To create awareness that franchises are as much small business as the ones owned by Moms & Pops across America, I suggest using the hashtags #ShopSmall #ShopFranchise in line with each other on any and all social media activity during Small Business Saturday by American Express. To assist, I’m sharing some graphics below that can be used in these efforts. In addition to utilizing them please LIKE and SHARE whenever and wherever you see them on others’ social media before, during and after the event. It is very important franchising be recognized as a cornerstone of small business and a vital component to continued economic recovery. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.
Many people ask me why I am so passionate about franchising and it’s (minimized) participation in Small Business Saturday by American Express. Well, the reason is that there is still confusion as to what many perceive about franchising and that franchises are all big business.
McDonald’s comes to mind as the typical franchise with large marketing budgets, and even there, the perception, as related to me a couple of years ago by American Express executives was that the McDonald’s parent company pays for all marketing and that in and of itself creates a huge advantage for McDonald’s franchisees over local businesses. Obviously, this is totally off-course and couldn’t be further from the truth.
In any event, franchising has made some progress over the past few years as American Express is progressing in its efforts to allow franchises to participate in its Small Business Saturday program, but it still is not enough as franchise brands are limited to those with only 100 locations. To me, the number of locations is not relevant when determining whether or not a business is considered small business and a local business at that. It’s all about the individual location’s ownership. It’s about the investment made by the owner. it’s about the risk taken to pursue the American Dream of business ownership. What is still being missed is that there are thousands upon thousands of individuals that own franchises across our great Nation that are basically in the same position as any Mom & Pop operator up and down Main Street, USA. Yet, the majority are excluded from participating in Small Business Saturday events.
Please help make a difference and encourage everyone you know to shop at franchises AND independent businesses on Small Business Saturday and each time they make a purchase at a franchise to let American Express know by using hashtag #ShopSmall in their social media activities along with the hashtag #ShopFranchise. For instance: #ShopSmall #ShopFranchise. We must continue to let American Express know that franchises are small business, too.
Below please find links to various posts that reference this ongoing debate with most recent at the top.
11/24/12 Franchising Not [Completely] Respected by American Express!
11/29/11 AMEX Reassessing Policies for Small Business Saturday
11/26/11 Franchises Excluded from Small Business Saturday – AMEX Responds!
11/25/11 Was Franchising Slapped in the Face by American Express by Accident?
11/21/11 Franchising Excluded from AMEX Small Business Saturday Events!
This Saturday, November 26th is the 2nd Annual American Express Small Business Saturday. Most likely you have seen advertising and promotions for the event. Possibly you’ve seen the event’s Facebook page that has over 2.3 million LIKES. If you spend as much time online as I have you, then you have definitely seen promo after promo mentioning the event.
Well, franchising, supposedly the cornerstone of small business and as many claim, the driving force behind economic recovery in America, has been excluded from the event. Here’s the AMEX notice…
ELIGIBILITY: The Program is only available to independently owned businesses. Small business cannot promote any of the following: pharmaceuticals, drugs, politics, pornography or sexual aids, diet aids, gambling, liquor, tobacco, firearms/weapons, or any sensitive topic with respect to current events, and any such small businesses are not eligible for this Program. Franchisees, national chains and government agencies are not eligible. By participating in this Program, you represent and warrant that (i) your business complies with the requirements set forth herein and (ii) you are the owner of the business and have the right to participate in this Program.
Yet, American Express heavily solicits franchise brands and franchisees to accept the American Express Card. And, as we all know, at a higher rate than that of Visa and MasterCard. Not to mention the fact that American Express typically exhibits at franchise conferences and trade shows where they promote AMEX Merchant Services. Besides, aren’t franchise locations independently owned and operated?
At the very least, franchisees should be able to participate locally even if franchise brands are prohibited from participating at the national level!
So, do you believe American Express was correct in excluding franchise brands and franchisees from Small Business Saturday? What are your thoughts?