A Brief History of Franchising

Like most things American, its origins can be found in Europe. The word Franchise comes from ancient French language and means holder of a privilege or right. In the middle ages what we now know as a franchisee would run a toll bridge, operate a ferry or run a market.

During the 1800’s German ale makers would grant franchisees to ale houses to sell their beer. This was the basis that the American Franchise was based on. In 1851 Albert Singer of the Singer Sewing machine company started the first modern Franchise.

Franchisors of the 1800 and 1900’s were great pioneers communicating their message with live training sessions and detailed transcripts of their business. With today’s technology things have never been easier for a Franchisee. Here's just a few examples:

  • Video training
  • Email support
  • Instantly downloadable documents
  • 24/7 Call handling support
  • Bookkeeping programmes that instantly do what use to be 4 weeks work finding the businesses weak spot
  • Social Networking, Free moving picture advertisement platforms.
  • Cheap rent
  • Available labour
  • The opportunity to recruit some great team members who have been let go from great positions
  • Business Coaches
  • Free internet support from some of the best business minds in the world

… You have never had it so good!

Or have you? Because if you are not getting this how can you keep up with the market place. Because being a paying Franchisee or not these options are pretty much available to the consumer, let alone small independents or worse still the competition. Today’s world is more of a level playing field than it ever has been, and the rewards for over achievement have never been more disproportionate.

An over achieving business can reap massive rewards all over the world almost instantly while at the same time a business that only five years ago would have been outstanding can find itself achieving results that it feels are well below expectation.

A small decision or small change in policy from a business owner today can result in such big change both positively and negatively in their business, that they cannot be taken lightly or without sound research or advice before hand. Businesses should be monitoring every aspect of their business including its structures, policies and systems. Reviewing if those aspects of their business are operating as well as they should. As a business becomes more successful and grows its weaknesses are highlighted and tend to become the area where the business is thrown into crisis. The later a business owner leaves reviewing each department the more likely he is to run into big issues further down the line.