and curing potential conflicts before they are presented in anger. That’s Franchise Best Practices!