Why is a Franchise Sometimes Called a “Business in a Box”?

Kim Daly Coach's Corner, Vlog

I bet you’ve heard of a franchise business referred to as “business in a box.” A franchise is absolutely a turnkey model, but when it comes to execution, it’s just not that cut-and-dry.

Here’s why the phrase “business in a box” is so misleading!

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A franchise is a proven turnkey business model, but it is not business in a box! If you were to open a toy that came with instructions for how to build the toy, you would follow the instructions line-by-line-by-line. People think that is exactly what you do in a franchise business and that’s all that’s required to be successful in a franchise business. But if it were that easy, EVERY franchise business would be successful!

So, what’s missing? What additional ingredient is needed in that box to make a business successful? Four things: dreams, goals, plans, execution of those plans. A business requires a leader. A business is a living, breathing thing that has to adapt and overcome and change. It has to change with the market, adapt to the competition, and adapt to the times. Those adaptations require leadership, not just by the parent franchisor, but also by the franchisee.

A franchise business is a business in a box in terms of paying a fee and having instant access to that ready-made business plan and the toolbox of the marketing, the training, the technology, and the support. However, the execution of that toolbox is not that cut-and-dry. This is where the owner comes into play. Nobody can tell you how much money you’re going to make in the business because you are the biggest factor in determining the success of your business, the support. It’s not a one and done. You’re going to get trained in the beginning and execute your business. But you’re going to need further training because the business will change and grow, as well as you in terms of support.

As you grow and develop into the role of being a business owner, you may need less support, you may need more support, which is why it is misleading to think that a franchise business is only a business in a box.

Entrepreneurs can thrive in franchise ownership if they are partnered with the right franchisor that gives them enough of a proven business plan and track record of success, but also enough freedom to make that plan their own. Franchisees are not stuck in a box! Franchisees are given the playbook on which to execute, but it’s up to them to put their center of influence on that business and breathe life into the business; that’s why in a franchise system, you have average-performing franchisees, above average-performing franchisees, and even struggling franchisees.

If it were truly business in a box, and every single owner opens the box and follows the instructions, they wouldn’t have varying levels of success. You wouldn’t have happy and unhappy franchise owners. Everybody would see the same results. Why do we have happy and unhappy owners? Because a “business in a box” doesn’t determine their own success. Business owners determine their own success by having clear, specific goals and following that plan, making the plan their own. They ask for help when they need it, rather than trying to figure it out on their own. In franchising, we use the expression that you’re in business for yourself, but not by yourself. Franchising is not business in a box because we can’t fit on a box!

A franchise allows the average person, who’s never owned a business before, feel very confident to say yes to their dream to own a business and go on to live the life of their dreams. I know it because I’ve created so many millionaires through franchising.

A franchise is a business in a box because it also allows an investor to diversify their business portfolio, but to not have to spend full time hours, even from day one, in this business. A franchise is business in a box because it allows anyone who desires to own a business to find an opportunity that they can take and make their own. But a franchise is so much more than a business in a box. To call it business in a box is really misleading because a business is a living, breathing, dynamic environment that requires leadership, that requires people, to make it successful. If you feel stuck in your corporate box, franchising could provide a way for you to bust out of that box, but not to be stuck in another box.

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