It should perhaps be obvious or assumed that when someone decides to buy or establish a franchised business that they will follow the system, after all that is what they have bought into.
However, as human beings we have an engrained propensity to tinker, challenge and change just about everything.
With a caveat of saying no system is perfect and development and innovation should be encouraged and managed in a system, there are three compelling reasons why it is in the franchisee’s best interest to follow the system.
1. The system works
Firstly, franchises are often referred to as franchise systems, and the hint is in the second word – system.
A system is defined “a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network; or a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organised scheme or method.”
In a franchise the business product, process or service is delivered via a systemised approach. It is tested and based on the success of the system or process the franchise brand is able to develop and grow.
It’s like baking a cake, you need to follow the recipe, use the right proportions and cook at the right temperature and for the right time. Once you have mastered this, you may be able to alter the recipe and or add but do this at the beginning and you have a mess.
Holds true with a systemised business approach, miss a step, include too much of something and or alter the process and the results won’t be the same.
2. It provides the ability to measure and benchmark
A systemised approach to operating a business provides for measuring, and the old cliché of what you cannot measure you cannot manage applies.
The truly beautiful aspect of operating in a franchise business model is it provides independent business owners or operators – franchisees, the ability to measure or benchmark against and across similar businesses.
The ability to benchmark between different locations, markets and operators is created by the fact they are operating under the same systemised approach.
Following a franchise system is the only way independent business operators could possibly achieve meaningful benchmarking; industry surveys and statistics, trade associations and even (illegal) cartels cannot as they do not have the constant of an operating platform from which to compare, they are at best able to relate one or several measures.
Disregard or operate outside the system parameters and the franchisees ability to benchmark and best manage their business is compromised.
3. It provides a truly competitive edge
The most powerful motivator for a franchisee to follow the system is actually a combined result of having a process or system that works, and the ability to measure and benchmark with-in and across the system.
This combined result is a truly competitive edge. Do the business better, measure it, compare, improve. Through this repeated cycle the franchise system and franchisee will probably gain market share and profitability along the way. That’s quite a compelling reason the follow the system.
Back to my comment that no system is prefect but a good system will encourage innovation and change applying franchise system disciplines along the way. That’s how we got the Big Mac and McDonalds their best ever selling burger, and a great number of successful franchisees!