As with any industry and profession, things can go horribly wrong with your business. When something goes wrong you often times have those people who will make a fuss of it until the end of times. Despite how wrong this is and the legal repercussions this can lead too, you will always hear about some unhappy franchise owner. No franchise is perfect, so learning about what other business owners have gone through will make potential franchise owners more aware.
Take Burger King for example, in the last couple of years there has been a few skirmishes due to menu pricing. The association that represents the majority of Burger King Franchises claimed that the company was setting costs below what the product actually cost. One such example is the dollar cheeseburgers. In reality these burgers cost $1.10 and were being sold at $1 due to what the head of the company wanted. There were several lawsuits traded back and forth. While you are obligated to follow your contract, you might sometimes face situations that will cause you to lose profits. If you were happy before the incident you may be willing to overlook such thing, but if it is something that happens on a regular basis you might be inclined to not do as the company wants.
Other companies like 7-11 you don’t hear too many complaints from owners because the head of the companies ensures that “business consultants stop by twice a week.” The advantage to this is that store owners can talk things out as they happen. This means there is no periods as to where one person’s anger can build up. It is almost a real-time solution to preventing anyone from becoming unhappy.
In the end you have to be aware of the early warning signs that your franchise will be soon disgruntled over one thing or another. When this happens it is time to open and solidify communications before things get out of hand. When you are able to catch the early warning signs, you can consider yourself very lucky. It will be a disaster averted because you cared enough as to what is happening. A family based company runs well when you actually act like a family.
When you are researching various franchises, try not to listen to those who make the biggest issues out of something. Often times the angrier the person is, the more they are at fault for something. It can be something as small as not listening to the head of the company and doing whatever it is that pleases you. Once a person gets set off, they forget about all the positive times they had and just focus on the negative. This is especially true if you only hear one person going off about a certain franchise and the rest of the owners are as happy as can be. Don’t be drawn in by a singles person’s complaint. Not everything is black and white and every side of the story is needed to make a good solid decision about anything.