Not all franchisors or franchisees are open to the idea of a franchisee association or council—or what if you’re the first franchise? There are new franchises opening up every day, so what then? As exciting as it is to be number one, you also have to remember you’re like the oldest sibling, setting the example and likely carrying more weight on your shoulders. Your franchisor will use your franchise as an example to others wanting to come on board. New franchisees will come to you for information or help. It might be up to you to suggest a franchisee association or at least camaraderie between these new locations if you’re the first so bare that responsibility with pride.
Without the input of other franchisees, it can be hard to find your direction or to identify what the needs of the franchise are, but that’s what makes this such a great opportunity for early franchisees.
If you’re thinking of being one of the first franchisees, you need to weigh the pros and the cons and to decide if it’s a responsibility you think you can handle. More franchises means the franchisor has been able to test his methods more and that there is a greater community of help around you with other franchisees. Is that something that you need in your franchise or are you alright on your own, being a founder of the early franchise? There are great things that come with being one of the first such as first choice of location, sometimes the franchisor will grandfather you in at a lower cost or consider splitting ownership of the franchise with you depending on how much they trust you—but there are also definite shortcomings.
You’re putting your faith in this brand and that it will only do better as it expands. This is just as much an investment as any other, though its one you have some form of control over in the form of services, products, and customer service. Just be realistic when you enter into a newer franchise, know the risks, and above all else, keep lines of communication open with the franchisor. Franchises don’t become mega corporations over night. No two franchises operate the same way. Also keep in mind that the attitude of your franchisor will heavily determine how the franchise grows, who is attracted to the franchise, and to some extent, how much you enjoy your business.