It’s been a month! After working and living in New Zealand as a nurse for 8 years, we’ve decided to live in the Philippines longer rather than just coming here for a visit.
I decided to help my sister grow our family business Shake’n Slurp that we now turned into franchising.
Sounds so amazing right? We’re now close to 40 branches….but is it easy?
I remembered when my favourite mentor, Bro. Bo Sanchez, once said… to be able to grow and become successful, you must be ready to face a lot of PROBLEMS…
Yes…you’ve heard it right…PROBLEMS….
As expected, we have a lot of challenges and struggles along the way..but we have no other direction to go but to MOVE FORWARD….
I’ve come across this article written by Ann Andrews entitled ” My Dear Franchisee” and I wanna share this to you…to all franchisees and those who are planning to franchise a business…it’s such a beautiful article…
My Dear Franchisee
Welcome to your new business. Not only have you chosen this franchise because of its potential, but we have also chosen you because of your abilities. If you are committed and apply the principles and systems you learned in training, you will achieve your goals. I wish you every success.
We are embarking on a journey together which will last for years. Experience suggests that it will be by turns hilarious, frustrating, infuriating, rewarding, hard work and simple. All these things are perfectly normal in the franchise relationship. By writing this letter, I hope to help ensure that we are both able to focus on creating the business you desire. Keep this letter – we may both want to refer to it sometimes.
The Question You’ll Forget I Asked
When we first met, I asked you ‘Why do you want to buy a franchise rather than setting up a business of your own?’
I hear many answers to that question but, whatever the motivation, the reason for buying the franchise is the fact that it is a relatively low-risk way of entering self-employment. Many people who buy franchises have little understanding of what being a business owner entails – such things as:
How to set up a business (and what it actually costs);
The vagaries of income;
The need for the constant investment of time and dollars in sales and marketing;
Financial planning and the need to set and stick to a budget;
How to manage cash-flow during quiet periods;
The need to have a finger on the pulse of credit control;
Creating a strategic plan of your own to set and achieve your personal five-year goals;
Put simply, a franchise helps you get started. In a year’s time you will know all of the above and, with my help, have learned to manage them. In two years’ time they will be second nature and you will have forgotten you ever needed that help. But if you can manage to recall some of the emotions you feel when you first start, it will help you value your franchise and play a bigger part in its growth in the future.
What Do You Need From Me?
As a new franchisee, what you need from your franchisor will depend on your previous work experience. Most franchisees fall into one of three categories:
I need help with everything! Perhaps 10% of new franchisees really do need 100% assistance. The good news is that, with proper training and good planning, we can provide that assistance to get them off to a good start. There is a manual that answers almost every technical question – but there are also a million and one things that will never appear in any franchise manual. At the end of the day, the franchisee has to move beyond the 100% dependence stage to developing an innate understanding of how their business works. You have not bought a job, you have bought a business – and you are responsible.
I need help with nothing! Another 10% of new franchisees may think ‘Right, that’s it, I’ve been through training – now I’m perfectly capable of working this out for myself and I don’t want you near my business.’ These people are the scary ones. As franchisor I know that they haven’t yet learned a fraction of what they need to know to operate my business system, but it is hard to tell people who won’t listen. The time for greater independence will come – but it won’t be until you have learned to operate the system under guidance (see below).
I’m not sure yet what I need! 80% of new franchisees fit into this category. Before training, it might be helpful to go through the points above and list them in order of concern – that will help us to tailor your programme. After training, you will know the basics of operating your franchise. You will have had some practical experience. But it is not until you get out on the ground in your own area that you really discover what comes easily and what doesn’t. Don’t panic – this is perfectly normal and I am here to help.
What I Need From You?
I need you to understand that I am a working franchisor. I know you probably think I am a multi-millionaire, given that you have just paid me $X,000, but I am not. I sincerely hope to be one day, but right now I am possibly not much better off than you.
A large part of your fee will go into your initial training. Another part will go into all the associated business expenses such as travel and accommodation and salaries for field support. And a massive chunk goes into all the other things, not all of them obvious:
The initial marketing programme
Ongoing support staff and programmes
The 0800 number
The newsletter which goes out to clients to make sure they keep coming back
Product research, etc, etc
I need you to let me know if you need something. Every franchisee needs help – even the established ones. But, as we saw above, every franchisee needs help in different areas. I know I look really, really young, gorgeous and intelligent; unfortunately my mind-reading gene got lost in the post. If you need something, ask.
I need you to give me time to do things for you. You may decide that you want something; just pause for a moment and think through – what is this likely to cost, and how much time is it likely to take? Because what is desirable may not be affordable. I will do everything within my power for you, but I have deadlines and budgets too which impact on the franchise as a whole. Accept that others have priorities too.
What Have You Actually Bought?
I know you think you have bought your own business, and to a large degree you have. However, a franchise is slightly different from actually owning your own independent business. What you have actually bought is the right to use a system created by someone else – me. If you are one of the ten percenters who ‘need help with nothing’, there will be times when this will frustrate the hell out of you because I will insist on certain things being done a certain way.
You have bought a system that has been tested and proven. I am not saying it can’t be improved, in fact, I want every one of my franchisees to be considering ways that we can improve. However, in the first 12 months of buying into this franchise, I need you to follow the system to the letter.
Why? First, because I know it works! I can’t support you if you don’t follow the system, I can’t help you improve your business, and I can’t allow you to use my brand in a way I don’t approve.
Secondly, because if you get caught up in trying to change things it will take your time away from the sales and marketing activities essential to establish your new business. Once you have a flourishing franchise of your own you will be in a position to suggest improvements and new areas. Until then, follow the system and follow my advice.
Remember, making changes takes time and money and affects all the other franchisees too. Every new idea needs to be properly evaluated for its potential system-wide. I promise we will do this for the benefit of all.
What You Can Do with the system, What You Can’t
I know that you are excited about being in business for yourself and have a really fabulous, witty company name of your own – well done. Sadly, that name must stay on your invoices and cheque-book, not alongside the franchise brand on your business-card. Part of your reason for buying the franchise was to get access to our brand.
I want you to think McDonald’s. One brand, one name, used consistently. We’re not McDonald’s but we’ve got a good name and a good reputation, and it will get even better if you use it properly. By building your company under our brand, it will be worth more to everybody – including you.
And, like McDonald’s, I’m afraid you can’t sell whatever you like under, or alongside, our brand. Our brand stands for consistent quality, meticulously researched and tested. You can’t add something on in the hopes of a few extra sales, any more than a McDonald’s franchisee can start selling bacon and eggs or pizza. As I said before, we want good new ideas – but we need to make sure they meet our criteria.
What I Can Do, What I possibly Can’t
I have established a franchise with a track record. You have become a franchisee because you see the potential of that franchise for building your own business. Making you successful is a joint task.
I can give you all the advice in the world. I can’t force you to take that advice. If you choose not to take advice, then you must accept responsibility for that.
I can give you all the help in the world in setting up your business. I can’t actually do it for you.
I can help when you make mistakes. I can’t help if you don’t let me know you need help or hide information from me.
I can show you the steps to take to achieve something. I can’t always guarantee you will get the desired outcome, especially if you choose not to follow those steps.
What I Will Do, What I probably Won’t
I will take 100% responsibility for the franchise system. I have used it thousands of times myself, taught it to franchisees and I know it works. What I won’t do is let you go off at tangents to the system and risk not only your business but mine and those of your fellow franchisees. If you think about it, I am sure you wouldn’t want me to allow others to do that either, so I will enforce the franchise agreement.
I will support you 100% in creating a successful business – as long as you put 100% into it too. What I won’t do is sit back and say nothing if I think you are setting yourself, or your franchise, up for failure. Sometimes I will say things that are hard to hear. It is important that you listen – and act.
There will be times when I say ‘No’. When I do that, it may be because what you ask is unreasonable, or impractical, or unaffordable at that time. I may have information that you don’t have, or have an overall strategy for dealing with an issue of which you are unaware. If I can do, I will explain to you the reasons for saying ‘No’.
What I Am, What I Am Not
I am your franchisor. I (along with my staff) am your coach, your mentor, your cheerleader and your colleague. Your success is my success, and vice versa.
I am not your mum (or in some cases, perish the thought, your grandmother), although the franchise is like a family in many ways. I am not your friend, although I hope that we will enjoy a very friendly relationship and enjoy a lot of fun together. Fundamentally, though, we are in a commercial relationship and sometimes difficult decisions which impact upon that relationship will need to be made. As franchise psychologist Greg Nathan warns, ‘Friendships can cloud important issues or prevent them being addressed, leading to inappropriate compromises or problems being swept under the carpet.’
Above all else, I am not and can never be your banker. Please don’t try to leave me to the bottom of your list of creditors. If you don’t pay me I can’t pay our staff and suppliers, which will damage your support level and could damage our reputation in the marketplace.
Dreams And Desires
As I said at the beginning, we are embarking on a journey together. We share a common goal in your success. Along the way, you will experience a lot of the above lessons for yourself. Some you will remember – especially if you re-read this letter occasionally. Others you will forget, and I may need to remind you of. That is my job.
But whatever else you forget, never forget that I said I would support you 100%. You are a very special person. I recruit only the very best people for this franchise, and I would not have entrusted our precious name and system to you unless I thought you would add to its lustre. By working together, we will build the business you desire.
I’m Crestine Carson. I would love to inspire you to live a happy, healthy, and abundant life. It's my dream to inspire Overseas Filipino Workers to experience REAL HAPPINESS and SUCCESS in all aspect of your life. I believe everybody deserves to enjoy a Truly Rich Lifestyle. Read my blogs The Truly Rich Lifestyle.