Is a Bigger Franchise Brand Always Better?

Are Large Franchises Better Than Small Franchises?Are-Large-Franchises-Better-Than-Small-OnesMost people associate franchising with big - really big - brands like McDonald's, Dunkin' Donuts, Subway, Pizza Hut, and all the other world-dominating chains you're no doubt accustomed to seeing everywhere you go.

But is a big franchise system necessarily better than a smaller one?

It's only natural to think so: the whole point of franchising a company is to grow in the most economically efficient way possible. And, all things being equal, a large franchise system is more likely to have been in business longer than a smaller competitor, meaning there are probably fewer questions that might remain unanswered about the brand's long-term viability.

But for an individual prospective franchisee evaluating their investment in a franchise business, it's critical to step back and examine both the pros and cons of big franchises before making any decision.

Benefits of Large Franchise Brands:

  • A valuable brand and a proven operating system are firmly set in place.
  • Consumer awareness and attitudes about the brand are well-known.
  • Numerous franchisees are available to offer practical answers based on years of experience.
  • Dependability - you know what you're getting.
  • Less uncertainty due to the large amount of information available about the organization.
  • Less risk - all the bugs have long since been worked out of the system.
  • Strong capitalization to support the brand, large-scale advertising, and support.

Drawbacks of Large Franchise Brands:

  • It's often difficult for new, unproved operators to get approval to open new units.
  • Buying an existing unit may mean buying someone else's troubles.
  • The bigger the system, the more rules are imposed on franchisees.
  • Operators often feel more like employees than independent entrepreneurs.
  • Competition to buy into a big system is tremendous. As a potential franchisee, just getting a big franchisor's attention can be a challenge.
  • Conformity is favored over innovation, creativity, and independence.
  • Bigger often means slower and less responsive to needs and concerns of individual operators.

Big or small, a good franchisor cares about the success of its franchisees. When shopping for a franchise, don't make any assumptions based on the size of the organization. Take the time to check out all the options and choose the best opportunity for your particular situation and circumstance.

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