Presumably not much of a show..?

One of the curious things about franchising is that it goes against many of the standard business rules for entrepreneurs. I hear so often that everyone who franchises needs to be …

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7th March 2007 at 11:25 am

One of the curious things about franchising is that it goes against many of the standard business rules for entrepreneurs. I hear so often that everyone who franchises needs to be passionate about what they’re doing. I hear they need to be personally involved. Then I hear that people starting their franchises actually need nothing more than to take an idea off the peg and conform to it so that everyone else recognises it as a branch office no matter where they are.

Which is presumably why the website promoting this month’s Franchise Exhibition is so terminally dull. Uniquely among promotional websites it manages to tell the reader nothing at all about the show in question, who’s exhibiting, whether you should go along if you already own a franchise or just if you’re interested in starting, whether there’s a conference with any keynote speakers – nothing.

The question is why there should be nothing, and the reason is pretty straightforward – it’s because the main website is right here. That’s right – they’ve bought the Internet domain name ‘franchiseexhibitions.co.uk’ and linked to it from the home page of the British Franchise Association, then put the main information on the snappily-titled franinfo.co.uk/exhi_detail.php?id=18&exhibitionId=55

If any readers are thinking of starting a franchise, I can only hope that their franchisor makes their business a bit easier to find than that.

Guy Clapperton

Guy Clapperton is a freelance journalist who specialises in small business issues and has written for the likes of The Guardian, the FT and the Daily Mirror. Guy has written about finance and franchising for SmallBizPod. http://www.guyclapperton.co.uk

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  1. Sherry Borzo says:

    Alex, I think I’ve read you speaking sort of disdainfully of franchises before? I know I struggled with the question of adding them to my network and then decided they qualify as small business so even if they do “look” like a chain the person who bought in has their neck on the line.

    We’re planning a visit to London and parts around in October mostly for fun but I wondered what the state of small biz is in the face of corporate growth in Europe. Any resources to suggest to learn more?

  2. Hi Sherry – good to hear from you. Let me introduce you to Guy who wrote this particular post. I’ve scarcely introduced the new voices who are part of the blogging team now at SmallBizPod, so apologies for that. Anyway … I won’t answer on behalf of Guy, but will say I think the best franchisors engender entrepreneurial spirit in their franchisees. Some just want to see boxes ticked.
    As for London, we should meet for a pint perhaps – although I wouldn’t want to get in the way of your fun! Check out http://www.vecosys.com & http://www.fsb.org.uk as starting points on SMBs over here.

  3. Guy Clapperton Guy Clapperton says:

    Hello Sherry and thanks for the message. The truth is that I think franchises are an excellent thing – as I mentioned in last week’s post I met one of the guys behind the massive growth in Pizza Express a fortnight ago, he’s on the franchising path again and it’s a very exciting time.

    What I find frustrating is that so often a business or form of business is let down by a weak link – a poorly-planned website or inattention to detail (there will be more on this in tomorrow’s post) and if it’s a professional association making the errors it can reflect badly on the whole area.

    A good franchise with a motivated and trained manager is an excellent thing, of that there’s no doubt. It’s when the quality control slips and it becomes a rent-a-brand rather than something with any values attached that I have a problem.

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