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Business Opportunity vs. Job

Time and again, I find franchisors falling into the trap of creating a franchise proposition that is in effect a glorified job. (I once had a client who used to describe it quite eloquently as a Just Over Broke role.)

The franchises that succeed to tell the tale after 10, 15 and 20 years, are the franchises where the franchise offering has been planned, forecasted and enhanced as the model has aged over time.

I’m sure you will agree...if people wanted jobs – they would look to being employed. People looking at franchises have an inherent desire to make something of themselves and create a tangible entity. My best advice to individuals shopping around to buy a franchise encompasses the answers to these basic questions:

  1. Would you enjoy the day-to-day work?

  2. Does the proposition offer the income you desire?

  3. What routes are available for business growth in future?

  4. What support frameworks and resources are provided and do they match what you need as an individual?

You shouldn’t, as a prospective franchisee, be muscled into signing any agreements and you should most definitely ensure that evidence of the franchise proposition’s success must compliment the excitement you feel.

My message to franchisors, on the other hand, is to plan for the proposition to not only knock the prospective franchisee’s socks off, but also the competition’s! The whole idea of franchising is that a franchisee can pick up the ‘business in a box’; go on the training; follow the franchisor’s advice and guidance and viola...with hard work and determination thrown in...success is sure to follow.

Franchisors should take away all of the start-up misery which most lone small business owners undergo when setting up their businesses (especially in their first two years). The franchise owners should create their franchise proposition with the franchisee in mind, and not themselves. The profit and longevity of that profit depends on this and how the franchisor has structured his own revenue prospects.

In a franchise operation where the franchisee comes to feel income-restricted, he will undoubtedly start to resent the model and the franchisor. This is a recipe for disaster which will definitely lead to the degeneration of trust, and ultimately to the breakdown of the integrity of the franchise system.

From the very beginning, the franchise proposition must be viewed from the angle of being a business opportunity – which by its very definition means “a chance for progress or advancement.” A franchisee must be motivated for growth and profit, and the franchisor (by virtue of the franchise agreement) is obligated to continue to motivate the franchisee throughout the duration of the franchise term.

Franchisees who only experience ‘just over broke’ are not going to help the franchisor sell and grow the business long term. Make a franchisee feel valued, successful and secure and you will have a franchise network that will stand the test of time.

Copyright © 2008 Shelley Pearson.
Reprints are welcome, as long as the by-line and article are published in tact and all links made live.


About the Author

Shelley Pearson, formerly an independent franchise consultant, created the Expert Franchise Guide business after identifying a serious lack of a provision of franchise business guidance products to small and medium sized business owners. She has developed her products in order to solve one of these business owners’ biggest operational obstacles: access to decisive, experienced and cost effective franchise business guidance. She is now an information marketer and has managed to attract both professional affiliations and clients who recognise and value her business acumen matched with a practical and empathetic approach.


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