Spoon-feeding franchisees can kill off hunger for success

It's vital for franchisors to strike the balance between giving franchisees what they need to grow and not mollycoddling them

Spoon-feeding franchisees can kill off hunger for success

It’s difficult to strike the perfect balance when it comes to supporting franchisees. Too little can lead to disillusionment or failure, while too much can give rise to a lack of effort and ultimately cause apathy and stagnation. This phenomenon is regularly discussed in bfa circles and can often be a problem for franchisors who provide most of the sales for their franchisees.

This is why it’s important to manage expectations right from the start of a franchisor-franchisee partnership. The onus is on the franchisor to provide training, a comprehensive operations manual, ongoing support and new initiatives to keep the brand and business flourishing.

Equally, it’s the responsibility of the franchisee to follow the tried-and-tested path set down by the franchisor and not ignore the advice and guidance given or allow themselves to be sidetracked. We have etyres franchisees who have been trading successfully for between ten and 20 years because they haven’t gone off course and have continued to adopt our policies and complied with the company’s systems.

Following the guidelines will help franchisees achieve what should be a main aim: achieving sales. There is no shying away from the fact that all franchisees must be prepared to sell. A franchise gives them a business blueprint and in many cases will generate work. But they shouldn’t expect it to deliver the level of customers they need to realise their full potential. If franchisees are spoon-fed sales, they may be able to maintain their business but they will no longer be as hungry for growth as they need to be in order to reap the maximum rewards.

This is where the tricky balancing act comes in. Franchisees don’t want to be in a position where they feel they’re being left to fend for themselves but neither do they want to be dictated to in such a way that their natural enthusiasm and ambition gets stifled.

The essence of franchising is being able to listen and learn from others to avoid the mistakes and pitfalls of business ownership. Someone has already tested the procedures and proven that a system works, which is what the franchisee is paying for. You are wasting your money if you pay for this expertise and then blatantly disregard it.

To be honest, if you can’t or won’t follow a system for success, perhaps you would be better off starting your own venture from scratch or buying a non-franchised business – but then you really will have to generate all the sales.

Tony Bowman
Tony Bowman