YES your franchisor is your spouse!

Article by Nigel Toplis

The Bardon Group

In all my years in franchising one thing has become apparent – in a successful franchise the relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee is close to a marriage.

Like in a marriage the two parties will not agree on everything, there will be discussion, debate, the odd argument and yes, the occasional divorce.

BUT by and large both parties will share a common goal, maximising the franchisee’s business opportunity and will work together to make that happen.

As in any long-lasting relationship a franchisee should never simply buy a franchise – rather they should buy into the franchise.

This subtle change of emphasis ensures that both the franchisor and the franchisee are committed to the business – both now and for the future – as in a marriage for a franchise is neither a commodity nor a job – it is a commitment.

Moreover, as in a marriage both the franchisee and the franchisor must bring something of themselves to the party.

The franchisee will deliver drive, ambition, energy, hard work and their own skill set.

The Franchisor will cement the relationship by contributing, amongst other things, a proven business system, trade-marks, training, marketing and on-going support.

I believe in a strong marital relationship between franchisor and franchisee. But I also recognise that the franchisor must show a significant dowry to prove their worth to the franchisee and to ensure an ongoing and happy marriage!

For ourselves we have a team who specialise in the key business disciplines and are committed to providing support to our franchisees in the key areas of marketing, sales, business planning, finance, procurement, curriculum development (for ComputerXplorers), retail management and training. All these key areas are covered in-house.

The franchisor must be committed to delivering on-going support, which may well include:

  • Business planning meetings and reviews
  • New product/service innovation
  • Procurement
  • Competitive supplier arrangements
  • Regular and meaningful communication
  • Monthly hard copy bulletins
  • Weekly e-mail news updates
  • Additional bulletins as news/innovations dictate
  • Telephone support
  • Network Meetings
  • Conference
  • On-site visits
  • Access to franchisor knowledge, expertise and intellect

Prospective franchisees must investigate the ‘marital prospects’ of the franchisor (reputation, what existing franchisees think, the support levels and so forth) in advance of the ‘wedding day’.

Meet with the franchisor, read the business manuals, talk to other franchisees (spouses) and take advice from the banks and the bfa.

You can take comfort in the fact that by paying an on-going royalty the franchisor is further committed to help you to drive your business as most Franchisors generate the bulk of their income through royalties – rather than large up-front costs.

Furthermore, these royalties are like a ‘lease payment’, and as such there is an encouragement to the franchisor to continually improve the system, add new tools and examine new business opportunities. 

As a spouse you expect to be taken care of, your life improved and to have a long-lasting relationship.

As a franchisee you should expect an ethical business, with a proven business system, backed up by good collateral, training and business processes and supported by head office personnel who care about the business and are committed to helping you to become a success in that business.

Last Updated: 13-January-2020