In attending different franchise exhibits, conferences and recruitment programs around the world, the word "relationship" is used or overused by many attempting to convince a potential candidate that their opportunity is the best option in the market. One might wonder if the meaning of the word is really understood as it applies to a venture in which one is about to embark.
It is sometimes difficult to hold back our enthusiasm when presenting our concept and that is good. After all, it would be difficult to sell an idea that one really doesn't feel a certain passion for or have a strong belief in the legitimacy of an offering. The problem is that more times than not, companies tend to over promise and under deliver. Some of the blame falls on the master franchisee candidate who usually has higher expectations of the level of support and lower ones of the requirements and rigors of the business he has just acquired.
Avoiding Fractured Relationships
On several occasions, this author has intervened to try and save a fractured relationship before lawyers became involved. In every single one of these instances, the two most common words utilized by the defense of the master franchisee, were support and relationship. These, along with the words communication and partnership, were also among the other overused words.
Truthfully, there isn't a single instance where the franchisor's intentions were anything but honest; however, somewhere down the line, someone skips a step or two and the relationship heads down a slippery slope. The franchisor gets totally overwhelmed and bogged down with growing the brand. Opening in several countries at the same time without the proper planning and support structure will inevitably cause the franchisor to miss certain key elements of the relationship, including that personal touch.
The advancements in technology have been a godsend in assisting all of us in expanding further and faster than one could ever imagine. However, the ugly downside is that these great technological advancements have also made us busier in maintaining and enhancing the personal relationships that were originally forged when the company wasn't so big and first made the deal.
E-mail could never replace a handwritten note, voicemail cannot replace an actual phone conversation, and one must always remember the powerful impact of seeing one another and sharing a meal with each other's families. Additionally, there are challenges in dealing with...