I’m looking to expand my business and think that franchising is the way to go.
However, I’ve heard horror stories from some business owners who say that for the time and effort spent babysitting new franchisees, they may as well open up a second store themselves. How can I get around this issue?
As a franchisor, the commercial need and legal obligations to support your franchisees is unavoidable.
The key to ensuring that the support you provide is efficient and effective will be based on you creating a support structure and mechanism which is a well-defined blend of compliance, operational excellence, planning and coaching.
I suspect the ‘horror stories’ you refer to of franchisors having to ‘baby-sit’ their franchisees have been born out of a combination of the franchisor not having clear and precise franchise operations and training procedures and not having adequately planned themselves for becoming a franchise in the first-place.
Another influencing factor in the success of the operation-support relationship will be the calibre of the franchisee recruited: their personality, mindset and willingness to listen and learn from the franchisor.
So if you are going to consider franchising as a growth strategy for your business, you must be prepared (as the franchisor) to invest in developing adequate operations and training systems up-front, and to spend time with your franchisees in training, supporting and mentoring them using those systems, through the good times and the bad!
If you are not prepared to do any or all of these things, my firm and strong advice would be don’t franchise, and simply continue to grow your business yourself.