Be careful when it comes to franchising advice

Beware of advice from franchising experts if they haven’t asked you a number of questions first

Be careful when it comes to franchising advice

This industry has a bad habit of advising certain standards or practises within franchising that may not apply to all businesses or brands. There isn’t just one way to develop and scale a franchise business, there are countless ways and sometimes franchisors can find some effective methods that are a bit out of the box! 

I’m a newbie to franchising and I know I still have a lot to learn, but there’s one big takeaway I have from my time in franchising so far. A lot of people offer advice, based on ‘the way’ to do things, without remaining open-minded and being curious.

So much advice is offered without the required levels of understanding. I’ve lost count of the number of times that I have been told that our franchise fee is too low, or that we should make our franchise conference mandatory. Just because a certain clause in a contract worked for one person and their business, that doesn’t mean that all other businesses should follow suit.

I have found that it’s very rare that the person offering advice, asks any questions at all. If they do ask questions, sometimes they are not the right ones and therefore the advice giver doesn’t have a good understanding. Many people within the franchise world go straight into teacher mode without asking the pupil why they do what they do.

Franchising is epic and the people involved are superstars, but this a common mistake that is repeatedly made. I’m highlighting it in this article to raise awareness and in an attempt to make people a little more curious. My experiences of receiving advice, based on limited understanding, has led me to take a pause before rushing in to try to help somebody. Instead, I now try to ask questions, develop my understanding and listen first, before proceeding to offer feedback.

This has been particularly helpful in conversations with our franchisees. Rather than throwing a clause of the Franchise Agreement or section of the Operations Manual at someone, I now ask lots of questions to try to determine why a certain person does something a certain way. 

I have been guilty of rushing in and offering advice in the past, with limited understanding and this new approach has really helped me. I hope it helps you too.

James Cutting
James Cutting