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, including myself, refer to franchising as an industry… even though we know it’s really not an industry. A business model is probably one of the better definitions, but what does that really mean?
When referring to a franchise, even many within franchising choose from a variety of terms as a point of reference – franchise organization, franchise system, franchise company.
Of course, there’s also the varying terms relating to the franchise relationship – franchisee, franchise partner and not to mention the slang, zee. And to the other side of the relationship – franchisor, head office, corporate office, parent company… and yes, zor.
And what’s the difference between franchisor and franchiser?
And, franchise locations are independently owned and operated. Yet, the franchise relationship is interdependent… or at least it should be interdependent and not dependent or independent upon… Well, you get it, right?
Now let’s look at the people serving the franchise community. Yep, franchise community is another reference for the franchise list above but let’s move on. Franchise consultants, do they sell or consult? How about franchise brokers, sales agents, sales representatives, and again, franchise consultants. Whew!
Moving down the chain there are franchise suppliers, service providers and vendors… What’s the difference? Preferred or approved? Is there really a difference?
Of course, there are references to segments within franchising such as master franchising and sub-franchising… Which one is correct? And, isn’t the sub-franchisor actually the master franchisee? I guess it all depends on which end of the relationship one is on.
How about now – confused yet?
Franchise services means what, and providing services to who? Franchisee to end-user? Franchisor to franchisee? Franchise service provider to franchisor and/or franchisee?
Same can be said of franchise marketing, right? Does marketing in a B2B or B2C scenario but within a franchise environment mean that it’s franchise marketing? Or, is franchise marketing actually marketing to franchise candidates?
Speaking about franchise candidates, when is a candidate actually a candidate and not a lead or just an interested party? Does this fall under franchise sales or franchise development? And who’s in charge – the VP of Franchise Sales, VP of Franchise Development, or VP of Franchising?
And then there’s reference to franchise professionals. Is a franchisee a franchise professional? How about if the franchisee is a multi-unit franchisee with 25 locations? How about a franchise attorney? Franchise service provider?
If a franchise executive is a franchise professional, at what level of management does one begin to be considered a franchise professional? How about within the franchise organization itself? Secretary, if their support is purely administrative as opposed to an admin that actually communicates with franchisees?
Oh, and should the CEO of a franchise company be considered a franchisor as we often refer to them as such at franchise events?
Ironic how franchising is the replicating of a system with focus on consistency in image, appearance, product and service from one location to another. Yet, there’s little consistency in the terminology used to define many aspects of franchising.
Yes, today is Small Business Saturday and I urge you to support local business everywhere. That being said, please remember that franchises are small businesses as well, and are locally owned and operated. Unfortunately, despite efforts to educate American Express about franchising, they still found it necessary to place limitations on franchising’s involvement by excluding franchises with over 100 locations.
I’m concerned about the local franchisees of BrightStar Care, Rita’s Italian Ice, Red Mango, Nothing Bundt Cakes or of the many other franchise brands whose franchisees invested their hard earned money and savings to develop a business in their local area, just like the Mom & Pop proprietors have done. A small business is a small business. Period.
Franchising is very much small business and AMEX would certainly have a different opinion if all franchises stopped taking the American Express Card! Yes, please visit and support local businesses, including franchise locations, but as a true sign of support for ALL small business owners, about your American Express Card, please do leave home without it!
And, it’s not like American Express wasn’t made aware of franchising’s role in small business.
Last year I wrote numerous articles and actually had multiple phone calls with senior executives at AMEX. All appeared to be on track for including franchising in Small Business Saturdays. I even followed up with phone calls mid-summer to make certain last year’s debacle wasn’t repeated. I was assured all was in order, that they did their research and yes, franchising would be well-represented in this year’s Small Business Saturday event. Well, shame on me for following up, but not following through. You can be assured that will not happen again.
Here are links to last year’s articles which I will build upon for 2013…