Buying a franchise is an interesting prospect. When I was a young franchise consultant it seemed very simple: someone sought out an interesting concept that, hopefully, would make them a few bucks, they invested in it, and off they went. You would think after 15 years I would have figured out a way to simplify the process even further, but it's quite the contrary.
As I quickly learned, a lot of factors contribute to matching the best franchisees with the best franchisors. After all, we're not buying cars here, where we sign a stack of documents, shake hands, get the keys and leave the lot.
Buying a franchise is a mammoth change for any franchisee; it's a major investment and one that may alter the future of their family and livelihood for decades. And for the franchisor it's no small decision either. A great new franchisee can be the catalyst for further change: revealing new franchise partners, driving revenues through friendly competition with other franchisees, increasing buying power and immersing himself in best practice exchanges.
It's important for both franchisor and franchisee to create specific criteria of what they're looking for in a new partner and then clearly present those criteria and expectations to one another. As soon as the union is made, it is important to respect each other's roles and allow each party to execute to the best of their abilities within the expectations of the relationship. In short, a franchisee should never try to run the franchise and constantly challenge the system. In return, the franchisor should allow the franchisee flexibility, within, to use the systems created and run their franchise to the best of their ability.
Franchising is a beneficial partnership. It allows both parties to explore and satisfy their individual goals and operate within a group dynamic, and it also provides both franchisees and franchisors with the unique skills and support they need to foster each other's accomplishments. When times get tough, franchisors and franchisees remember that they're in it together. They sit down, revisit the criteria that brought them together and attempt to redefine their roles. Oftentimes, redefining their roles makes them appreciate each other again.