Economic Darwinism in Franchising

Running towards the goal. Business vector illustration

In franchising, it’s important to remember that it’s not always the biggest or the fastest that survive – it’s those who adapt, take action and grow. For some, this means being the leader in their category – the ones who establish and execute a purposeful growth strategy for their franchisees. For others, it means being a deliberate follower and building upon the growth and momentum of the leaders before you.

What Makes a Leader

To be a leader in franchising is to grow on purpose and make the most of what you have. These are the businesses that have the strategy, the execution and the alignment to lead the franchise pack.

When you’re in this position, you’re likely attracting a lot of competition.  As the leader, this is your opportunity to maximize your growth and keep that lead for as long as you can.

Why Following is Okay, Too

Not every franchise can lead. And in fact, some are much happier and successful as followers in their category.  The advantage of following is that instead of thinking through innovative new ways to grow and develop the business, you’re taking the strategies that worked for the leaders and seeing how you can make them better. This process of finding ways to improve the model is one of the core benefits of being in this position; it’s also what can make this franchising model so much fun.

And if neither of these scenarios apply to you? If you’re not going to make the effort to lead or follow, the best thing you can do is to get out of the way.  The hard truth is that it’s difficult to sell a franchise if franchisees don’t have confidence in the business or how they operate.  The best course of action in this situation is to either sell your brand to someone who can do it right or consolidate into another system. The key here is to take deliberate steps to fix the situation before you take anyone else down with you. With the right planning and execution, you can turn around a bad situation and make the most of your investment – for both yourself and your franchisees!