Choosing the right franchise business opportunity means looking at your skills and interests, the resources you have available and the financial goals you hope to accomplish through the franchise, and the specific systems and strengths of the opportunities you’re considering.
You should also consider your values.
Some of the biggest struggles business owners have revolve around ethical dilemmas. It can be difficult to allow yourself to be as successful as you could be if you have an ethical dilemma with the way your franchise does business. Certainly, you can expect any franchise you sign with to follow the law, but there are other issues that can be a matter of conscience.
For example, take Aussie Pet Mobile, a traveling pet grooming business. The idea behind Aussie Pet Mobile is that you go out to your customer’s locations to groom their pets, allowing them more free time to do other things while still caring for the needs of their pets. It’s a fun and “feel good” atmosphere. The franchisors really care a lot about doing well by customers and by their franchisees, as a testimonial on our Aussie Pet Mobile profile page shows.
Aussie Pet Mobile cares about the welfare of animals as well as the environment and uses environmentally and animal friendly processes to care for all their customers’ pets. From pet grooming products that don’t harm the environment to solar panels, Aussie Pet Mobile franchises goes the extra mile. This should be reassuring to those who are worried about environmental issues as well as for those who are concerned about animal welfare.
Animal welfare and ecology may not be the issues that are top of mind for you, and dog grooming may not be your thing, but this example points out the kinds of things that allow you to align a franchise with your core values.
Certainly, the way you feel about your work can be affected by ethical concerns, but there can be direct consequences if you don’t realize ahead of time that you might have ethical issues. If you take on a dry cleaning franchise and are unwilling to work with furs, or you buy into a vending machine business and feel uncomfortable stocking sugary snacks where kids hang out, you could easily find yourself at odds with your franchisor.
Other concerns you might have:
- ethical sourcing of products, since many franchises dictate the products their franchises must use
- use of ingredients in a food franchise which you might consider healthy or unhealthy
- hiring practices and working conditions
- worker and customer safety, apart from legal requirements
- other labor issues, since franchises might have policies which affect your relationships with your workers
- openness about information, since franchisees will often have information which the franchisor considers proprietary and will be required to use discretion
- advertising and other marketing practices, since you may need to support group marketing efforts
Be sure to ask questions about the issues that matter to you when you talk with your potential franchisors to make sure you don’t meet unpleasant surprises down the road. When you speak with other franchisees of a potential franchise, be sure to ask what kinds of issues they encountered that they had a difficult time deciding about and what types of ethical or moral issues they’ve encountered as franchisees.