How Important Is Business Franchising In Today’s World!Speed Car Wash
Why business is important.
Delivering the same high-quality product or service consistently is challenging enough. Doing so at different locations is harder still. And doing so in a network of independently owned franchised businesses at hundreds of locations around the globe is a truly extraordinary feat. The only way this remarkable consistency can be accomplished is by using a business system.
The idea of a business system is a simple one: It is a detailed set of instructions, followed to the letter.
Once every aspect of a business operation is thoughtfully reduced to a system, it should be written down so that it can be followed by a team of people and their successors. Systems include everything from the precise number of seconds to cook french fries at an exact temperature in a specified mix of oils, to the way the customer is to be greeted at a service counter, to exactly how quickly fresh product on a warming shelf is to be discarded.
Think for a moment about the implications of this simple idea. Once a system is in place, it means that different aspects of the business can be delegated to a succession of employees, so the business can continue to perform without interruption. It means that anyone can be taught how to operate the business. It means that the business can be efficiently and profitably run without variations. Most profoundly, however, it means that the entire business can be replicated. This is why franchising has flourished in such an extraordinary fashion for the past 40 years.
The role of business systems in a franchise network is essential to its success. And that’s why two key ingredients in passing on your system — the operations manual and training — are so vital.
A franchise network’s operations manual is the embodiment of the company’s business system. It collects in a single place all of the written instructions for operating the business. The manual contains the essence of the business; as such, it’s considered a valuable trade secret and should be protected from disclosure outside the company. Allowing the manual to fall into the hands of a competitor could be devastating.
Traditionally, the operations manual took the form of one or more printed three-ring binders with tabbed sections. It was kept under lock and key and shown to employees in small segments, and constantly referred to by the franchisees for guidance. Today, as operations manuals go digital, protecting them, has become a new challenge; savvy franchisors are placing them in password-protected Web locations, with appropriate security measures.
The goal of most franchise training programs is to teach new franchisees the systems of the business, and there is a no more important measure of a franchise network than how well its training prepares franchisees to operate the business profitably. In fact, in the franchise world, transferring the know-how of the business system is second in importance only to the intellectual property represented by the trademark.
If you are still in doubt as to the importance of business systems to a franchise, I suggest you read Michael E. Gerber’s terrific (and now classic) business book The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Business Don’t Work and What to Do About It, which offers a thoughtful discussion of the liberating effects of carefully designed business systems for small business owners. Gerber successfully identifies the systems DNA of most franchise networks and offers a look at the role of systems in the execution of a successful business.
It all comes down to having a SYSTEM.