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Why you won’t always be successful as a franchisee

The lure of franchising is tangible: proven business models, established brands, ongoing support and even ready-made customer bases. Yet, despite these attractive benefits, not all franchisees find the road to success an easy one. Here Director of Development at Snap Fitness, Bill Painter, explains why franchising is not a guaranteed route to business prosperity, but rather a collaborative venture that requires accountability, resilience and strategic acumen.

The franchise model, by design, provides a solid foundation. Still, the common misconception that franchising equals automatic success can lead to complacency. It can lead franchisees to be overly reliant on the franchisor’s brand, failing to recognise that business success, regardless of the model, is also reliant on their individual effort and entrepreneurial grit. It’s one of the reasons why we stress the importance of accountability in our four values that unit our One Team ethos.

The heart of a successful franchise operation lies in the mutual accountability of the franchisor and the franchisee. A franchisor is accountable for providing a robust business model, a great product, consistent branding, training and support. On the flip side, a franchisee is accountable for local implementation, managing day-to-day operations and ensuring that the brand’s reputation remains strong and steady in their territory.

Accountability, as a franchisee, goes beyond merely following operational guidelines. It involves proactive management, ongoing learning, responsiveness to market changes and the ability to maintain strong relationships with customers, employees and the franchisor. It is about taking ownership of your actions, learning from mistakes and continually striving to improve.

Moreover, accountability within the franchise network has an undeniable social element. Each franchisee, while running their individual business, is part of a broader collective. Their actions impact not only their franchise but the entire brand. Therefore, engaging and learning from your franchisee colleagues is vital. They can provide invaluable insight based on their experiences, lessons learnt and best practices.

So, how can you ensure you make yourself accountable within the franchise environment? Here’s three things we see working really well with our franchisees:

Firstly, stay engaged with your franchisor. Regular communication ensures that you are up to date with any changes, new initiatives or opportunities. Attend training sessions and workshops provided by the franchisor – even if you have a team running your day-to-day operations – it is key you know the detail, continuously develop your business acumen, staying informed about the broader industry.

Secondly, foster a culture of accountability within your franchise business. This includes setting clear expectations, providing feedback, recognising good performance and addressing any issues promptly and transparently. As the leader, your attitude towards accountability will significantly influence your team’s behaviour and, ultimately, the success of your business.

Lastly, actively participate in your franchise network. Regularly connect with other franchisees, share experiences, learn from each other’s challenges and celebrate successes together. Engaging in this shared journey can provide additional support, inspiration, serving as a source of creative inspiration.

Accountability is about acknowledging when help is needed. A wise franchisee understands that asking for assistance is not a sign of weakness but rather a strength. By seeking guidance from your franchisor or fellow franchisees, you open doors to new insights, problem-solving strategies and growth opportunities.

Franchising is a journey that does not guarantee instant success. It necessitates an entrepreneurial spirit, a considerable investment of time and energy but above all, a strong sense of accountability. As a franchisee, your commitment, perseverance and willingness to take responsibility for your business’ success is paramount. When navigated effectively, with consistent accountability, the franchise model can indeed pave the way to formidable business success.