In this blog I’m going to talk about the six stages of franchisee life. They are a natural progression and by the end you will be able to identify where you are now and so what might be next……

The Glee Stage

“I am very happy with the relationship I have with my franchisor. They obviously care about my success and have delivered all they said. I am excited about my new business and full of hope for the future.”

It’s all new, exciting and different.

Positive emotions run high at this stage. 

The Glee stage covers the lead up period to buying into the franchise and will usually stay with you for between 3 and 12 months.

The Fee Stage

“Although I’m making money, these royalty payments are really taking the cream off the top. What am I getting for my money?”

The Fee stage kicks in as you get more of a handle on the business’s finances. It comes from a growing appreciation that profit is the result of sales minus expenses.

At this point you may become particularly sensitive to the royalty and advertising fees, which you see as annoying expenses that eat into your profits.

The Me Stage

“Yes I am successful. But my success is a result of my hard work. I could probably be just as successful without my franchisor.”

This natural tendency to take the credit for the good things is known as the ‘Self-Serving Bias’. 

If things are not going so well you might blame the franchisor. Either way the franchisor usually starts to receive some criticism.

The Free Stage

“I really don’t like all these restrictions my franchisor is putting on the way I run my business. I feel frustrated and annoyed at their constant interference. I want to be able to do my own thing and express my own ideas.”

At this stage you will either get bogged down in resentment and continue to bicker with your franchisor, revert to the Me stage with intermittent but harmless grumbling, or move to the next stage – the quantum leap – the See stage.

The See Stage

“I guess I can see the importance of following the franchise system. I can see that if we all did our own thing standards would drop and we would lose the very things that give us our competitive edge.”

Conflict in relationships seldom goes away by ignoring it. 

You and your franchisor need to talk to each other frankly and try to see each other’s points of view.

It is this shift in perception that characterises the See stage.

The We Stage

“We need to work together to make the most of our business relationship. I need some specific assistance in certain areas to develop my business but I also have some ideas that I want my franchisor to consider.”

To reach the We stage you must be mature, objective and commercially minded.  

Your franchisor must deliver on their obligations and be fair and consistent in their dealings.

Franchisees who have got to the We stage are a franchise network’s greatest asset.

Every franchise business owner I have ever met is somewhere on this path. The We stage is where true happiness lies – what are you doing to get there? 

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Chris Martin

Chris Martin is a chartered accountant and business advisor and has been helping franchisees create and grow wonderful businesses for over 20 years. He is a published author and has written extensively on franchisee tax issues. He passionately believes that whilst franchising is a deservedly successful business format, franchisees are often let down by their franchisors’ failure to offer support and guidance regarding the financial side of running the business. This leaves franchisees frustrated, overwhelmed and unable to grow their businesses to the extent they should. Chris has developed simple systems, support and guidance to ensure franchisees create businesses that provide them and their families the lives they so richly deserve.