There is a cake shop down the street that I love for any special occasion treat. The cake is so yummy and moist. And it is a franchise. So I was visiting my parents who were having a party, needed a cake and I suggested the franchise. There was one close by and what do you know - I still got that yummy cake that I love.
Franchising is great for many industries. In order to franchise a model, you have to prove that the model works. So it isn't like you can just open up a franchising business without some sort of numbers to back it up. I can really see the benefit of franchising from a customer stand point. I walk into a franchise and it should be consistent with the brand and the product.
But what about franchising therapy? I am really struggling with this one. Don't get me wrong...I am open to hearing opinions on this but I am a bit concerned about franchising your therapy practice. And here is why:
- Their marketing to attract therapists is pretty fear based. I believe in speaking to the pain of your ideal client, but I don't believe in inflaming fear. I believe it takes a lifetime to grow as a business owner - not because the task is daunting but because we change, the needs of our clients change and our world changes - we have to be innovative to respond to the needs around us. It would be boring if that weren't the case. Just as I am constantly growing as a human being so am I growing as a business owner. I believe we are capable of learning what we need to grow a business.
- The easy way isn't always easy. The idea of someone creating your business model and handing it over to you so you can just do your therapy thing may seem nice. But I got into my own business to have my own freedom and autonomy. I don't really want the structure from someone else. I can see the appeal to therapists. I think it would just be hard to conform to someone else's brand and not my own.
- Which brings me to my next point, you can replicate the business structure but you cannot replicate the experience of therapy with a person. That is what makes our businesses so unique. Instead of being the cake shop that gets its batter from the same distributors as all the other franchisees...we all have our own special recipe.
- There are no guarantees or get out of jail cards. As much as I would LOVE to say do xyz and always, everywhere, everyone will get the same result - business building just isn't that way. A franchise can get you the paperwork, do your billing and all that fun jazz but you still have to do work on managing the business. Don't think buying a franchise means you get an "out" of running the business. I am reminded of a friend that owned a franchise that hired me to help him with his marketing, because there was a limit to what the franchise provided. He still had to learn something new, even with his cutting edge franchise team.
Like I said, it will be interesting to see what happens. I believe there is room for all of us in this field to be wildly successful. Franchising is a new trend we are starting to see in our industry. So regardless of what you decide to do, I want you to remember....
- Work is still work. You just get to choose how you do it.
- You are more capable than you believe you are. (Just ask our business school bootcampers)
- You will never stop learning and growing (I hope!).