Are they or are they not? There’s been lots of healthy debate around whether franchise partners are more like entrepreneurs or more like employees. On one hand, they invest in and operate their own businesses. On the other hand, they’ve bought into a business concept already developed and a system someone else set up
I believe that franchisees are more than entrepreneurs, more than employees. At least that’s what the franchise partners here at KANDY Outdoor Flooring have taught me.
Best of Both
Franchisees each possess characteristics and traits of what’s best about employees and entrepreneurs. Of course each individual is a complex mix of strengths, experience, preferences, beliefs, expertise, learning and working styles, but they each bring incredible value to their key franchise partner role in the brand.
Employees are often very loyal to their employer, and sometimes even passionate about them. Entrepreneurs are more interested in the next idea, often to the detriment of the idea at hand. Franchise partners are invested in the brand and loyal like the best employees. I’ve watched our franchise partners’ loyalty to upholding the brand values translate into superior client experiences and solidification of our market position.
Entrepreneurs push forward with new, innovative ideas and take risks that sometimes don’t work out. Employees generally like to stick to the tried and true, drawn by the security offered in low risk of failure. Franchise partners achieve a sophisticated balance between these two extremes by recognizing the efficiency value in the established processes and systems of the brand and often bringing innovative approaches and ideas that further enhance our customers’ experience.
Drive for Improvement
Entrepreneurs work to improve skills and leverage strengths, viewing any focus on their weaknesses as a waste of time and energy. In contrast, employees work to improve their weaknesses, because that’s what the employer’s performance review told them. Franchise partners take a strategic, results-oriented view of continuous improvement, knowing which of their strengths can be leveraged and what to do if any weakness might be holding them back.
Quality of Work
Sometimes the entrepreneur will produce work that’s less than stellar – producing and keeping things moving is more important than perfection. The employee, however, strives for perfection. They’re measured against it and producing substandard work will not deliver a pay increase. Franchisees do a masterful job of threading the needle: making decisions on a daily basis about what needs to be “kept moving” and what needs to be delivered with perfection. They know that the customer-facing activities need the perfection-focus as this is what drives their results.
Employees tend to be specialists, doing one focused set of things better than anyone else in the organization. Entrepreneurs are generalists, applying an impressive talent for competency across a broad spectrum of activities, both strategic and tactical. This describes the franchisee: business owners with the strategic insights to serve their market and the hutzpah to get their hands dirty whenever its required.
I agree with the assessments of differing character traits between employee, entrepreneur and franchisee, but in my experience the franchisee is the more valuable ally.
KANDY is a brand that relies on the myriad and different strengths of its franchise partners to nurture, develop the business in local communities, deliver on our core values and provide excellent customer experience. And I’m proud to have them on board.