Evolution of the Franchise: Rising From The Sterotypical Perceptions

The perception of the term “franchise” has evolved in all facets in the last 10 years. But how far has the term “franchise” really come? Here are a few examples of how the stereotypical perceptions of a “franchise” has evolved from the past to present day.

Past: Just a “mom and pop” operation that lacks sophistication

There used to be a slight negative stigma in being a franchisee. It was perceived the opposite of a corporate institute and lacked the capacity and desire for growth. A consumer could usually pin point if an operation was franchisee-operated by inconsistencies and lack of experience from his store to the next. Franchises tended to project the perception that it was a local small shop rather than part of a larger “system” with well-developed standards.

Present: Global in scale, plan and infrastructure

Franchisors now have at least nationwide or global goals in sight that are being planned far beyond a single store. Franchisors are often more interested in owners who are able to handle multiple stores and have the sophistication to build a portfolio of brands in different types of sectors.

There has also been an increase in the amount of rigor, detail and time being spent in the training of employees in franchise stores. Often times, this rigor and dedication results in the franchise stores running better than some corporate stores. Franchisees are also continuing to grow in consumer sensitivity. They understand that poor experiences in one store can cause customer discontent that will influence other stores in the brand, thus affecting overall sales.

Modern technology and the advancement in social media is also having an impact on franchises. In the past, feedback from customers used to only be between the customer and the operator but now, a story can go viral instantly via social media and be shared with thousands or even millions of people. When done right, the franchisor and franchisee can harness social media to their advantage bringing in additional customers and increasing their brand awareness.

Past: Prior franchise experience deemed critical

Franchisors focused on those who had been in the franchise business in the past believing that they will have a significantly higher rate of success than those with no prior experience.

Present: Advantage to all with transferable entrepreneurial skills

Although it is great to have some franchise experience, there is an increasing trend that all franchisees do not have to have the amount of experience that they needed in the past. Now, many franchisors place more value on an entrepreneurial and cultural fit with their brand than actual franchise operation experience. Readily accessible information is now available on franchising, which makes it easier to become an owner. This allows people to be better educated and acquainted with franchises much faster. Prospective franchisees doing their due diligence can find ample information on the internet. This may lead to a smoother process and faster close rate for the right franchisee.

Further, with the advanced technology that we have today, franchisors can instantly send relevant updates, such as training videos, new rollout information and specific financials, to the franchisee directly via email and mobile devices.

As a whole, the perception of the franchise industry continues to evolve each day. It will continue to bring excitement to what the future holds for all existing and new brands yet to develop. For more information on franchising, visit our website or call 1.800.848.5465. Also check out a related blog post on great franchise training tools!