Over the many years (25 or so) that I have personally spent in the franchise industry I have seen many changes but it’s also true that some things have remained remarkably consistent, none more so than the appeal of a new franchisor launching their own franchise. It is true that there is some risk associated with anything “new” but provided the first initial franchisees do sufficient due diligence then the risk is lowered. And in any event there are no guarantees that a franchisor who has been at it for years is profitable and stable anyway!! There are some key reasons that I like new franchisors and if I was a franchisee myself these would be the main things that would appeal to me…. in no particular order then:
Over delivery: The first new franchisees are often the most important franchisees that the franchisor will take on. When I am advising new brands I usually always encourage that they over deliver to the new franchisees in order that their businesses grow faster and become established quicker. You might wonder why? Well, any franchisor who wants to become a national brand will need the positive endorsement of it’s trading franchisees when other potential franchise investors take up reference from them and if a franchisor only has a small number in place (as all new franchisors have) then it is critical that they are singing like canaries about how well it is going.
Often better support: It is likely that when a new franchisor appoints the first franchisees that more senior members of staff are assisting them, and in the case of small privately owned franchisors it is not unusual that the founder and key Directors are coaching the new franchisee. This is rarely the case when there are 50 trading franchisees!
Lower price: A new franchise brand is often discounted to incentivise the first franchisees on board.
Better deal: Over the years I have seen bigger areas granted, more marketing included and generally a better package for the first franchisees than the last!!
Further opportunities: The longest serving franchisees often have other opportunities to support and train other newbies, attend franchise exhibitions and sometimes even join the franchisor in a formal capacity.
I meet many new franchisees who are afraid of joining a new franchisor but in my experience there is usually more to worry about in an old brand rather than a new one!