Here we go, ‘Zors and ‘Zees
. If you’re in the franchise industry, you’re already all in but if you’re someone who’s thinking about getting into the franchise business, either as a franchisor, or ‘Zor — the company that creates a unique opportunity that can be replicated to grow a successful idea — or a franchisee, that’s the ‘Zees — the people who put their hard-earned resources into a franchise in order to become business owners — this is the shorthand we use in the business to describe the folks on either side.Keep in mind, while we talk about “sides,” it’s really more of a symbiotic relationship that’s way closer to a family than an industry that’s focused on ones and zeroes. This is a community made up of a lot of different professionals, some more entrepreneurial than others, but all focused on embracing a common method of distribution.
Here’s the fundamental hurdle that can happen in the franchising business, and while it’s perfectly natural, it can have a negative impact on business: franchisees are entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs often think that their ideas are the best, especially when it comes to operating a business.
The Inherent Challenge in the Franchise Relationship
However, franchisees own their own business but they do not own the franchise, and putting systems in place to help keep them in line will help both them and you. The entrepreneur’s business owns the right to operate in the ‘Zor’s system and to use the brand in a particular territory or location but in exchange there are a few basic best practices they need to adhere to.
Over time, there’s an organic challenge that both ‘Zors and ‘Zees come to face. Franchisees are entrepreneurial in spirit, so they often want to run their own show. However, ‘Zees often forget that they may have known nothing about operating a business before they were granted — or earned — access to the ‘Zor’s know-how, knowledge and training, and there’s an important component that often both sides of this equation don’t take seriously, which is marketing.
From the ‘Zee’s view, they can perceive the relationship as their paying more and more in management services fees while they’re running their own business so they can often think they appear to receive less and less support from the franchisor. This point in the relationship can initiate tensions that can escalate quickly.
The Solution to Keeping ‘Zees on Track
The trick to keeping franchisees on track is consistency and adherence to marketing standards. Once franchisees recognize that the real value in the relationship is not only the brand but also the culture of collaboration, most entrepreneurs will stay on track. Great ‘Zees recognize not only the value of the opportunity with which they’ve been presented but also the fact that the business model has been field-tested and one of the biggest challenges to success — the complicated business of marketing
, which includes not only the brand, logos, premade graphics, and even things like the color palette that’s most attractive to customers — is a huge asset in running a business.
The Value of Consistency
The consistency that a franchise platform offers also makes scaling up a real possibility. While ‘Zees might not immediately realize the gift that a franchise operation offers in terms of the possibility for real success, successful ‘Zees adopt the model very quickly.
“It’s important for franchises to systemize things like brand guidelines, financial procedures and other aspects so there is consistency throughout,” says Rhino 7’s Jason Santee
. “It’s also the ability and desire to build strong relationships with the franchisees and work closely with them before, during and after training. A lot of systems train you and set you on your way. We have a detailed and focused program to work with franchisees after their training and after they open their businesses to help them continue to grow.”