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Franchising: It is NOT a Parent/Child Relationship

Okay, here is where I get irritated. Those that know me, realize that I do not mince words and I am a straight shooter. I was talking with a business owner the other day and this topic came up. How many times have you heard “Franchising is like a parent / child Relationship?” Well guess what, I strongly disagree.

In franchising if you have that attitude, then in my experience what you will get are franchisees who end up resenting YOU. Think about it for a minute. Franchisees are motivated people who have a strong desire to own a business without having to go through all the mud puddles, challenges and headaches associated with starting a business. These people are entrepreneurs and are looking to you for answers, a mentor of sorts. How many mentors do you know who motivate their followers by acting inferior or treating them like children??

I come from very successful and strong franchise systems. Loyalty is not built on intimidation, fear or threats, but from trust, understanding and respect. If you are thinking of franchising your business then you must first accept that it is the franchisee who will determine your success and your relationship with them will determine their happiness. It all starts with the franchise development process and how you set the tone. Everyone who calls The Franchise Maker, are screened to determine their attitude because if their motives to Franchise are not for the sake of helping others to succeed then more than likely it is out of greed. Those who want to Franchise out of greed, we turn them over to our competitors because history has shown this behavior results in franchise failure; I want no part of that world.

Don’t get me wrong, expectations must be set and standards must be followed. However, the key is how are you going to make sure this happens. How are you going to motivate these entrepreneurs, who are adults and investing tons of money to brand your business, to follow these standards? With threats, fear and intimidation? Someone very wise once said, “The best way to motivate people to do what you wish, is to have them want to do it and believe it is their idea”.

Bottom line is that a Franchise System is only as successful as their worst performing franchisee. Your goal must be to have each franchisee be a raving fan of your company. No matter how flexible or strict your Franchise Structure, consistency and minimum requirements must be maintained. The trick is understanding how you are going to accomplish this without making these entrepreneurs feel like children while continuing to motivate and support them. It’s all in your systems and the culture you create. After all, it all starts with YOU.

Franchising: It is NOT a Parent/Child Relationship