One of the most important benefits of running a franchised business is that it comes with a network of fellow franchisees, as well as the franchisor at the head of the pile.
Having this support network around you can mean the difference between your organisation surviving or failing – the pooled resources and knowledge can help you to avoid common pitfalls and take advantage of things that you might not have otherwise have noticed.
A good analogy for this is where someone decides they want to learn about a subject; if they do so on their own they can end up being overwhelmed by the amount of information out there and missing crucial parts of the topic, whereas if they have a teacher and a group of fellow students then their learning experience will be better supported and guided.
In this way, the franchise network you enter into can help you to learn the ropes of your business in a more effective – and perhaps less overwhelming – manner. However, analogies and learning styles aside, there are plenty of real-world benefits to be garnered from your network.
The social network
Whereas someone who strikes out on their own in business must rely on their own instincts and knowledge to do them right, a franchisee has the ability to call on their franchisor or even fellow franchisees to help them solve problems. Sometimes it might not even be a problem as such – more of a worry.
Perhaps you are working on recruiting the right staff for your business, but are concerned that none of the candidates you have seen so far will be good enough. If after consulting the franchisor’s handbook you are still none the wiser, then you may be able to contact someone in your network to talk about your options – whether it means reassessing the people you have seen, or advertising posts elsewhere.
Applying the same logic to other areas of business aside from recruitment – such as marketing, customer service, supplies, etc. – you can see how a network can mean you do not hit a brick wall with problems, since you have other knowledgable people to consult before you can call yourself truly stumped regarding what to do.
It is not just the knowledge base that is shared to good effect; a franchise network will often bulk buy goods together and thus get the benefits of economies of scale. On a similar note, the norm is for a franchisee to contribute a little every month for marketing materials – allowing them to be a part of a much larger advertising campaign than they otherwise could afford on their own.
Business is not easy
As anyone who has had a senior post in a company will tell you, business is not easy; it can be fun at times and hugely challenging at others – in order to keep your firm alive it helps to know what you are doing. What you get with a franchise is not only a handbook to tell you what to do, but the collective knowledge and experience of an extensive group of businessmen and women.
You are generally not competing against fellow franchisees for business, instead you are part of the same brand and this means they will have more to gain by helping your organisation become a success, as it will boost the brand in the public eye and potentially help all franchisees to succeed.
It is worth stressing that you will not be molly-coddled as a franchise owner – you are the master of your own business and need to take responsibility for all the decisions made – but it can certainly give you more peace of mind to know that you have somewhere to turn if things get difficult.
For something extra see our tips on running a small business, and get ideas on how you can maximise your businesses potential.