The Rollercoaster Ride Of Franchising

14/02/2018 18:00 | Start a business

Rollercoaster ride of franchising

Starting a franchise is no easy ride. You’ve got to be brave, have a strong stomach and be prepared to take the ups with the downs. It’s a true rollercoaster ride.

There will be times when you’ll have to dedicate long hours and work harder than you ever have before. But, your determination will be rewarded and there’s no feeling like being one of the profitable franchises. Don’t get too comfortable though. Before you know it, the ride continues and you’re back at the bottom of the climb and have to do it all again.

You’ll go through periods of moving fast, other times will be slow and frustrating. But most of the time you’ll feel like you’re going round and round in circles whilst screaming at the top of your lungs.

OK, this is a bit of an exaggeration, but one things for sure, the franchising rollercoaster will always be exciting. Your ride to becoming one of the best franchises will become addictive and you’ll want to give your best over and over again…even if at times it makes you dizzy!

So, when you’re starting a franchise, you can expect to go through several stages. These are common, particularly with new franchisees, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Going up

You’ve found the perfect franchise. You’re enthusiastic about becoming your own boss. You’re satisfied with the quality and quantity of training that you’ve received and you feel fully prepared to take on the challenge of running your own business.

You’ve established a good relationship with the franchisor and you’re certain that they will do their best to give you all the support you need. You feel secure within the franchise business model and are comfortable that you’ve made the right choice about your route to business ownership.

You’re optimistic about the future and things are definitely on the up.

Coming down

You’re classed as one of the profitable franchises, but you’re not making as much money as you could if you didn’t have to pay royalty fees every month. You’re starting to resent the additional costs and fees associated with the franchise model and start to wonder what you’re getting in return for the money you’re paying to the franchisor.

This is a very natural reaction when your franchise starts to become more established. Your confidence is growing and the backing of the franchisor that you once relied on appears to become less of a necessity.

Even though you would have been made aware of all the costs involved in the franchise model from the outset, it somehow seems different in reality. Now that the royalty and marketing fees are eating into your profits it’s not so easy to justify them.

Upside down

At this stage, you may feel all out of sorts and not know why you’re here or who you’re investing blood, sweat and tears for.

Yes, your business is doing well and you’re one of the best franchises in your network. But this success is down to your hard work rather than the guidance and support of the franchisor.

Your emotions are bound to be all over the place. You’re dedicating time and effort into making your business one of the profitable franchises and all you seem to get in return is restrictions and fees.

At this time, try to think rationally and remember all the reasons why you invested in the franchise model in the first place. The contribution of the franchisor may not always be obvious, but they’d be the first person you’d blame if things started to go wrong, so they must be doing something right.

Slowing down

You’ve managed to survive the difficult first couple of months. As the initial excitement and effort of starting a franchise settles down and your business becomes more established you’re able to reflect on your journey so far.

You have a better appreciation of the franchise system and you value the franchisor and the support that’s on offer. After all, without their determination to build up the brand and fine tune the business model, you wouldn’t be part of the successfully tried and tested franchise that you are today.

You’ve learnt to accept that there may be restrictions to being a franchisee, but there are also many benefits.

Want to do it all again

One things for certain, the rollercoaster of being a franchisee is constant, but you’ll learn to enjoy the ride and won’t want to get off.

You’ll learn to work with the franchisor to develop and improve the business. You may be following someone else’s business model, but this doesn’t stop you from making a valuable contribution to the franchise.

Franchisors of the best franchises will welcome the ideas and opinions of their franchisees. This enables you to have a creative input into how to progress the franchise forward based on your experience of dealing with customers.

You’ll also get to apply your entrepreneurial spirit to your individual franchise. You’ll need to develop local marketing campaigns that appeal to your specific customer base on top of any brand level promotion that’s in place. You know your business better than anyone else; and your franchisor will recognise and reward this.

Despite the tough times, franchising continues to rise in popularity. Proof that although there are inevitably downs on the franchising rollercoaster, there are plenty of ups too. In fact, lots of franchisees are planning to enter the challenge of multi-unit franchising.

What once was uncommon in the world of franchising, has now become a longer-term goal for many franchisees. The British Franchise Association (bfa) and NatWest 2015 franchise survey found that almost 30% of franchise units in the UK are owned and operated by multi-unit franchisees; a whopping 25% increase compared to 2013. And over half of these multiple unit franchisees have plans to open more in the future.

So, if you’re preparing to hop on board the ride to freedom and flexibility, remember that franchising may bring some twists and turns, but you’ll always want more.

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