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, you forget to ask me
‘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 Rupees 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 Six Month goals;
Put simply, a franchise helps you get started. In a Month’s time you will know all of the above and, with my help, have learned to manage them. In two or Three Months’ 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.
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 (Franchise Fee), 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 support Packet. The website Ongoing support staff and programmes Business Plan & setup The newsletter or Emailing / SMS which goes out to clients to make sure they keep coming back Administration costs Stationery costs Trademark protection System development 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 6 months of buying into this franchise, I need you to follow the system to the letter.
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.
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 luster. By working together, we will build the business you desire.
Welcome to the dream. Welcome to the adventure.
Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.