Being part of a franchise system offers many benefits. One of those advantages is that customers equate their experience with the whole brand. That’s why it is important to associate with a strong franchise that has a healthy brand. Strong brands are formed when everyone is paying attention to the details.
However, if a customer has a poor experience with one franchise store, they are highly unlikely to visit any other stores in that chain in the future. They may also tell their friends not to shop at any of the stores. That’s is why you want to research potential franchises by talking to current and past franchisees to find out what support and tools the franchisor provides to enable them to meet the brand standards–and to be successful.
Franchise standards include basic things like quality of the product, the customer service experience, uniformity of the marketing messages, and facility maintenance. A good franchisor will have clearly outlined standards that cover all aspects of the business. They provide training to franchisees and staff so they know how to reach the standards. And if necessary, they have penalties in place when a unit fails to meet expectations.
To find out if you would be a good franchisee, you have to honestly ask yourself if you would be willing to conform to the franchisor’s proven operational system. Franchise prospects with a truly entrepreneurial spirits or creative ideas on how they want to modify the system may not be a good fit in a franchise where total conformity is required. Typically, larger franchise companies offer less flexibility, whereas smaller companies may be willing to test new processes as they improve their systems.