For both (a) franchisees deciding on the right franchise investment and (b) franchisors establishing a solid franchise system, the right "mindset" is critical. That is, it is critical that your understanding of franchise opportunities and franchise systems go beyond the generalized and involve a detailed understanding and evaluation of the overall mindset that a successful franchisor brings to the table. Reflecting on "some" of the critical points that my clients have raised over the years, the following is my take on some of the factors that you (whether a prospective franchisee or franchisor) should be considering in evaluating a "franchisor's mindset":
- Focus on Franchisee Training is Paramount - Smart franchisors, that is franchisors that are focused on the "long-term" are focused franchisee training. That is, the long-term road to franchise growth and the development of a valuable franchise system must be premised on the consistent development and training of its franchisees and not just a quick sale of a franchise unit. Is the franchisor focused on evaluating franchisee qualifications and and developing systems for for both initial and on-going training?
- Franchise Growth Must be Planned and Controlled - Somewhat related toward a franchisor's "training mindset" is the franchisors "mindset toward growth". Franchise systems that grow to "fast" (i.e., at a rate that is not readily supported by expanded training, system development and market evaluation) are bound to fail. Is the franchisor focused on controlled growth and growth that takes place only after developing the necessary support and brand development systems?
- Product Development must be Ongoing - One of the primary advantages of becoming a franchisee (in the right franchise system) is leveraging off of the franchisors centralized efforts in constantly developing, refining and improving the products and services that its franchisees offer. Product and brand development is a constant and on-going process and is critical to the continuing success of a franchise system. Is the franchisor focused on systems and a process that continuously reinforces and refines its brand and the products and services offered to its customers.
There are many, many more points and steps that successful franchisors follow. However, key to every franchise is a franchisor and franchise management team that approaches each day with a "mindset" focused on controlled growth, franchisee development and product development.