(FS3) Being Realistic About Franchising is Key
There are a lot of myths about franchising and business ownership. You should always assess what is fact and what is fiction when you approach any situation. That includes the statement, “You are your own boss”. While it’s true that business franchisees run their own store, you are still subject to the franchisor. You will still have to follow rules made and placed by someone else, although they will not be over your shoulder enforcing them every hour of the working day.
You will find that many books or articles that talk about franchising use the words entrepreneur and franchising interchangeably when, in fact, they are far different things. Being a successful entrepreneur is a far different thing than a successful franchisee. Especially when the system for franchisees is one that has been tested and is known to be successful. If you see someone failing in business franchising, you should ask the question of whether the business model is the failure or if there was an operator error and the individual was just not meant for franchising because it can happen and is usually the fault of the individual more than anything else.
The difference between the words comes down to the freedom to make rules or choices at the drop of a dime. If someone is seeking to be 100% their own boss, change things like the colors on the wall or a product they want to carry at the snap of their fingers, they don’t want to become franchisees, they want to become entrepreneurs. As a franchisee, you enjoy the freedom of running your own store without a direct boss in front of you and you have the help for business in creating business through a reliable name and brand at the cost of someone else making all the major decisions for your company. This can work out really well for many people who want some responsibility, but not that much. It is still your responsibility to run the show day-to-day, to supervise the store and your staff, but you don’t have to make changes to the operating system or franchise if national rules change. That will be up to your franchisor.
When your franchisor is making the rules and regulations for your franchise, here are some things you can expect:
- Consistency for the product and service that the public has come to expect. It might seem restrictive to you, but imagine walking into a McDonald’s for their famous fries only to be greeted by a box of oven-baked, soggy fries because one store owner wanted to do things his way.
- Some franchisors provide franchisees with protected territory to keep other same-company franchises from getting too close and detracting from their business. They can also assist in opening multiple franchises in or around the area.
- While the idea of being terminated for not following protocol and franchise-established rules might seem harsh to you, know that those rules aren’t specific to you and that other franchises are also following them and are maybe even more enforced because other franchises are having a harder time following the rules or succeeding.