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Disillusioned Franchisees

Posted by Carolyn Dufton on 12 June 2009
Disillusioned Franchisees

How many of you know of a disillusioned franchisee? Let's face it, the current affairs programmes are full of them.

A Franchisee is a business owner who owns a franchised unit, for example a Bakers Delight, Subway and many many more less well known brands. (please note I am not suggesting that any Bakers delight or Subway franchisees are disillusioned!)

As a franchising consultant, I see a fair few franchisees, and due to the nature of my work, many of them are very disillusioned.
It is most advisable for a franchisee to be referred to or to seek out a franchising expert if they are having problems or are just generally not happy in their role.

Often after just a one hour meeting with a franchising expert problems, which are often in essence very simple, can be talked through and resolved. To the Franchisee at the time they seem insurmountable but after sharing with an objective expert ear the "problems" are often overcome

In my experience, the most common reasons for disillusionment are:

  • The potential Franchisee had no, or poor, initial advice and education.
  • The Franchisee did not really understand the nature of franchising when buying the franchise.
  • The Franchisor (i.e. the owner of the Franchised system) does not really understand the nature of franchising. As ridiculous as that sounds it is not uncommon.
  • The Franchisee has genuine cause for real concerns, which a Franchising Consultant can help the Franchisee address. This can sometimes involve discussions with the Franchisor.

There are complaint handling procedures stated within the Franchising code and a franchising consultant should be aware as to when these procedures are relevant. The Franchisor is then obliged to attend mediation. It is always recommended that mediation should be attempted before seeking legal action.

I have found that the troubled franchisees I have seen over the years have found a great benefit in sharing their concerns with an objective, experienced third party and have found clarity in their situation.

It is my hope that ethical Franchising Consultants and lawyers will be preparing new franchise systems that are based on "responsible franchising" and best practice methods, that will reduce the number of disillusioned franchisees in the future.

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Author: Carolyn Dufton
About: Carolyn Dufton Dip. Bus (Franchising) heads the team as the owner and manager of franchisingplus. Carolyn has a wealth of small business experience, and many years of hands on franchising experience.
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