bannerPlayBuying a Franchise

Coffee & Analytics: Helping Candidates Understand How Franchising Works

Franchisors should put themselves in the shoes of first-time franchise owners in order to provide them with all the tools and resources they need to make an informed decision about the brand.

By Nick Powills1851 Franchise Publisher
Updated 4:16PM 07/17/23

While we are all in franchising now, go backwards to when you weren’t. Go back in time to a place where you had not taken the career leap into the industry we all love so much, to a place where you knew very little about what franchising is. When back at your pre-franchising place, answer this question: 

What is franchising?

What would you have said? For me, I knew franchising was McDonald’s, but I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant. Some things I may have not completely understood:

  1. That as a franchisee, my dollar is worth 90 cents. This is a big deal, as this dips into profitability. Doesn’t necessarily hurt it, just means I have to hustle to make up for that 10% that I pay in fees or royalties.
  2. Restrictions. That I have to work within the parameters.
  3. Franchisee support. I have told this story many times. I was in the final stages of being an investor in a franchisee group when Hurricane Katrina hit. The hurricane destroyed a multi-unit franchisee’s operations in New Orleans. I asked the zor what they would do to help. They said: “The beauty of being a franchisor is that we don’t have any liability.” Wrong answer. I didn’t buy. What I wanted to hear was very similar to what happened during COVID: “I have your back.”

The list goes on. But what is valuable about thinking back to when you knew very little about franchising is that you can put yourself in the shoes of many NEXT franchise owners who don’t have all of the tools. 

Thus, the question I wanted to dive into with our profiled franchisees was: 

What is one thing you wish you knew about franchising going into it?

  1. There are a lot of ins and outs that we had to learn in the process of owning one. In the first couple of years, there were a lot of rough patches that we had to fix, but once you get it all smooth with corporate, everything is good. There are a lot of things that you won’t understand until you actually own a location and go through it.
  2. A lot of training is needed.
  3. That we wouldn't be doing it alone. The team is super supportive in each and every aspect of the process. Finding good real estate, a good marketing team, etc. Helping us out in setting up all the vendor accounts. They also provide the materials, learning about the franchise. 
  4. I just wished that we had spoken to the corporate team sooner, so we could have made the decision earlier.
  5. It is a whole lot of work to run a business and you may be surprised by what is required in the day-to-day operations of the business. We all see it from in front of the counter, but you need to know what goes on in the back of the house. You need to have a good handle on both the business side and the operations side. 
  6. I wish I had known to follow the systems rather than trying to think of ways to do things differently.
  1. It’s a lot of hard work in the beginning. I have worked 12-plus-hour days. There’s a lot you need to learn, and you have to give 100%.

Those are simply a sample of the most recent ones. 

The reality is every single franchisee can answer what they wish they had known. So, now the question for you. 

Raise your hand if you have this:

  1. A general “What is franchising?” section on your website.
  2. A general “What is franchising?” white paper.
  1. A general “What is franchising?” email campaign for nurturing candidates.

The point is, just like me and you, candidates need to understand how franchising works.

Give them these tools. It will help them in the process. AND, evolve your content distribution and sales model to include this. You may even consider adding a webinar to the process (film one and use it on your website).

Learn more by watching the full webinar, above.