This is first a series of five blog posts on the top reasons I’ve seen franchisees fail.  

There’s no substitute for hard work – Thomas Edison.

I often hear from franchisees that one of the main reasons they have decided to purchase a franchise business is "all the support I am going to receive from the franchisor." The franchisor has the system, the brand, the marketing plan and the experience, right?

I am here to tell you that these beliefs are often not the truth. Many franchisees I’ve represented have been sorely disappointed about the lack of support and assistance they have received from a franchisor. Often though it’s not the franchisor’s fault. After all, many franchisors never really promise support or assistance in their franchise disclosure documents and franchise agreements. So how in the world do franchisees get the impression that they’ll have a leg up on starting their business?

Well, the franchise industry has done a terrific job of marketing itself. There are many success stories in franchising and it truly is a wonderful business model for franchise owners if executed correctly. Consider this quote from Wikipedia on franchising with a little emphasis from me:

Franchising is the practice of using another firm’s successful business model.

The issue is that all franchisors are not created equal. There’s no guarantee that the franchisor has developed a successful business model. In fact, many franchise business models are not successful at all. The truth is many franchises out on the market may have no real system, no brand recognition, no marketing plan or perhaps even little to no business experience with the franchise owners.

So that makes the initial decision on which franchise to choose so critical. Don’t get sucked in by hype. At the end of the day, regardless of the franchise, it is so important to remember:


Don’t get into the mindset that you’ll receive a turnkey operation that will run itself. You will need to work your tail off to make your franchise operations work. If you don’t, you are almost sure to fail. Unfortunately, I’ve seen way too many people who didn’t understand this before they buy a franchise. Franchising does not guarantee success. Studies have shown that franchises fail at about the same rate as independent businesses. Don’t automatically assume that just because a business has franchised that it is successful, or that the franchise can create success for you. Because at the end of the day your success will most assuredly rest upon your shoulders.