Why Some Franchise Businesses Fail
by William Hamon (aka Ewns)
Why Some Franchise Businesses Fail
The concept of franchising is in itself a sound business idea. Many have become rich because of it. However, not all franchise businesses become a success story. There are several factors that may contribute to the problem.
Some franchise units, although parented by large corporations, failed to make the mark due to the failure of the franchisee to strictly adhere to the program and terms of the franchise. Following the system of the company and the provisions of the franchise agreement is crucial to the success of any franchise unit because it is the essence of franchising.
Some companies venture into franchising with little experience and limited resources, hence they are unable to develop an effective franchise system. Although they may be able to sweet-talk prospects into buying a franchise, some, if not all, of these franchises are doomed to fail because of the flawed system of the company.
In some cases, the company did not place much attention and effort to market research specific to the franchise because its main concern is selling as many franchises as possible, without studying what the ideal number of units in a given area should be to ensure success.
The market is affected by many external factors that are beyond the control of business. These include the condition of the national economy, the outbreak of war or local civil unrest, market demand or shift in preferences, disease outbreak that affects raw materials supply, natural calamities, or anything that would cause sudden and significant decrease in the supply of goods or the market demand, or both. Unfortunately, business cannot do much about these conditions. The key to survival is adapting to prevailing conditions and being able to take the blow, until conditions are better. Sad to say, not many businesses can do both so they eventually succumb to the pressure.
Other franchises ceased operations after some time because they failed to obtain a firm commitment from central management to provide adequate, substantial, and continuous support to the franchise.
Some failed to get the commitment of their own employees to support a new business strategy or develop new employee and management skills to help them cope with new market demands.
Failure to handle and manage change is also another factor in the collapse of a franchise. The franchisee may not have sufficient insight about the staff’s resistance to change (new strategy, management style or policies) to be able to detect it right away and handle the situation properly.
Moreover, the franchisee may lack the required knowledge in technology, operational systems and organization that he loses credibility among his employees. In such a situation, employee morale will be low and a high rate of employee turnover can be expected. This dissatisfaction will certainly reflect on their initiative and work quality, and will be mirrored in the overall performance standard of the unit.
Franchises may also lack adequate reporting and control systems particularly those that were abandoned by the parent company after the business has opened. Any business that does not have a strict reporting and control system will most likely be operating on vague estimates, until it finally closes shop.
There are many reasons behind the failure of a franchise but all these can be avoided with a thorough study of the company, its existing franchise network, proper training, and strict compliance with the terms of the franchise agreement.
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