What Makes a Great Franchise?

Last week a lady considering franchise ownership asked an interesting question.  ‘What makes a great franchise and how will I know it when I see one?’

Wow, what a question.  That is the type of question that doctoral thesis are written on.  One hundred pages later, the thesis still has not properly answered the question.

At the risk of over simplification, I shared the following –

The natural starting place is with the following questions.  ‘Why join a franchise?’  ‘What is the value of a franchise?’  The simple answer is risk reduction.  A franchise system must reduce your business risk.  How the franchisor does this is a detail.  The fact that it is done in a reliable, predictable fashion is critical.  When you purchase a franchise you buy the right to use ‘the system’.  The system you join must systematically reduce your business risk.

Second, a great franchise is always growing and evolving.  A great franchisor proactively works to foster an interactive, franchisee community that not only manages risk today; it seeks to improve the opportunity tomorrow.  A great franchisor has franchisees that are ‘raving fans’.  They enjoy helping each other genuinely feel good about their relationship with the franchisor.

Finally, a great franchise system supports it’s franchisee from cradle to grave.  Every franchisor has training and support.  Not every franchisor will help you when you chose to sell your franchise and exit the system.  Great franchise systems also support you as you exit.  It is part of the natural life cycle.

Obviously there are other items that could be mentioned but if a franchisor gets these three items right, you have a pretty good start.

Hope you have a great March.