One of the drawbacks

…of franchising is that you can’t really be your own boss. You own the business technically and legally by all means, but someone else is setting expectations and ensuring the continuity …

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6th April 2007 at 5:23 pm

…of franchising is that you can’t really be your own boss. You own the business technically and legally by all means, but someone else is setting expectations and ensuring the continuity of the business. In many ways this is a strength; you get the benefit of a brand and you don’t have to do the marketing; the customer has probably heard of you if it’s a successful franchise and they come to you by default (my daughter attends Stagecoach lessons for singing and stuff not because we knew the tutors but because we’d heard of Stagecoach).

And yet there’s that minor drawback, the fact that you can’t really strike out on your own. I’m reminded of this particularly on a day like Good Friday; not that I’m going all Thouight For The Day on you but I’m acutely aware that if I fancied going out for a pizza tonight then the owner of the local Pizza Express had pretty much better be open. I’m expecting it and it’s consistent with the brand to be open when normal mortals might consider being with their family to be the better option.

I have every respect for people who opt for the franchise model when they go into business. They put their money down and demonstrate business immediately and they work damned hard to someone else’s standards. On days like today, though, I’m reminded of their lack of flexibility.

Happy Easter – when you get a break.

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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