Why Do I Love Franchisees?


Franchise word art in shape of heart

I was recently at a franchise expo where I met with many franchisees that I had trained over 10 years ago. Seeing them, talking with them, learning about their successes and their lives today; hugging them and feeling their warmth and kindness made me reflect about why I love these people so much.

Franchisees come from different backgrounds, levels of education and experience. They have diverse personality traits, dreams, objectives, life circumstances, strengths and weaknesses; but regardless of their differences, I have found that they have many things in common. These shared characteristics put them in a category of their own as human beings. These qualities made me fall in love with them when I entered this world of franchising over 20 years ago, and fuel my continued admiration.

Franchisees are people who at one point in their lives decide to take the path less traveled. They had enough of whatever their unsatisfactory life conditions were and did something about it. They wanted to change.  Or perhaps a truer statement for most franchisees is that they wanted ‘a’ change. When things were not working, they were willing to take a bold step into the unknown.  They proactively sought something new.  Franchisees are determined and courageous people.

In our society there are basically two choices when it comes to what we do to earn a living. We can work for others or we can open our own businesses. Business ownership comes in different shapes. We can choose the entrepreneurship path creating an idea and developing it into a business, making the costly mistakes and learning from them until we create a successful business model. Alternatively, we can choose to invest in someone’s business concept and proven system; i.e., we can buy a franchise.

True entrepreneurs are usually highly independent and creative people who are risk takers. They know that in building a business they will make mistakes and some of the inherent risks of their ventures may totally ruin them. Most people can’t tolerate that kind of risk so owning a franchise is a better choice for them. Franchisees thus invest in someone else’s idea and the lessons they learned through their mistakes. Franchisees are wise people.

 “A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether.” 

Roy H. Williams

The great majority of franchisees are small business owners. They embody the spirit of what has made this country great. They have left corporate America behind and for them long gone are corporate politics and corporate ladder climbing tactics. Franchisees are hardworking people who have high standards and strong ethics. They are team players and contributors to their communities. They are not seeking to change the entire world; instead, they choose to make a difference every day in their world by serving their customers and clients and giving back to their communities.

I know it is not all roses. There are people who join franchises who should not have done so. They were either too independent and more like a true entrepreneur to fit in a franchise system or they were not ready to own their businesses and should had remained employed. Further, change is never easy. Our determination is not permanent unless we work to make it so. But this post is about what makes franchisees great, not about the challenges they face; more on that on a later post.

Why do YOU love franchisees?