IndFAs and 'I'm all right Jack'
I struggle to understand what the hell will ‘light a fire' under franchisees regarding the importance of the insurance that an IndFA offers. Lets face it; not everyone reads BMM or Les Stewart's ‘Franchise Fool' or any of the other websites that offer insight into the real world of franchising.
‘I'm all right Jack' is Aussie slang for an expression of selfish complacency on the part of the speaker; one who only selfishly looks after his own interests.
It doesn't work to just ask franchisees to join an IndFA because it is a good idea and insurance to maintain a reasonably effective relationship with the franchisor or even when things are looking pretty bad in a franchise system. You will always get some that will understand the value but the majority, whether in a healthy or troubled franchise network and even across the entire franchise industry, are not motivated if they don't have a problem of their own. ‘I'm all right Jack'.
I was in a franchise system where I had ‘vocal' support from between 50% and 80% of franchisees at varying times and yet when it came down to the crunch I was left with a handful that were prepared to be active and to put their hand in their pocket.
In the first year of attempting to coordinate franchisees my telephone bill went up by $5,000 while franchisees were going broke all over the country. This was in the Midas Australia system where you would think that the need was indisputable and yet the result was useless. So I had to sit back and watch complacent franchisees disappear after suffering substantial or total loss while I received the occasional threat and some very insulting emails from ‘I'm all right Jack' franchisees that were to permanently damage my delicate nature. And all but 4 went out of that system backwards where the body count ended at more than 190. A number of my abusers were to eventually contact me for help. No winners here. And no IndFA.
This Midas example of franchising need is far from unique so you would have to believe that others have been down the same path for similar results.
I would suggest that the 2 greatest challenges facing franchisees everywhere are 1) pre-entry education and 2) the establishment of effective franchisee associations that could be expected to add some balance to abuses of the power imbalance between franchisees and franchisors - within a system or from an industry perspective where franchisor representative bodies dominate political lobbying.
I would like to hear from Franchisee Associations and BMM contributors; my question - how do you get the franchisee community to understand the need for effective Franchisee Associations?
'I'm all right Jack' is at the heart of problems facing franchising.