Franchisors must adapt to a world that’s ever changing

Technology is changing the world of franchising. But don't worry: a good franchisor will guide you through the transformations

Franchisors must adapt to a world that's ever changing

The pace of change has never been as great as it is today. Even during the industrial revolution, which lasted about 50 years, change was not felt in every area of society, whereas the changes now taking place are happening very quickly and having a huge effect everywhere.

For businesses, change presents opportunities but failure to adapt quickly can lead to the decline of a previously successful business model. The most vulnerable are often small and medium-sized enterprises, which include many franchised businesses. Thankfully it’s a well-accepted fact that the failure rate for franchised businesses is very low.

The difference is that behind every franchisee is a franchisor who is looking after the long-term interests of the business. It’s their responsibility to devote time and resources to adapting the business to changing customer demand and the opportunities available through advances in technology. In times such as these, that support and rapid response to change is even more valuable.”

By way of example, I often refer to McDonald’s, a hugely successful franchised business. How is their continued success possible in an industry that has rivals, like Byron Burger, struggling for survival? The answer is that they have adapted to changing customer demand and embraced technological opportunities. This would arguably not have been possible without their franchise support infrastructure.”

Another example is Dream Doors, the kitchen refurbishment franchise, which was founded and is still run by a friend of mine: Troy Tappenden. Dream Doors is a multi-award winning franchise that has many franchisees, who, for a modest initial investment, now earn well over £100,000 per year. This would also not have been possible without Troy continually adapting to customer demand and embracing new technology to an extent that would be impossible for small non-franchised businesses.

It’s often the case that even when standalone business owners have the time to devote to recognising shifts in demand and consumer expectations, they don’t know what to do with that information when they have it.

Our business model has evolved and benefited from embracing new challenges. We have thrived by harnessing innovative technologies to improve the service we deliver. Plus years of economic austerity, when household and business budgets are being squeezed, have led us to adopt fresh marketing initiatives to keep driving customers to our branches.

The message these examples send is that in times of change there is safety in a franchised business that is not available to a small independent. There is strength in numbers. There is continual support from an experienced team who have a huge incentive to make sure that you succeed through embracing and capitalising on change.

A good franchisor will have already embraced an enormous change themselves, from the moment they started franchising their company. From this point, the franchisor shifts their focus from being a purely operational model to offering support to new franchisees so everyone can reap the benefits of their formula for success.”

Tony Bowman
Tony Bowman