Does Faith Matter in the Context of Franchising?

You bet it does. Faith is defined as the confident belief or trust in a person, idea, or thing. It is often used in a religious or spiritual context yet, in general, faith speaks of a strong belief and conviction. Franchisees whose faith, either in the franchise system or in themselves waiver start heading towards failure. So, yes, faith does matter in franchising.

People invest in a franchise because they believe that they can be successful. They have faith in the franchise concept and in their ability to implement the system successfully. When franchisees start doubting they get in trouble. Doubt is faith in the opposite of what we want. Doubt engenders fear, anxiety, lack of confidence and even depression. It works against the efforts to make something happen.

Frank Lloyd Wright used to say: “the belief in a thing makes it happen.” When franchisees have faith that they will succeed, they become successful. When they entertain doubt about their abilities to be successful in their businesses, they invite failure.

A franchisor has the responsibility to regularly measure the level of faith their franchisees have in the system and in themselves. One way I often use to gauge the confidence factor is to ask franchisees to rate their level of success. I follow with the question: “what do they need to be more successful?” Answers that point outward, such as “I need more support, more training,” or answers that blame others usually mean that franchisees have lost or are losing faith in themselves or in the franchise system. It is important to face the issues head on and coach franchisees into the awareness of what’s happening. Many franchisees simply don’t know they are losing confidence until it’s too late. Reverting franchisees’ focus to what is positive, what is working, to their strengths and that of their businesses counteracts the loss of faith and begins the rebuilding process. To paraphrase Frank Lloyd Wright, the belief that we can be successful will make it happen BUT the belief that we won’t will make that happen too.