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The answers to your top 3 franchise questions

Do you consider your franchise brand successful?
By Entrepreneur Staff |

There is no better time than today to talk about franchising, with the Franchise Asia 2011 being staged at the SMX Convention Center this month, and well, franchising being the most popular word among big brands and aspiring entrepreneurs. asked franchising expert Armando "Butz" Bartolome three questions that every franchisor has at the back of his mind - from what actually defines a successful franchise brand to how to get the franchisees happy.

Question: How do I keep my franchisees happy?

Answer: There are several areas I would look at. First, your business concept. As a franchiser, it’s important for you to see if your concept is still attuned to the needs of the market, and this leads us to the dynamism of your research and development: whether you, the franchiser, continue to enhance your products or services and remove those products or services that are no longer attuned to the needs of your market. I would also look at your franchise support organization: whether or not you review, monitor, and provide continuous development to the people who serve your franchisees. I would also ask if you keep in touch with your franchisees—your partners in the business began. This creates such an impact that participants always end up meeting with them to inquire about their businesses.

Q: How do I get the right franchisee?

A: The critical part is getting your first franchisee. The success or failure of this franchisee will determine the fate of your franchise program, so be careful. First, determine the qualities you are looking for in a franchisee. Then look for someone who is not a relative or friend—the reason being it’s hard to implement procedures when a prior relationship has existed between franchiser and franchisee. A good example is the experience of the late Ray Kroc of McDonald’s. When Kroc opened McDonald’s to franchising, he picked his golf buddies as his initial franchisees, but he had to get the outlets back from them because they were not committed to the business.

Q: What is a successful franchise?

A: A successful franchise is one where the franchiser has developed a system and procedures that work. This means he has defined his market, established a niche, developed an operations manual, perfected a training program, and put up a research and development team that has successfully launched products, introduced new ones, and made the brand competitive. He must also have put up an audit team that makes sure all outlets follow standards and procedures.

This article was originally published in the September 2007 issue of Entrepreneur Philippines.


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