Franchising has become a buzzword that entrepreneurial individuals are now looking for a viable business to invest in. This has resulted in the publication of countless articles and the conduct of seminars discussing the nitty gritty of getting a franchise.
The trouble with these initiatives is that they look only at the investment cost and the return on investment. Anyone who’s serious about buying a franchise needs to go beyond the numbers and into the heart of franchising.
For starters, it’s important for everyone to understand that a franchise is not a get-rich-quick business. Although managing a franchise should be easier than starting a business from scratch, the business is a lot more complicated than an ordinary enterprise that thinks only of the bottom line or how it could get from the red to the black in the shortest possible time.
Knowing the franchiser – who he is, what he represents, how he conducts business – is the core information an aspiring franchisee should have.
A franchisee’s relationship with the franchiser – measured by how open, deep, and harmonious it is – will spell success for the franchised business. A franchising applicant is courting disaster if he doesn’t bother to know the franchiser well enough before plunking down money into the latter’s franchise.
Most franchisers in the Philippines are owners of the mother company, while others are not, although they are authorized to handle the company’s franchising arm.
What should you look for in a good franchiser? Observe the franchiser’s dynamism and his ability to lead. A franchiser who has an undying passion for the business and in keeping the brand untainted means he is dependable. Look into how he handles difficulties. He must be able to face the strong winds of competition, know and understand the strengths of his rivals, and based on these, come up with an effective counter strategy. He must be able to think out of the box. As well, ask how the franchiser has taken the company to where it is now, how he has instilled the franchise vision and culture in his people, and how his company is moving as a lean and mean machine. Once you have the answers to all these questions will you start feeling confident about starting your journey to franchising.
This article was originally published in the December 2006 issue of Entrepreneur Philippines.
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