When you are a franchisee, you are not at the bottom of the corporate food chain. Far from it. You are the eyes and ears of your business, responsible for instituting the innovations that will drive the franchise forward.
This is not just corporate cheerleading. These are established lessons. Consider the story of Subway franchisee Stuart Frankel, which was recently featured in Business Week magazine. You wouldn’t expect a man who owns two South Florida franchises to institute one of the biggest eating crazes in America, but Stuart had a big idea.
He’s the guy, who realizing that business slowed substantially on the weekends, cut a dollar off the foot-long sub at his restaurants. He tells Business Week it’s because he likes round numbers. Whatever the reason, you can now buy a $5 foot-long sub in every town and city in America these days. It has generated $3.8billion for the company. For this genius innovation, Subway has to thank not its armies of market researchers nor its well-paid corporate executives, but a franchisee at a grassroots level who sensed a new niche for his business and had the courage and inventiveness to satisfy it.
"The whole thing took on a life of its own," Jeff Moody, CEO of Subway's franchise-owned advertising arm, the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, told Business Week.
Business Week’s story is quite insightful as to how franchisees can bring about huge profits for a franchisor – sometimes in the face of skepticism from the franchise itself. It’s essential reading for any franchisee looking to make a greater difference in their franchise organization.