What's it like being a franchise owner in 2022?

Franchise Buyer Franchise Owners Have Their Say

80% of franchise owners found their franchise brand ‘supportive’ over the previous twelve months of 2021. 

This is a crucial result, given the stresses on small business across the board during that time.

In an important landmark survey, the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA), commissioned a research piece into what franchise owners have to say about - being a franchise owner!

The survey was conducted by franchise data specialist, FRANdata. Of note, the survey was conducted in Nov/Dec 21, pre-Omicron variant.

In all, the survey encompassed 83 franchise brand systems, and 1,007 individual franchise owners responded.

I suspect we will write a more detailed breakdown of the report soon, however, this 80% ‘supportive’ number is the stand-out.

After all, if you didn’t consider your franchisor to be supportive across the last two years, then you’d have to question why you would remain in a franchise going forward.

Franchising's big chance

This was a franchisor's big chance to actively demonstrate just how much they care.

And this fact was not lost on Mary Aldred, CEO of the FCA;

“The fact that a majority of survey respondents indicated they felt being part of a franchise system provided an advantage over operating an independent business shows that the franchising model provides a strong framework for small businesses.”

Further, 80% of the survey respondents said they were receiving ‘high levels’ of marketing support, and 67% said they were receiving ‘high levels’ of technology and systems support from their franchisors.

These are two areas in particular that all of us, even as consumers, often see many small businesses floundering.

Support On Franchise Buyer From Franchisors

Franchising coming out of covid better than it went in

Let’s be honest, the previous two years BEFORE covid were not great for the franchise sector.

It feels a long time ago, but the sector, and business model itself, was marred with constant mainstream media attention as to the questionable value of being part of a franchise at all for a small business owner.

At that time, a number of franchise systems (quite rightly) brought an intense spotlight of attention onto the conduct and fairness of the franchise model.

Many good people in the sector remain unhappy at what a handful of companies brought upon the entire sector across that time.

A franchising renaissance

Before covid, a number of people prominent in the media, refused to acknowledge that a franchise model had any value at all to a modern-day small business owner.

They often openly ‘advised’, ‘don’t do it, just open a business yourself, as there is so much information out there on how to do it on your own now.’

Yet, I think the franchise business model of collaboration and support is actually in for a renaissance or rebirth going forward.

Hybrid, even more flexible models of doing business in franchising are already evident. Brands are changing, adapting, and evolving to the new environment. And this adaptation is around levels of support in particular.

I spoke to the franchisor of a business coaching franchise during the earlier period of the pandemic, and he told me that he couldn’t believe how busy his business coaches were with independent small business owners trying to get help and support.

He was portraying a sense of panic trying to navigate what was happening and coming.

Around the same time, I went into a flooring related franchised business, to buy toilet paper of all things (that’s a whole other story), and I asked if the person serving me was the franchise owner.

When he said ‘yes’, I asked him how he was coping, and if he was getting much help from his franchise. 

He just pointed to another person in his store ‘selling’ to a customer and said “That’s my franchisor right there.”.

Enough said.

Caution Still Required Franchise Buyer

It’s not all gravy

Now, I don’t proclaim that every franchise you come across is beer and skittles to be a part of. 

No way.

But, as we go further forward into an increasingly unpredictable commercial future, we’re all going to need support in some way, or at least to proceed with confidence in making decisions, knowing that support is there if and when we need it.

Going it alone in business, without a franchise may be right in your wheelhouse, and if so, I absolutely wish you all the success. 

But, being in a business with an established, proven support structure that pushed through a pandemic, that value-add is now stronger and more attractive than it's ever been…