One of the benefits of being part of a franchise system is having a path set out for you. But one of the benefits of business ownership is being able to do things your own way. Is that even possible within a franchise system? Short answer: yes! There are ways to be creative even within franchise systems.
Many large franchise systems conduct large-scale, national advertising campaigns. But individual franchise owners are often left in charge of their local advertising efforts. You know what will work best in your own community. You can utilize regional slang, familiar references and shared local history to promote your business. With franchising, you have the opportunity to make it happen. Although you might not be an advertising pro, you can work with creative advertising agencies who will help bring your vision to life.
Franchisors do have some say on what products you sell in your franchise location. It’s a way to ensure consistency across the organization. But there may be some flexibility within certain franchise systems. For example, the owners of a clothing franchise may get to choose what items they will stock for the upcoming season based on the trends of their specific store. It makes sense; what sells in Florida during the winter will likely differ from what sells during a New York winter.
Restaurant franchises also tend to have some creative license when it comes to their menu items. In addition to being able to choose from the franchisor’s list of products, some franchise owners create their own items. Of course this depends on what is in the franchise disclosure document, but it does happen. In fact, the Big Mac was created by a McDonald’s franchise owner. Established franchise systems know that their franchise owners are their greatest resource when it comes to product and service feedback. Franchise councils are a great place to present ideas for new products to your franchisor and fellow franchise owners.
As a franchise owner, you get to hire your own staff. While experience is an important quality to look for, creative thinking can be a valuable skill for your employees. Creative thinkers might see the world a little differently than you and the rest of the team. This makes them exceptional problem solvers; they find the solutions that are outside the box.
Creative staff members are certainly assets if your franchise is part of a creative industry, such as children’s entertainment. But creative skills are an asset to franchisees in all industries. Creatives might create the front window display that draws people into your franchise boutique or store. Or maybe they write emails that your travel agency clients really respond to. Or maybe they are the first to adopt cutting-edge techniques in your salon. These uses of creativity make you stand out from competitors and are all possible within franchise systems.
Creativity is both expression and a business asset. And it can work in many ways, even within a franchise system. If you have questions about how much creative license you have in your specific franchise system, ask your franchise business consultant and get those creative juices flowing!