My family and I took a dare last weekend on Friday night. We wanted to get carry out and take dinner home with us to eat outside on our patio. It was a very nice day and we didn’t feel like spending too much on dinner, but wanted something fun anyway. We reviewed the options we could think of that might fit the bill for a place to pick up dinner and couldn’t think of any places that were on the way home from work and would be convenient. As I sat on the phone with my wife, we wracked our brains thinking of ideas, finally it hit us, Chicken Shack. The place that was next to our grocery store and had stared us in the face every time we entered and left the parking lot.
This was a big risk, not only had we never been, but clearly the place was a mom and pop and didn’t have any brand association with a larger franchise, so who knew what we might get should we be daring enough to go to the chicken restaurant. With sweaty palms and constant doubt, our family ate Chicken Shack that evening for dinner and enjoyed the meal immensely, it was a successful decision to start the weekend.
Many times, this same story plays out, only the end result is that the consumer chooses to go elsewhere and the no-name brand doesn’t even get the opportunity to please a customer. Even as a franchise consultant, I find myself amazed at how powerful a brand can be and perceptible we are as consumers to the power of branding. We as humans want to trust in something, we have this never ending desire to know what we are getting into and what to expect. Brands do this for us, they speak to us and communicate to our inner fears and anxieties that come with every purchasing decision. Odds are the same chicken truck drives down the road and drops off chicken at all the restaurants on that street, but the franchises have a brand that has communicated to me and every other consumer that you can trust them more than the Chicken Shack.
This is what makes franchising so effective. The same small business owner now has the opportunity to leverage a larger group and the economies of scale that come with being part of a larger organization while still retaining 100% ownership of their business and having the potential build a valuable asset within the organization. Franchising takes many of the worst parts of entrepreneurialism and offers valid solutions to these problems that small business owners have. Good franchise systems will offer franchisees the ability to leverage branding through national advertising campaigns, cooperative marketing campaigns, local ad strategies and consistent branding/messaging. Successful franchise brands will offer franchisees the ability to leverage buying power and the economies of scale that come with a larger network of businesses ordering and managing expenses as a unit, while still keeping the integrity of individually owned and operated businesses intact.
Franchising is the vehicle that allows businesses to communicate to customers and scale through larger mediums than an individual store could ever justify. Franchising is the tool that business owners can use to maximize profitability and lower risk. For more information on how franchising could impact your business model, contact Chris Conner: Chris.Conner@FMSFranchise.com