Making a success of franchising

Ahead of the National Franchise Exhibition in London on 20-21 January 2017, we asked leading business author, Carl Reader what attributes make the perfect recipe for a successful Franchise business.  Read on to hear Carl’s views on how to make the most of any franchise opportunity…

Franchising is a growing industry in the UK, with thousands of people deciding that franchising is the right career path for them. In any business, there are many attributes that you should have or desire in order to become successful. This is no different with franchising. I’ve put together a list below of main attributes that I believe franchisees need to have.


The franchisor is going into a partnership with you, which involves significant levels of trust and confidence from both sides. The recruitment process is also not a cheap process, and thus they are making a significant investment in time, money and effort with any new franchisee. Therefore, it is likely that their view will be impacted if there are any signs of dishonesty, as in my opinion, dishonesty within a franchise (on either side, franchisor or franchisee) is the biggest root cause of disputes in franchise agreements.


Following on from honesty, franchisors would also be looking to make sure that you would be compliant with their system, and indeed an advocate of it. Although networks encourage ideas and innovation; for brand protection it is essential that the correct process is taken for these so that other franchisees are not affected by the brand being tainted should an idea not be right for the business. Franchisors want franchisees who are happy to follow the proven business model, not those who wish to create their own new business model.

Risk aversion

Although the typical perception of a business owner is that of a calculated risk taker, franchisors often would ask that their franchisees do not take risks with their business model. Again, this comes back to compliance, as franchisees are provided with a blueprint of how the business has been successful in the past. Strategic changes to the business should be undertaken by the franchisor, who has an ethical obligation and responsibility to engage with the network and get their buy in to the future direction of the network.

People skills

Not only are franchisees expected to stick to the system, but they are also expected to deal with staff and customers. Regardless of whether the business is consumer facing or business to business, all interactions with external parties are in fact interactions with other people, and as such a basic level of people skills are absolutely vital when it comes to dealing with anyone either inside or outside of the franchise.

Carl has worked with franchisors and franchisees since 2004 and has accumulated an outstanding understanding of how it works and offers inside knowledge of how to succeed within it. He is the best- selling author of both The StartUp Coach and The Franchising Handbook (published by Hodder), the resident business advisor at; a regular columnist in both the trade and the national press, and is an accomplished international keynote speaker at both franchising and small business events. He is a director of d&t Chartered Accountants, the UK’s leading franchise accountancy firm, The Bear Group, Selling a Franchise, and serves as an elected board member of the British Franchise Association.


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