Are Franchises as we Know Them Dead???

There is a very interesting article today on Entrepreneur.com about a lawsuit that McDonald’s is involved in right now.  There is a dispute over how employees are paid and treated – and whether or not it is the franchisee or the franchisor that is responsible.

For those that know me, they know that I am against the franchise model. I understand why someone new to business would want to buy a franchise, as a franchise offers a lot of systems and success tools that can help a business owner be more profitable and successful. But I also know that a franchisor pretty much OWNS you! You think you are going into business for yourself and get to be your own boss. But really, you are often risking your entire life’s savings only to be working for someone else who tells you what to do!

A franchisor often tells you:

  • What products or services you can offer
  • How to price your product or services
  • Your hours of operation
  • How to market your product or services
  • Who you can hire
  • How they are trained
  • Your colors, your logo, how you will build out your location
  • Your blah blah blah blah blah (which in Amy speak, means pretty much your everything).

The real problem with this is  that it is YOUR neck on the line!  It is YOUR livelihood that is at stake.  If their system works great in San Francisco, but doesn’t have the same demographics in Valparaiso, Indiana – you can’t treat those businesses exactly the same!

Have you noticed how many fewer Quiznos franchises there may be around you today than there once were?  I can not think of ONE Quiznos restaurant within 10 – 15 miles of my house anymore.  There used to be five!    Why do you think that is – the system was in favor of the house (the franchisor)!

Although I hate to see things settled with lawsuits, I have to say that I am excited about the fact that the franchise question is being raised.  I know that as an owner of two barre studios, I don’t want someone telling me everything to do and how to do it – and then charging me for it.  As the business owner, with my family’s savings on the line – I want to be able to make the decisions best for my business, my clients, and my family.  So maybe something good will come from this dialogue.

How about you – if you’re investing your hard earned life savings into opening your own business, do  you want to run it the way you see fit?  Comment below!  I can’t wait to hear YOUR thoughts!

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