Three unforgivable sins in franchising

The three things you must never do as a franchisee if you want to succeed!

Three unforgivable sins in franchising

The beauty of a franchise is that it comes with rules – so if you truly want your franchise business to succeed, make sure you never commit these three unforgivable franchising sins.

I’d like to think we are a fairly forgiving bunch in franchising, after all, we’re dealing with hundreds of franchisees every day and we all have our little ‘ways’, so generally, we try to be quite relaxed however, there are three complete and utter ‘no no’s’ that we draw the line at. Three things that will not only really annoy your franchisor, but that will also probably signal the end of your business or, at worst, your franchise agreement.

Unforgivable sin #1: Not following the franchise model

There is nothing that will rile your franchisor more than you failing to follow the franchise model; the model that they have spent years creating and that you have just spent, I am presuming, many thousands of pounds buying.  Believe me, when I tell you, they know what works and what doesn’t, and you’d be a fool to try to change things.

Your franchisor has worked hard on their brand, building a company that is well recognised for doing a great job. Their social media channels are all singing from the same ‘core message’ song sheet, right down to the tone of voice and images used. They know which suppliers will deliver on time and which to avoid. They know which marketing and advertising works, and which doesn’t. The one, completely unforgivable franchise sin is ignoring the franchise model and doing your own thing. History tells us that 95% of these kinds of franchisees end up failing, a) because ‘their way’ wasn’t better or b) because it will be in breach of their franchise agreement. If you see a franchise as a ‘base model’ for you to improve, being a franchisee is not for you. The cleverest franchisees are those that see, do and repeat.

Unforgivable Sin #2: Not asking for help

There are absolutely no prizes for not asking for help, both in the early days and beyond. None at all. If you aren’t our most frequent caller in the first few weeks of owning your franchise, then there’s something wrong. Don’t get me wrong, we put you through intense training and we’ll send you away with a hefty franchise manual to refer to, but there are still going to be questions and rather than sit and scratch your head, please just pick up the phone and ask us. We’ve been answering these questions for years and there is absolutely no such thing as a stupid question. The other place you can ask for help, especially if you would like a variety of different answers (but all based on the model), is from your franchise network. Depending on how large the franchise you have bought into is, you will have from a handful to 20+ other franchisees to ask. Like you, they have all been ‘newbies’ once and will be only too happy to help.

Unforgivable Sin #3: Not doing enough marketing

Some franchisees make the mistake of thinking that because they are buying into an established brand, they don’t need to do any marketing or advertising; this simply isn’t true and has led to the failure of many a business over the years. Yes, we have a website and a national PR/Marketing and advertising campaign, but they don’t replace your local efforts. It is absolutely vital that you let your customers know you are there and the service you provide. Most franchise agreements state that you must spend a certain percentage of your turnover on advertising/marketing and trust us when we say you need to spend every penny of it (and then some). Businesses that fail to advertise or market simply won’t survive and that’s not good for any of us. So, when you buy your franchise, make sure you understand your responsibility for marketing your own business for a successful outcome.

Darren Taylor
Darren Taylor