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Is a franchisee in total control of their business?
John Pratt writes:
The answer is yes and no! The whole point of franchising is that the franchisor has established a system it knows works and, therefore, the combination of the franchise agreement and operations manual ensures franchisees have to comply with the system.
That is important not only to ensure each franchisee is successful, but also to protect other franchisees, because another aspect of franchising is that customers obtain a consistent product or service from whichever franchise business they deal with. This means franchisees cannot do their own thing and instead have to follow the franchisor’s system.
Having said that, the franchisor’s system will not cover all aspects of the business, so franchisees do have flexibility in how they manage and operate their business. If that were not the case, you would expect all franchisees to have the same level of success and profitability, which of course doesn’t happen.
There will always be franchisees who work harder, are better managers and are able to motivate their employees, so while they don’t have complete control, a franchisee’s business is the franchisee’s and not the franchisor’s. That means how well franchisees do in their business will depend, to a large extent, on their efforts and abilities.
John Pratt is senior partner at specialist franchise firm Hamilton Pratt and has advised franchisors for over 25 years.
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