Franchising’s “O-Word”Pinot's Palette
In certain context, “obedience” can come off as a dirty word. It’s a fine concept when talking about dogs and kids, but most adults aren’t fond of being described as obedient. In the franchising world, however, it refers to the idea of “buying in” to a franchise system so, for franchisees, a certain degree of obedience is key to their success.
What’s important to remember is that franchisors don’t want blind obedience, nor do they have any interest in constantly micro-managing and policing every aspect of their franchisees’ business. (If a company wants 100% control, they won’t franchise the brand.) What franchisors want is an understanding and embrace of the basic principles of franchising – that as a franchisee, you are ready to run with someone else’s idea, process, and mission.
If you feel that a franchise system is the perfect fit for you, you should be willing to accept the franchise’s pre-established set of guidelines as your own. Sometimes, that commitment is not fully vetted before the franchise agreement is signed, and that’s where problems can occur. Franchisors want their franchisees, operationally speaking, to do as they’re told, but it’s not some power-hungry desire to have full control. It’s a way of ensuring that the same products, strategies, and processes that have sustained the brand in the past are maintained and leveraged to facilitate success in the future.
We (and countless other franchise experts) often make the disclaimer that there is no guarantee of success in owning a franchise, but franchisors know that franchisee success only comes with a true preparedness to learn, implement, and adhere to the system that is provided. Don’t let terms like “obedience” deter you from a particular franchise brand. On the contrary, knowing their purpose and role in franchising can help you better understand exactly what different franchise brands are seeking in their franchisees.