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Franchise Candidates Stick to Your Knitting

Published on March 19, 2019

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One of the most iconic business books, In Search of Excellence, was published in 1982 by Tom Peters and Robert H. Waterman. It remains known for its insight into the success of what was at that time the top performing companies in America. A critical tenet of the book remains as essential today as it was then. Namely, that companies should “stick to their knitting” or do what they do best and do not stray. We can apply the same reasoning to franchise candidates, namely, stick to your knitting.

Because franchising rests upon the principle that a franchise is a proven system that has an operating system that can be taught and followed, franchising appeals to a broad universe of candidates. However, in most cases, the franchise owner is responsible for the day to day operations of the franchise. In some cases, a franchise can be operated by a manager although some franchises are so operationally efficient and systematized that the franchise does not need to be experienced in that franchise category such as fast-food franchises like MacDonald’s. Nevertheless, the majority of franchises are the owner-operator model whereby the franchise is the day-to-day manager of the business.

There is an adage in franchising that states: The lower the franchise investment, the more dependent the success of the franchise depends upon the franchise. As a result of its essential that the franchise owner-operator has the experience and competency to operate the franchise successfully. Even though a significant feature of franchising is to provide a proven operational model, its critical that there be as close a match as possible between the requirements of the franchise and the skills and experience of the franchise, in other words, franchise candidates, with few exceptions, should stick to their knitting when it comes to choosing a franchise opportunity.

It can be straightforward for a franchise candidate to believe that a specific franchise can provide a structure whereby the franchise can be successful despite the lack of particular experience or skills related to a franchise. However, in most cases a franchise candidate should try to match their skills to the needs of the franchise.

About the Author: Ed Teixeira
Ed Teixeira is a recognized franchise expert with over 40 years’ experience in the franchise industry. He has served as a corporate executive for franchise firms in the retail, manufacturing, healthcare and technology industries and was a franchisee of a multi-million-dollar home healthcare franchise. Ed and Richard Chan are the authors of a new textbook, Franchising Strategies: The Entrepreneurs Guide to Success, to be published on July 1st by Routledge on July 1st. He has participated in the CEO Magazine Roundtable Meetings with business leaders from around the country and has spoken at a number of venues including the International Franchise Expo and Chinese Franchise Association in Shanghai, China. Over the course of his career, Ed has been involved with over 1,000 franchise locations and launched franchise concepts from existing business models. Ed can be contacted at [email protected].

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