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I Walk the (Franchising) Line

Posted by Elizabeth Gore-Jones on 5 June 2015

Is it best that franchisees "walk the line" (in the words of the late Johnny Cash)?

It is often accepted that franchisees should not be entrepreneurial types.  That franchisees should be of the ilk that can follow the system and the directions of the franchisor and not have an entrepreneurial bone in their body.

Whilst a stable of franchisees who can and do walk the line is obviously very attractive to a franchisor, does this stagnate the growth of the franchise system to a certain extent?

Is keeping franchisees in their box a little old hat now?

Yes franchisors can, and often do, employ good in-house talent with a franchising, sales and/or corporate background.  And yes, that in-house talent in a large part does have the role of growing the franchise system and taking it to the next level.

However, that in-house talent isn't living the day to day reality of the franchisee and is not encountering the customer or client everyday.

An entrepreneurial and dynamic franchisee may make life a little uncomfortable for a franchisor from time to time and may challenge the franchisor (even when the franchisor does not welcome that challenge) however, such a beast may strengthen a franchise system, make it more competitive and diversify the offerings of the system.

It may be that franchisors have these valuable resources in their franchise system already but they have not been given a voice.  Or they have been managed out of the system for being too difficult.

Obviously the franchise system still needs to be followed.  And yes, many systems have the franchise advisory council model.  However, when dealing with troublesome franchisees, it can be a good idea to take a step back and consider if they have something valuable to offer.


Author: Elizabeth Gore-Jones
About: Elizabeth specialises in franchising law. She lectures at Bond University PLA in franchising, she sits on the Queensland Law Society Franchising Committee, she is a past member of the Women in Franchising committee and a past member of the Franchise Council of Australia.
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