Can You Franchise An Unsexy Concept?

March 14, 2007 by Dane | 1 Comment


Whenever I hear these questions, my first response is to point to some of the undifferentiated concepts that have achieved high levels of success in the marketplace. “What about janitorial services—why have they been so successful?? Then I go through the list. Maid services. Lawn care. Carpet cleaning. Temporary and permanent placement firms. And of course, the list goes on and on.

The fact of the matter is, a significant number of franchise companies are in industries in which their products or services are not readily differentiated.

What these questioning entrepreneurs fail to understand is that, as entrepreneurs, they are the one group on earth that is perhaps the least suited to understand the mindset of the prospective franchisee.

The typical entrepreneur is, at least by my definition, someone who never saw a rule he or she did not want to break. And, in many respects, the entrepreneur is often the last person you would want to be a franchisee. The best franchisees are not the rule-breakers. And, in fact, the truly entrepreneurial are often the least inclined to buy a franchise.

The best franchisees are motivated adopters—people willing to accept some level of risk, but people who, nonetheless, are willing to follow the rules established by their franchisor.

Photo by berbercarpet.

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  • Nick on March 25th, 2007 at 12:16 am

    Very true! Some might think a franchisee is an entrepreneur. Mistake. If he was an entrepreneur, he would start his own business from scratch. The first cause of failure of franchise businesses is that the franchisee doesn’t follow the system. A good franchisee has to follow the system in order to be successful.

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