I was a franchisee of a big coffee chain for many years in Vancouver. To sum up the story, it ended ugly and I was shocked that I had involved myself with such a system. But actually, I’m not shocked at all – I was completely ignorant. And that really got me thinking.
The thought rolled over and over again in my head:
Why was someone as ignorant about this particular business as myself allowed to purchase something for so much money and subject to lose it all?
It wasn’t until I had cleared myself from that life for a few months that a deep, dark and frightening revelation hit me:
I was *specifically chosen* to suffer and die [in the business sense].
Targeted? Yes. Targeted.
Those ‘dem there are loaded words, Wayne!
Yes, they are. And I believe them even more when I say them.
It won’t take long for you to notice what I noticed if you aren’t personally involved. If you are a franchisee as you read this, you will be in a certain amount of denial until the resurrection that follows your franchise death and funeral. The death may be the sale of your business or the total loss of it. The funeral will be the period of time when you mourn over the wasted time and money, but thank God for your character growth and increased wisdom because, for many of us, that’s all we have left.
After my resurrection into the fresh start, I started objectively analyzing the behaviour and personality types of current franchisees. In our particular chain I noticed the following trends amongst franchisee profiles:
- if a franchisee had a business background, it was not in this kind of business – in other words they entered without previous experience
- immigrants were well-favoured – yet certain kinds and not others. Very few of these folk had the ability to craft well written communications that would stand up powerfully in a court of law, or defend themselves verbally for that matter.
- most franchisees demonstrated fear whether it be their personality type or their position in relation to the franchisor.
- all franchisees underwent a ‘personality test’ which tended to produce franchisees that, even when outraged, never really ‘fight’. They might yell, but they don’t fight. They might have bark, but they don’t have bite.
- they were not risk takers and they bought a franchise for the perceived security
- none or very few of them were active or networking in the business community or had the connections to swiftly bring the franchise’s name to ill repute
Just as a company has the right to secretly select a blue eyed, blond haired young female with nice curves to serve their customers food, so does a franchisor have the ability to cherry pick the ‘perfect victim’ to fit into the cogwheels of their financial death machines.
Wayne! You’re so cynical! Are all franchises really that bad?
No. They aren’t and thank goodness. But you absolutely *must* be aware of chains that partake in such cherry-picking in order to remain in a position of dominance and ultimate power.