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How to avoid the franchisee struggle

leadership multi-unit franchising profit Nov 24, 2021
How to avoid the franchisee struggle

You were excited about investing your savings into a franchise so that you could have the financial and time freedom you have wished. Even though you didn’t have experience, you thought that buying a franchise would give you everything you needed to be successful. But then, you open your first unit and the struggle begins. Sounds familiar?

Running a franchise is not as easy as many people think. After my 30 plus years of experience in this industry, I have detected the three most common reasons why franchisees struggle with their business, listed above from bad to worse. 

If you are about to invest in a franchise, take note of these topics to avoid conflict. If you are already finding it difficult, follow my recommendations to ease the pain.

Reason #3: The wrong franchise

There are different levels and types of franchisees. I categorize them in:

  • Startup franchises. These are the ones that have a handful of units and feel ready to start selling the rights for their brand.
  • Emerging franchises. They are already franchising and growing in their business, most likely, within a state or a little region in the country.
  • Growing franchises. They have units in multiple states and are considered regional brands.
  • Mature franchises. Or how I call them, “the big boys”, have a national or even international presence.

Beware! The level of maturity does not presume how good or bad a franchise is. There are great brands in all of the stages, but it’s important to understand what it means to belong to a big network versus a new one, and everything in between. 

Want to grow as a multi-unit franchisee? Learn here the first step you need to begin your journey.

Having the wrong franchise doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not a good brand; maybe it’s just not the right one for you. If for example, you don’t like cooking then buying a food service franchise it’s not ideal because you’ll be resisting getting your hands dirty, learning the know-how, and your everyday work. 

Once you have the franchise, you've got to be fully emerged and learn all the details so that you can operate, or delegate, to be able to grow and succeed with the brand. That’s why it’s important to love what you are doing and to look for your best fit.

Reason #2: The wrong location

The location has critical importance when it comes to the success of your business. And since most franchise stores don’t choose the location for you, or even help you find it, you should really pay attention to the selection process. 

Find a local real estate agent or investigate and analyze the demographics of the potential store by yourself to figure out if it will be a good location or not. Once you do your research, you’ll have to submit the information to the franchisor, who can either approve or reject your decision.

There are many characteristics that you need to evaluate: if it has sufficient parking spaces, enough visibility, and access roads, just to name a few.

Many things can go wrong when you have the wrong location, and unfortunately, they cannot be compensated by having an amazing brand or great business management systems. Yes, you’ll have sales but you won’t be able to reach the level that that brand can have in your area.

Reason #1: Lack of business management systems

This is the most common reason why franchisees struggle. Without these disciplined systems and procedures, you’ll be unable to delegate operations, and therefore, you’ll be working day in and day out, 24/7. You’ll become an employee of your business rather than the leader and you won’t be able to perform how you should to have success.

To make sure you become the great leader your organization needs, review here the roles of the multi-unit franchise leader. 

You also won’t be able to maximize your profits even if you have a great brand and a great location. Yes, sales and revenue are going to come, but maybe not profitability. The worst part is you won’t be able to grow into a multi-unit franchise, which is the model that will allow you to truly obtain financial and time freedom.

You might think that because you have a franchise you have a solid business. But here’s the big secret in the franchise world: when you buy a franchise, what you are acquiring is the right to operate a proven brand and its product, service, image, and marketing. What you're not getting the processes of how to manage the business and make the most of your investment. In order to do that you require what I call “the TIPS”: 

  • T is for Team: how to hire the best people, keep them longer and motivate them.
  • I is for Income: how to manage the sales so you can grow year over year.
  • P is for Profit: how to manage your controllable costs to make the most money.
  • S is for Systems: all the processes you need to scale into a multi-unit organization.

How can you minimize all of these struggles? Reach out to us at The American Franchise Academy. We help franchisees become successful by giving them business tips, tools and resources through our masterclasses, programs, and our video blogs on our YouTube channel. I’m sure that if you are struggling with your franchise, together we’ll be able to turn things around. You are not alone; we are here for you!

Get more information on how we can help you achieve your goals here.


  • Why are struggling with your franchise?
  • Are you the leader of your business or a 24/7 employee? 
  • How much are you able to delegate your operations?
  • If you could do the acquiring process once again, would you choose the same franchise brand? Why yes or why not?