The Struggles of a New Franchise System Owner
In addition to the regulatory requirements, you can expect that you will be regularly needed to provide the franchise with a visible and consistent source of confidence, and at times, needed to keep the peace.
During the initial growth phase of your franchise, until the unit sales become extensive enough to allow you to afford a team of professionals to help you manage the network, you will remain the person that the Franchisees look to for settling disputes, implementing requested changes for the network, granting exceptions to policy and rendering a verdict on essentially every unforeseen decision. This can prove to be time- consuming, demanding and frustrating to the new Franchisor.
Despite this, it is difficult for a new Franchisor to avoid being looked heavily upon as the main decision maker, even as you begin to bring other management into your organization, and formally develop your franchise support system. The tendency for this is strong, primarily in the first stage of growth as Franchisors develop strong relationships with “early adopters” in their franchise network.
Later, these early adopters are rarely willing to make the transition from the dependence on the founding Franchisor to the formal support team a graceful one, and generally speaking, early adopters will always look to the founder for on-going guidance concerning any operational challenge, grievance, personal request or other non-routine need.
While this roll varies from franchise to franchise, suffice it to say you will find yourself at times having to be a mediator, an accountant, a lawyer, an operations officer, a quality control officer, a job safety officer and more during the early days of your franchise. The important note here is that while this can feel and appear to be excessive “hat wearing”, the experience and insight you will gain while initially responding to these needs will pay excessive dividends in your understanding first-hand how your franchise operates.
In the end, while owning a successfully developed franchise, you will find yourself being challenged and rewarded, in ways that are rarely possible as a single business owner.
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