Lessons Learned?

Recently I received an email from an international reader whom we will call ‘Bob’. Bob shared with me the fact that he is very upset with his franchisor. In Bob’s email he stated that the franchisors ‘system is no good’, ‘the franchisees are unhappy’ and ‘the franchisor does not like him’. As a result, Bob halted operation of the business after 6 months. Now the franchisor is terminating the contract. Bob’s question – “Any ideas regarding how to fix the situation so I can get my money and time investment back?”

Wow, sad situation. Honestly, I don’t think there is much I can do for Bob – and I told him that.

On the other hand, it begs the question – How did Bob end up in this situation? Let’s look at the facts. First, ‘the system is no good’ – this is the #1 most important thing to evaluate BEFORE buying a franchise – the system must work or you should not by the franchise. Second, ‘the franchisees are not doing well’ – this is why we call franchisees BEFORE joining a franchise system. If the franchisees are not doing well, then you should not join the franchise. Next, ‘the franchisor does not like him’ – If it was truly oil and water, this could have been discovered at discovery day and Bob should have declined to join the franchise system. Finally, he closed after 6 months. Most businesses take time to mature. Six months tells us very little about the potential of any business.

The bad news is that there is nothing we can do for Bob. The good news is that Bob’s mistakes can be avoided. As Abigail Adams said – “Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and diligence.” Due diligence is not a cure-all but with ‘ardor and diligence, you can absolutely stack the odds in your favor.

This week I was fortunate to reconnect with four former clients, all of whom are building successful franchised businesses. What a wonderful feeling it is to hear Lynn say – “Rick, I could not be happier”. Or Sam say – “I am so busy I have not had time to slow down and catch my breath.” It just goes to prove that the future is what you make it. Take the time to make good decisions and then stick by your decision. Trust yourself and you will be your own biggest fan.