Thursday, November 4, 2010

Franchise opportunity

As I read several blogs and forums relating to direct sales, I'm fascinated by those who complain, complain, complain.  They want something, they get it, but they want it different.  They sign on to a company, but don't like how the company dictates this or that.
Direct sellers - imagine you owned a franchise... let's say "Subway" (Subway is a registered trademark & only being used as an example).  You have your location with the pretty sign, all of your food is purchased through your company, you have a fairly standard menu and you get to choose to participte in national advertising and pricing.  And, you have to sell a significant number of sandwiches to retain your franchise.
As a customer, I know that I can walk into any Subway and get a BMT that tastes almost identical to any BMT I purchase at any other location.  I know what I'm getting.
So what if Subway franchise owners put the name on the door but didn't follow franchise rules?
As a customer, I may have a bad experience and never go back to any Subway.  Maybe 1 Subway offers cheesecake, and then I'm disappointed with the others who don't.  Maybe my BMT has half the meat, or a different combination of meats, or uses a different supplier, so I don't know what quality I'm getting.  Maybe my sandwich is on plain, sliced white bread (horror!).
As the franchise owner, why would I stray from the plan?  Would I try to do my own tv ads, knowing that I can't use the trademark in them (even if I don't care for Jarrod)?  Would I put my sandwiches on Ebay or Craig's list - calling it "catering" - even though my agreement says it must be done through my store?  Is it "fair" for the company to not allow me to deviate from the plan?  What if the franchise owners request cheese soup for the menu, Subway provides it, but complain because they wanted "Wisconsin" cheese soup?  Because I don't like something does it make it OK for me to not honor my (legal) agreement?
I have 2 thoughts:
1- The company invests a lot of time, money, study & effort to provide franchisees with a quality product and plan.  They need to protect their brand to ensure consistency throughout their company.  Do they sometimes have a bad idea?  Sure.  I've seen the menu change quite a bit over the years.  Do they have shipping problems?  More than once, my sandwich has missed tomatoes (or lettuce) due to shortages nationally, shipping problems (high gas prices) or just over-selling the product ordered.  How arrogant, or ignorant, would someone be to think that they could do everything better than a huge team providing them with their franchise opportunity?  And how much more work would it be?
2-  If you're so much smarter (better, faster) why aren't you running your own company?

1 comment:

  1. This is a real great lens. I appreciate you posting. Finding a good franchise opportunity
    seems to be such a hard thing to do these days. I have been so overwhelmed with my questions and thoughts about failure, that I am afraid to take the risk. I know that I could always bounce back, but I would really be putting everything I had into the business and am afraid that I will lose it all if I wind up not knowing what to do or make a mistake.