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  • Attorney Joe Culik

Why Every Entrepreneur Should Run Their Business Like a Franchise

Franchising is one of the most popular business models. There are almost 750,000 franchises in the United States. Franchises are popular with entrepreneurs for a reason – after seven years, over 90% of franchises are successful, while only 20% of other startups are successful.


Some entrepreneurs, understandably, do not want to pay franchisors’ royalties, up-front fees, or have the franchisor dictate the way their business should be run. And that’s fine. There are nevertheless many lessons that non-franchised entrepreneurs can learn from the franchise model.


Efficiency. Systems. Operations.


Many of fundamental concepts of franchising are applicable to virtually every business. Efficiency. Systems. Operations. These are the key concepts in creating a successful franchise, and they are just as important for entrepreneurs of any stripe.


When someone buys a franchise, they’re not just buying the name. More importantly, they’re buying the right to use a combination of successful and reproducible systems for delivering good or services. This is as important, if not more, than the name.

For example, Chick-Fil-A has one way of making a chicken sandwich, and it is used by every franchisee at all their stores. Their way is the most efficient, cost-effective (and perhaps delicious) way of making the sandwich that they could come up with. It’s the same with everything on their menu, the way they ring up customers, the forms used to hire and manage employees, and even the way they clean the store. Every moment of the day has been thought through and captured in an operations manual. The manual can then be consulted by every employee or manager around the country.


The systems are the key. Having a system – whether you’re a solopreneur, or a Fortune 500 executive – turns your dream into an efficient, manageable, and even reproduceable, reality.

Most operations manuals cover subjects like human resources, operating procedures, sales and marketing, and management. An operations manual should cover everything from how you open the door in the morning to how you close it at night, and everything in between. Write everything down. Organize it. Fine-tune it. Then you can pass it off to a manager or employee so that everything is done right the first time.


Though there are many resources for systematizing your business, one of our favorite books on this is called the E-Myth. It explains that entrepreneurs often fail because they think that just having the right ideas will make them successful. The E-Myth reminds us that a successful business owner has three roles: an entrepreneur, a manager, and a technician. That is, someone who thinks about the big picture, someone organizes it, and someone who does the work. A company must be based on systems like a franchise is. This can all be done by one person, but it probably will not be done well unless it is systematized.


There are many other points that entrepreneurs can learn from franchises. But in our experience working with business owners, creating a business requires not just a big dream, but also networks and the right pieces working together to make the dream become a reality.


Fairview Law is a Charlotte, North Carolina business law firm that helps entrepreneurs, business owners, and franchisees solve problems and keep their businesses running smoothly. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 980-999-3557.