I have been working with clients recently who are in the process of launching a new franchise business. It has posed some interesting challenges to the way they have always been used to working AND how they need to market the concept.
Anyone who has studied Gerber’s defining work The E-Myth will be familiar with his idea that all business owners should aim to ‘franchise’ their business. That is to say, to create a model that runs without them right at the centre of every day operations – and, when this is complete, they should make a decision whether or not they actually WANT to run the ‘franchise’ themselves or sell it.
As I say, it poses interesting challenges and at the heart of any successful franchise is the need for systems. Everything needs to be systematised. The central operating process. The look. The marketing. Brand values. Customer service. The messages. Everything has to be replicable by someone else and still be wholly recognise able as the original. Think of Macdonalds. KFC. Prontaprint. The customer needs to have total faith in the outcome wherever they experience it.
Now, I get to meet many business owners and a large proportion of them are enamoured with the idea to franchise their business. The idea that you get to make the money while someone else does the work is intoxicating I’ll grant you! Just reward for a great business idea you might think.
But make no mistake, most business owners are nowhere near the position they need to be in order to provide a proven, systematised operation that another business owner will invest in. The key issues seem to be …
- A business that is far too dependent on the input and skill set of the original business owner
- A business that is unfranchiseable – ie. It’s essentially a lifestyle business and not scaleable
- A lack of systems and process that are guaranteed to deliver the brand promise
- A failure to identify the right target customer for the franchise
- Lack of marketing system for either the base business (vital for franchisee appeal) or to sell the franchises themselves
- A lack of understanding of the scope of the backup operation need to fulfil the demands of franchisees
Like my clients, you need to think long and hard about your business and any potential franchise model. They look like they’ve cracked it I’m pleased to say.
Systems that deliver the sweet taste of success!
I always try to embrace what’s going on in my life and connect it with my blog. So, yesterday I built a wedding cake from 800 macarons – a bit of a hobby you might say!
Despite being made in 9 colours, the shape, size and texture of each macaron is the same. The amount of cream filling was uniform for each. The finished product has been fully tested (that’s the best part!) and the input of my audience has been critical at every stage.
System and uniformity. It’s the same message time and again if you want to deliver to the franchise sector – or demanding wedding guests. Come to think of it – I think a franchise might just be simpler!!