There’s no doubt, the past two and a half years have been a bit odd, to say the least. The encouraging news for franchising – for the most part it continues to grow! This is very good news not only for those of us that spend the greater part of every day in franchise development, but for the economy, as well!
But I do believe franchisors must be prepared. Besides handling what I believe will be an increase in inquiries from a wider segment of the population than we’ve seen before, but in working effectively with today’s franchise candidates who are more diligent, cautious and sophisticated than ever before. And certainly, more tuned to social issues, personal well-being, and of course, flexibility and work/life balance. Expectations could not be higher!
Many of today’s candidates are voluntarily or involuntarily unemployed, soon to be unemployed, or may just want to do something more rewarding, spiritually or otherwise, or to [finally] control their own destiny. With economic uncertainty abound, many are approaching business ownership with the attitude that they will not fail, and besides, failure is not an option. To that end, today’s candidate is well-prepared to do his or her homework, dive into research, taking due diligence to a higher level, which really is as it should be, right?
However, working with these candidates, franchise professionals must be extremely diligent themselves in presenting the franchise opportunity all the way through to executing the franchise agreement, and beyond into the franchise relationship. I know, many franchise professionals are probably thinking they already do that. Besides, it’s the law to fully disclose the opportunity, right? They’ll go on to state they’ve always done things by the book, at all times. Blah, blah, blah!
It really doesn’t matter what was done in the past, how it was done, why it was done, or even having the belief all is being done right today. What matters is ensuring individuals inquiring today receive timely, focused attention across multiple communications channels. After all, it’s not uncommon to communicate with today’s candidate via phone, online meeting, text AND email almost simultaneously, seemingly bouncing from one to another and back. Today’s candidates not only expect this, but they also command it as it’s the level of communications they’ve grown accustomed to.
Focus on communications and diligence from both parties is a must in order for an astute transitioning corporate executive or well-educated young professional (or combination thereof between partners) to even consider a brand’s franchise opportunity, and especially amongst the growing number of franchise opportunities across a multitude of industries and industry segments. It’s a competitive market. It is a franchise buyer’s market!
And, if they ultimately do sign the franchise agreement, remit the franchise fee, and commit to investing a substantial sum of money, rest assured today’s franchisees will be even more inclined to expect and command a high level of accountability from the franchisor, and from the system itself. From themselves? Not likely as they will rarely blame themselves for any part of failure. But they will certainly hold others accountable, and possibly differently than would have been the case in the past. That same level of diligence and sophistication exhibited in the sales process will be increased exponentially if problems arise. Maybe even more if doubt and buyer’s remorse settle in.
Well, my fellow franchise professionals, it’s time to continue honing your communication skills and staying abreast of technology around today’s communications. It is time to study your franchise documents to understand and present it better than ever before. It’s time to fine-tune all aspect of operations with a keen eye to detail and examine and perfect your franchise sales process.
Any shortcomings will surely raise their ugly heads in the future if today’s new franchisees become dismayed, discontented, and or fail in their businesses. They will not hold themselves accountable. Instead, they will blame the person who “sold” them their franchise, or the operations department that they perceive to have provided little or no support, or the franchise executive that they feel showed no compassion in “forcing” them into paying royalties and advertising fees.
So, why did I turn what started out to be a positive regarding franchise interest and growth after a couple of years of uncertainty, and turn it into a picture of potential problems complete with gloom and doom?
Well, it’s to encourage and motivate every franchise professional to be on his or her A-game and as necessary to put their house in order. Not only to bring new franchisees and revenue into the system, but to continue to grow their system with franchisees that, when attaining a relative level of success, will refer new franchise candidates, validate the franchise system, possibly look to purchase additional locations in the future, and to keep franchising on solid ground. The alternative of course, is dedication of resources to dispute resolution, possible litigation, and toward uncertainty (whatever that may look like).
As you’re pondering whether you agree with my perspective or not, or whether you want to or will take your efforts to a higher level, below is something to think about. Of course, I do encourage comments and understanding your perspective regardless of if you agree or disagree.
Winners or Losers: Choices Are Made Everyday
The Winner is always part of the answer; The Loser is always part of the problem.
The Winner always has a program; The Loser always has an excuse.
The Winner says, “Let me do it for you”; The Loser says, “That is not my job.”
The Winner sees an answer for every problem; The Loser sees a problem for every answer.
The Winner says,” It may be difficult, but it is possible”; The Loser says,” It may be possible but it is too difficult.”
When a Winner makes a mistake, they say,” I was wrong”; When a Loser makes a mistake, they say,” It wasn’t my fault.”
A Winner makes commitments; A Loser makes promises.
Winners have dreams; Losers have schemes.
Winners say,” I must do something”; Losers say, “Something must be done.”
Winners are a part of the team; Losers are apart from the team.
Winners see the gain; Losers see the pain.
Winners see possibilities; Losers see problems.
Winners believe in win/win; Losers believe for them to win someone has to lose.
Winners see the potential; Losers see the past.
Winners are like a thermostat; Losers are like thermometers.
Winners choose what they say; Losers say what they choose.
Winners use hard arguments, but soft words; Losers use soft arguments, but hard words.
Winners stand firm on values, but compromise on petty things; Losers stand firm on petty things, but compromise on values.
Winners follow the philosophy of empathy: “Don’t do to others what you would not want them to do to you”; Losers follow the philosophy, “Do it to others before they do it to you.”
Winners make it happen; Losers let it happen.
~ Author Unknown
Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count! And Happy Weekend!