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When it comes to franchising, it's all about commitment to the cause

Written by Nigel Toplis on Tuesday, 18 December 2018. Posted in Insight

In a successful franchise, the relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee is akin to a marriage

When it comes to franchising, it's all about commitment to the cause

In the same way a husband and wife won't agree on everything, the same can be said of a franchisor and franchisee. There will be discussion, debate, the odd argument and the occasional divorce. But both parties will largely share a common goal – to maximise the franchisee’s business opportunity.

As in any long-lasting relationship the franchisee should never simply buy a franchise but buy into the franchise. This subtle change of emphasis ensures that both the franchisor and the franchisee are committed to the business, now and for the future, for better and for worse. A franchise after all is neither a commodity nor a job – it’s a commitment.

Just like in a marriage, for the franchise to work effectively both the franchisee and the franchisor must bring something of themselves to the party. The franchisee brings drive, ambition, energy, hard work and their own skills. The franchisor will cement the relationship by contributing a tried and tested business model, training, marketing and ongoing support.

Whilst I believe in a strong marital relationship between franchisor and franchisee, I also recognise the franchisor must show a significant dowry to prove their worth to the franchisee and ensure an ongoing and happy marriage.

For ourselves we have a team specialising in the key business disciplines that’s committed to providing support to our franchisees in crucial areas of marketing, sales, business planning, finance, procurement, curriculum development, retail management and training.

It’s important that a prospective franchisee investigates the marital prospects of the franchisor – reputation, what existing franchisees think, the support levels and so forth – in advance of the wedding day. Meet with the franchisor, read the business manuals, talk to other franchisees – the spouses – and take advice from the banks and the bfa.

You can take comfort in the fact that by paying an ongoing royalty, the franchisor is further committed to help you drive your business as most franchisors generate the bulk of their income through royalties, rather than large upfront costs.

Furthermore, these royalties are like a lease payment and as such there’s encouragement for the franchisor to continually improve the system, add new tools and examine new business opportunities.

As a spouse you expect to be taken care of, have your life improved and forge a long-lasting relationship. As a franchisee you should expect an ethical business, with a proven business system, backed up by good collateral, training and business processes and supported by head office personnel who care about the business and helping you become a success. 

About the Author

Nigel Toplis

Nigel Toplis

It’s safe to say Toplis has form when it comes to franchising. As managing director of The Bardon Group, he has led the growth of some of the UK’s best-known franchises, including The Zip Yard and Kall Kwik. Toplis lists work as one of his hobbies but he also enjoys his fair share of travel, horse racing and red wine.

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