In a perfect world, all franchisees would follow the system exactly as intended; they would all ramp up quickly without struggle; and, they would all be successful and happy.
You wouldn't have to answer distressed calls or have tough conversations with under-performing franchisees who blame you, the franchisor, for their failures. However, reality never seems this easy. To some degree or another every franchisor deals with dissatisfied and under-performing franchisees.
Yet, the sustained growth of franchisors is directly related to their ability to have training and support systems that produce positive results quickly and minimize franchisee dissatisfaction.
A quick ramp-up is the key to keeping a franchisee's head in the game and to eliminating operational and cash flow problems today in the future.
Why don't franchisees who receive the same training and who are being taught the same system have the same results? Why is it that some "get it" right away and run with it while others struggle, and others even fail?
There are many reasons behind franchisee success-failure statistics, yet they can all be boiled down to the fact that all franchisees are not equal.
Each franchisee fits somewhere in the scale between the ultimate entrepreneur and the ultimate employee with their own unique combination of the traits and characteristics from both ends of the entrepreneurial spectrum.
Additionally, they bring with them different experiences, learning styles, preferences, levels of expertise, beliefs systems, and habits that can work for or against them. And, the challenge lies in effectively addressing this diversity.
Furthermore, investing in a franchise is such a drastic change that for most people it engenders chaos, similar to a personal inner revolution with much emotional upheaval affecting all facets of the life of franchisees, including their ability to learn.
If training and support systems are not properly structured, if they don't account for franchisees' innate differences and for their emotional reactions, you simply end up with longer learning curves, slower ramp-up, increased franchisee dissatisfaction, and smaller franchisor's royalty stream.
The bottom line is that franchisees who don't ramp up quickly create more organizational challenges and contribute fewer dollars to help the franchisor fix them.
If franchisees don't experience some early wins, they lose confidence; and, if franchisees' attitudes start to decline before they achieve system mastery, they can slip into "survival mode," which leads them to wrong decisions, panic, and frustration.
Getting them back on track becomes harder and harder until eventually they become part of the statistics we don't like to discuss-they fail. And, we failed them.