Though a franchise business is yours to manage and operate, this new venture comes with a degree of compromise. Having a business model that’s prepped in advance for you without having to come up with the details behind a creative concept yourself is a major perk. Even so, compromise is not always exhilarating, though it can be readily accepted, even welcomed, when the perks are dependable and numerous.
What are some compromises franchisees have to make? When looking at any given franchise system, compromises vary widely, though some appear quite frequently. Restrictions posed on where franchisees can turn for equipment or products that they will use or sell to run their business for example are often seen in franchise agreements. Usually these kinds of restrictions are straightforward and by seeking out the assistance of a franchise attorney, any and all restrictions can be detailed and discussed prior to taking part in the franchise agreement.
Without going into the different reasons behind why specific supplier restrictions related to acquiring equipment or products are part of many franchise agreements, such restrictions are generally there to enhance the consistency of the brand, the quality of the products or services offered, and limit liability issues. When reviewing the franchise agreement carefully, prospective franchisees working closely with an attorney can have specific areas where flexibility may exist highlighted to them, as well as those areas where no flexibility may be possible.
For folks looking at franchising as their next career path option to gain a measure of independence and run a business, there can be times where restrictions are seen and felt as, well, restrictive, or strict. In these moments, such individuals have to perform the old fashioned yet still relevant pros and cons brainstorm so that the reasons for even considering franchising can be illuminated.
Happily running a franchise involves being at peace with what’s been implemented as part of the system wide strategy driving operations. This implemented strategy can at times involve one area or another that’s “set in stone” in the eyes of the franchisor while the franchisee sees another way. This is where feedback and a healthy pattern of communication inside the franchise system can be a game changer. Sharing suggestions or comments within the network and throughout the team if specific changes could improve the system can benefit the business and improve your experience.
Making peace with restrictions in the franchise agreement also entails considering this simple reality: the business idea is a blueprint you’re agreeing to use for a time, so that you don’t have to create one on your own, and it wasn’t your creation. You may be using that creation to further your goals and you may be adding to it in some ways, but the skeletal structure that holds the business in tact was originally conceived by another and that requires respect.
After all, the choice to skip investing in a franchise to go it alone to start a business also involves a lot of time and energy spent developing and advancing your business. This includes the ups and downs associated with the wins and losses of running a new start-up, which are, without a doubt, also going to feel at least a tad bit restrictive at some point or another. The number one reason respondents to last year’s Prospective Franchisee Survey were looking into starting a franchise?
“I want to be my own boss, but not start completely from scratch”