The role of innovation and entrepreneurship in franchising

The British Library defines an entrepreneur as passionate, innovative, persistent, resourceful, disciplined and prepared to take risks.

And while it is perceived that the franchise industry does not enable business owners to be entrepreneurial, demonstrating these characteristics are imperative when building a successful franchise.

With so many closing the door on the franchise industry over concern that they would not be able to use their entrepreneurial flair, it should be known that franchises today in fact widely encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.

Here, Chris Wootton, the Managing Director of Poppies, discusses the role of innovation in franchising and how the modern franchisee must possess key entrepreneurial characteristics to be successful.

Franchisees have more opportunities to flourish

The risk of failure in franchising is much lower compared to going into business on your own as your franchise is based on a proven model.  

Franchisees are therefore given more opportunity to flourish and can shape their business in a way that suits them, as opposed to focusing on constructing the fine details that may divert their attention from the bigger picture.

Often overlooked, franchisees take an incredible amount of pride in their ownership – similar to a standalone business, expenditures and personal sacrifices are made when launching a franchise. This investment alone implies the strong commitment they have to a brand – it is in their best interests, as much as the franchisor’s, to streamline and innovate to stay relevant and ahead of the curve to achieve the successes desired.

And these successes come in all shapes and sizes. Whether they have ‘world domination’ or simply a healthy work-life balance in mind, franchisees will stop at nothing to achieve their goals, while in tandem, improving the franchise experience for the rest of the network.

In today’s market, it is imperative for franchisors to give their franchisees regular opportunities to practice autonomy and take control of their business. Entrepreneurs regularly join the franchise industry to eliminate risks involved with start-up businesses, but still desire freedom to innovate and streamline to make their franchise work perfectly for them.

Franchising does not work without an innovative network

Regardless of the nature and industry of the franchise, implementing and encouraging innovations are promising methods of gaining competitive advantage over other brands.

One way of achieving this is by giving franchisees the tools required to maximise their potential while helping identify what may need to be improved upon. Regularly reviewing business models and finer operational details within a franchise, and ensuring a franchise network is given an equal opportunity to contribute, not only helps your franchise to stay relevant, but helps a business stay one step ahead of competition.

From franchisor to the staff who deliver a franchise’s services, a franchise brand is driven by innovation and growth within the network. Everyone that joins a franchise brings a fresh outlook and experience which may be the beginning of an exciting new chapter for a brand.

Franchising allows companies to saturate markets before their competitors can respond, and one way this is achieved is by co-operating, sharing ideas and moving forward together as a network.

Franchisors need an entrepreneurial network now more than ever

It is no secret that the pandemic and other events of the last few years significantly changed what people are looking for when entering a new career. With control, freedom and a tailored career path being top priorities, it has never been more important for franchisors to offer those benefits while maintaining the security and structure of a franchise business model.

But this benefits all parties, with research showing that entrepreneurial behaviours by franchisees benefit the operations of a franchise and its network. Regularly practicing, celebrating and encouraging innovation across a network is imperative to stand out in today’s saturated business scape.

Whether it is the cleaning industry, hospitality, education or any other service provider, consumers thrive off the knowledge that their choice of provider is offering something new.

Entrepreneurship in franchising has long been practiced, and it is certainly an evergreen element to building a successful franchise offering. Like all businesses, success relies heavily on refreshing and revitalising business operations to meet the demands of consumers. Whether their goal is to strike a desirable work-life balance, achieve significant financial success or expand at a rate that suits them, innovation and entrepreneurship are the routes to franchisee success in an industry that is significantly growing in demand and constantly evolving.

Poppies gives franchisees the opportunity to feed innovative and progressive ideas back to head office, which allows us to test or pilot the idea within the franchise model.

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