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Nick Powills: Franchisees Are Like Vegetables

The franchisors that find the vegetables they like and keep eating them are the ones with the best possible franchise salad.

When you were a child, you hated them. They didn’t play well with the taste buds in your mouth.

But things changed. You gained more experience with your taste palate. You became a sophisticated eater. But, chances are, if you were given truth serum, there are other foods you like much more – they just may not be healthier for you.

Franchisees are much like vegetables – especially for emerging franchisors. You need them more than they need you.

  • You need their health benefits: The financial resources they put out on your behalf to open the business you built in another market.
  • You need their nutrients: The royalties they pay you help you operate your corporate business and use those funds to market to more vegetables.
  • You may not love them, but you know you need to life them: For a longer life, you know the benefit they will have.

Yet, even with the understanding that franchisees (and vegetables) are good for you, franchisors still complain. Why?

  • They sometimes have a bad taste and you would rather eat pizza: Franchisees can sometimes be entrepreneurial and do things slightly off-brand.
  • They don’t help you lose the weight you expected: When franchisees stop wanting to grow with your brand, or tell a prospect “maybe” when asked if they would buy it again.
  • The good ones taste better with butter and cheese: You have your favorites and you constantly ask why the others can’t just be like them.

As a franchisor, you should find a way to love your vegetables – or don’t buy them. You have that choice. You can say no. Have you? Have you ever said no to a financially qualified vegetable who just doesn’t fit the right personality to make it in your franchise salad?

Choice is magical. So are vegetables, especially when you take the right steps to find the right ones. Celebrate them. Help them help you. And use them to create amazing momentum around that awesome idea you created.

You may not like a particular vegetable at the beginning of being a franchisor – they may cause you some distaste. But hang in there – as a mature franchise, you will gain a better, more sophisticated tolerance for them and will learn how to work with them to better work for you.