Franchising is neither an industry in its’ own right nor in fact a business – rather it is one of the fastest and consistently successful methods for distributing products and services, essentially a marketing concept.
It is a crazy mixture of conformity and individuality and combines the very best elements of big business and small operations and the phrase ‘in business for yourself not by yourself’ really does capture the essence of franchising.
If you simply opened your own business you would be responsible for everything from selling and marketing to R&D to developing new ideas to identifying/evaluating/monitoring suppliers to well everything!
In a franchise the franchisor offers you experience, knowhow, proven operation methods, marketing tools, sales training, procurement advice, on-going business support as well as a proven business system, the trademarks and the use of the brand.
Someone once said (quoted from the book ‘Growing Pains’) when comparing franchising with doing a ‘start-up’ that: ‘Running your own business is about as easy as navigating unchartered waters in a leaking rowing boat with an inexperienced crew while surrounded by a school of sharks!
The crew might be glad to know that others before them have made the voyage successfully and to hear and learn of the lessons that other voyagers (the franchisor) learned in the process.’
The essence of franchising is that it is a licence to operate somebody else’s proven business system.
The magic of franchising is that it combines local knowledge, dedication, an individuals own skill set and their own ambition with the intellect, business systems, head office resources and drive of a high profile national (or international) organisation.
The facts of franchising show that over 90% are still in business after two years whilst in the same period some 80% of start-ups fail (bfa NatWest survey).