Much is discussed by franchising "experts" and government bodies about introducing more legislation to improve the world of franchising.
But how much would increased legislation actually reduce franchisee risk?
Potential Franchisees are advised to seek professional advice from a lawyer, accountant and consultant. How many lawyers and accountants are really "au fait" with franchising practice?
How many professionals would admit to clients that their franchising knowledge is minimal?
And how often do potential franchisees not seek any advice at all?
I cite a recent incident where a potential franchisee was about to "put their house on the line" and yet refused to pay for a one hour consultation with a franchising expert.
And what about all the unscrupulous franchisors we hear about? Would legislation keep them on track and turn them all into Mr and Mrs nice guys?
Perhaps the key to creating "best franchise practice" is more about educating potential franchisees and franchisors to the reality of franchising.
Will increased legislation increase the development of clever loopholes? This is happening now in Australia, the most highly regulated franchise system country with a mandatory code of conduct. Loopholes always exist for the devious.
Do some franchising consultants need more education? Education in ethics perhaps?
Who is assisting Franchisors in creating franchise systems that are doomed for failure?
Or can we blame the "franchise in a box" type of documentation for assisting new franchisors to create their own inadequate and onerous franchises.
Franchising professionals should have confidence and pride in creating a fair, well structured, franchise system which ultimately creates a profitable franchise system for franchisees and franchisor alike.
The debate will continue in franchising circles around the world and so it should. Only, by extensive honest and thorough discussion by informed parties, will the franchising world be equipped to develop best franchising practice as "the norm" not the exception.
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