Think of a successfully franchised business as a recording of a great song, one that’s loved by the masses. Then consider what goes into the making of that record. While a single musician or a group might recreate a song beautifully with little help in a live setting, the recording studio requires the skills of a technical pro, one with the ability to mix the sound just right to produce one pleasing musical composition from a variety of sonic parts.
A good franchise developer is like a sound engineer, the person with the fabulous ear who adjusts vocal levels in relation to the instruments; perhaps tweaks bass, treble, or gain for effect; and in the end creates a piece of art: the song. Here are three key elements that the franchise development pro blends together to make a franchise sing:
Profitability. Without this piece, there’s no song, and no franchise. Think of that record by your favorite singer, but imagine it without singing – no lyrics or vocal melody. A business must be capable of turning a profit for the franchisee who pays to own a unit of that business. Many startups do spectacularly well as prototypes, which is what drives their owners to consider franchising in the first place. But then the cost of franchising the business gets added in, and the startup is not nearly as profitable in multiple form as it was on its own. That’s music to nobody’s ears.
Ease of replication. A record goes gold when it’s bought and listened to everywhere, not just regionally. Successfully franchised businesses need to be adaptable to replication, and then this cookie-cutter model must function well all over the nation. Differences in geography, climate, demographics, and economies are just some of the challenges the franchise developer faces in turning a franchise into a runaway hit.
Ease of recruitment. Musicians make music, and driven entrepreneurs run thriving franchises. A business ready for franchising needs to attract people who, one, have the means to purchase a franchise unit and, two, are either equipped to run the business themselves or can hire someone to do it for them. Obstacles arise when a business is so specialized that the pool of qualified candidates who are able to own and/or run it is small. Hunting and attracting buyers for the franchise can get expensive in this case.
Franchising a business takes a skillful blending of these elements, and others, in order to create the sweet music of prosperity for franchisors and their franchisees alike.