There is a common expression in the world of franchising: “Franchising is doing business for yourself, but not for yourself” (Credit unknown).
There are many reasons why investing in a franchise brand is an attractive proposition to many potential entrepreneurs, as opposed to starting a business from scratch. By joining an established franchise, you join a company with a proven track record of success and a product or service that has been tried and tested, with all trademarks and the processes and systems in place , so you can be up to date. and running and generating an income quickly and efficiently. You will also benefit from the franchisor’s training, reputation, brand marketing, experience, know-how and support from the head of the operational team. Added to this is the fact that in the current economic climate, the availability of seed funding may be easier to obtain for a franchise launch than for an independent one.
However, one of the main benefits of becoming a franchisee is that by joining a franchise brand you become part of a larger network of franchisees – part of a team. And while the nature of franchising means that the business owner’s network is very likely to be spread over a large geographic area, both nationally and internationally, a good franchise will have robust communication systems in place to ensure that not only franchisees have access to franchisor support. and the operations team, as well as their fellow franchisees.
In all my conversations with fellow franchisees and with franchisees across a wide variety of industries, being part of a team is the strength that shines through as one of the greatest assets and benefits for both parties to a franchise agreement. And perhaps this has never come out more clearly than when we were faced with a curveball like a global pandemic. At a time when so many businesses faced unprecedented challenges and struggled to survive, franchisors and their franchisees were able to work together to adapt to the changing landscape in ways that many independent businesses may not have been able to do so quickly and efficiently.
“When you’re alone, it’s really easy to assume the worst and surrender to it,” said Anne-Marie Martin, founder and franchisor of preschool dance program franchise. diddidance. “As a franchise network, it was possible to continue to inspire each other as we navigated the limitations we faced during the lockdown, to keep going and look for new opportunities.”
In addition to leading change from a central operational level, a great franchisor will recognize the strength and experience within their pool of franchisees and be able to leverage that skills and experience for the benefit of the wider network.
“In the first week of the pandemic restrictions here in the UK, we’ve moved from an in-person architectural service to online,” said Lisa Raynes, founder of Pride Road Architects , a franchise that offers architectural services to homeowners. “We’ve pooled remote working experience, mastered technology and created a new operational manual to share with the team, along with quickly creating new marketing collateral for them to use. It was a quick and efficient change where our franchisees have benefited from.”
And while it is undoubtedly incredibly valuable to be part of a team of business owners who all face the same operational challenges and shared experiences with whom you can pool wisdom and exchange ideas, both emotionally and from a business growth perspective, There are also other important ways in which being part of a network brings commercial benefits to franchisees. In addition to benefiting from brand-wide marketing efforts and initiatives and easier access to financing, supplier relationships will already have been established. The leverage of being part of a larger franchise gives a small business franchise owner the opportunity to compete with big brands.
“The network’s ability to buy in bulk and lower supplier prices is incredibly powerful,” emphasizes Jane James, founder and CEO of the Small Voices franchise, offering drama and singing lessons to children and young people in the UK. “During the last financial crisis and during the pandemic, the power of the franchise family came into its own. Multiple brains, all passionate, all working on the same product/service, all aligned with the same values and all wanting the same result – it’s a powerful force to be reckoned with”.
And as we continue in times of uncertainty, with a predicted recession looming here in the UK, it seems likely that the superpower of being a part of that franchise family will support and encourage both franchisees and franchisors in the coming months.