Who Should NOT Franchise Their Business?

Franchising is not for everyone. Not every business seeking to grow should choose franchising as the method of expansion. For example, some businesses do not have the ability to create a sustainable relationship (see older post); for others the decision whether or not to franchise should be considered in light of the following five questions:

  1. Am I willing to change? How much?
  2. Am I willing to learn? Am I ready to ask for help?
  3. Am I willing to make a sizable investment of money, time and energy?
  4. Am I willing to be patient and persevere to enjoy the fruits of my labor?
  5. Am I willing to accept a partnership relationship?

Willingness to Change

If you can’t see yourself changing your role from dealing with the day to day tasks required to operate your current business to growing a totally different business, you probably should not consider franchising. Moreover, if you think that you can’t modify your way of behavior from doing everything yourself to learning to delegate, you won’t be very successful as a franchisor. Change not only of circumstances but of you as a person will become part of your reality as a franchisor. Those who succeed, do so because they embrace change at all levels.

Willingness To Learn

If you think you know everything, you are in trouble as a franchisor. Franchising is a daily learning experience. All franchisees are different and we must learn how to communicate with each them effectively. Franchising seems simple on the surface but there are layers of knowledge required to succeed. A successful franchisor never stops exploring and learning.

Willingness To Invest

Franchising a business requires a sizable financial investment. It also requires time and energy. If you do not have one of these elements your chances of success will be limited. In most cases, success will not be attainable if one or more of these elements is missing.

Willingness To Be Patient

Franchising a business and then growing the franchise network takes time. If you feel you got to have immediate results, franchising is not for you. Perseverance is an important key to franchise success.

Willingness To Accept Partners

If you deal with your franchisees as if they were employees, you will never be able to create effective relationships with them. Franchisees are your partners. Your success depends entirely on theirs, and vice versa. If you can only have a dictatorial relationship with your franchisees, sooner or later poor franchise relations will stall your growth.

Amy Nichols, CEO of Dogtopia, said the other day to me: Franchising is not for the weak. She is absolutely right. A strong person is willing to grow and change and is not intimidated by recognizing they don’t know something. They seek help and they are willing to learn. Do you have what it takes?


  1. Some great points! It takes flexibility to be a franchisor and the willingness to accept that your model may have to change once you franchise it to make it more replicable for a franchisee. Theres a fine balance between making those adjustments but retaining a robust model which is the heart of a franchise.