You can expand your business at a very fast pace in many different ways. Franchising is one of those ways. It has become a popular method that has been embraced worldwide. What happens is that you use another person’s business philosophy after paying for the rights to use it. The franchiser will grant you the rights to make money by distributing its products, trademarks and techniques. They get a certain percentage of your gross monthly income as well as a royalty fee. Can you franchise your own business? Well, it will depend on how your business operates. If your products are unique or can be replicated then you can do better with a franchise.
Does Franchising Make Sense?
Franchising a business sounds like a good way to expand, it’s not right for all business. Your business should be profitable and your business model must be a model that can be duplicated successfully. It should also be a model that can return an adequate return for the franchisee.
If you are a new startup, in most cases, franchising doesn’t work. Due to the fact that franchising a business will require you to supply materials, office supplies, and business plans, in most cases, new startups are not in a position to franchise their business model.
Do you know how your business operates precisely? As a franchisee you will require the exact details to get your business running. Although it takes long, planning will help your business operate smoothly particularly if you decide to franchise it. As a franchisor you should ensure that you have an operations manual that clearly spells out your detailed policies as well as best practices.
Get Legal Advice
If you want to franchise your business you will require some legal advice. There are some important points of franchise law you should familiarize yourself with. You will also need to fill out documents such as the franchise disclosure document with the help of an attorney.
Some processes like setting price, creating a franchise agreement as well as determining intellectual property protection can’t be done in the right manner without the help of an experienced attorney.
Develop Your Franchise Model
Most people are familiar with the traditional model of franchising a location. There are many different types of franchise models available. Here are the most common:
Business Format Model - This is the most common type of franchising model. In this type of franchise, a company expands by supplying independent business owners with an established business, including its name and trademark.
Manufacturing - In this model, a franchiser grants a manufacturer the right to produce and sell goods using its name and trademark.
Product Franchising - In this agreement, manufacturers allow retailers to distribute their products and to use their names and trademarks.
Some other important decisions you will need to make are whether your franchise is going to charge a franchise fee or a royalty percentage, the geographical locations of the franchises and how you will market them.
Choose Your Franchisee Wisely
When choosing franchisees you should be extremely careful. You will find a lot of people with capital and you will have to be very careful again to determine if they are the right kind of people. Check their background to find out if they have the ability to successfully run the business. These people will be representing you and they have to do so accordingly. Your main reason for franchising your business is to protect and grow it. Come up with an interviewing procedure so that you end up working with only the people that meet the standards you have set.
Grow and Protect Your Business
Your brand is your most valuable asset and as a franchisor you should work hard to grow and protect it as much as possible. You have worked very hard to earn your brand a good reputation. The biggest risk when it comes to franchising is that you give other people the opportunity to represent your brand.
Ensure that you have laid out guidelines that will control the usage of brand assets. Some people may take advantage and use your brand assets inappropriately if you haven’t laid down such guidelines. Nobody should take advantage and use your brand assets inappropriately or without your authority.
To be successful ensure that you monitor pictures, videos and social media outlets regularly and in a detailed manner.
Offer Support to Your Franchisees
You will have to meet your franchisees personally or talk to them every now and then via the phone or online. Do everything you can to motivate them when they have made an achievement. Share with them important information and also make sure that they have a way to communicate with one another.
This article was first published on StartUp Mindset.
Women in the workplace have always experienced a certain degree of discrimination from male colleagues, and according to new studies, it appears that it is becoming even more difficult for women to get acclimated to modern day work environments, in wake of the #MeToo Movement.
In a recent study conducted by LeanIn.org, in partnership with SurveyMonkey, 60% of male managers confessed to feeling uncomfortable engaging in social situations with women in and outside of the workplace. This includes interactions such as mentorships, meetings, and basic work activities. This statistic comes as a shocking 32% rise from 2018.
What appears the be the crux of the matter is that men are afraid of being accused of sexual harassment. While it is impossible to discredit this fear as incidents of wrongful accusations have taken place, the extent to which it has burgeoned is unacceptable. The #MeToo movement was never a movement against men, but an empowering opportunity for women to speak up about their experiences as victims of sexual harassment. Not only were women supporting one another in sharing to the public that these incidents do occur, and are often swept under the rug, but offered men insight into behaviors and conversations that are typically deemed unwelcomed and unwarranted.
Restricting interaction with women in the workplace is not a solution, but a mere attempt at deflecting from the core issue. Resorting to isolation and exclusion relays the message that if men can't treat women how they want, then they rather not deal with them at all. Educating both men and women on what behaviors are unacceptable while also creating a work environment where men and women are held accountable for their actions would be the ideal scenario. However, the impact of denying women opportunities of mentorship and productive one-on-one meetings hinders growth within their careers and professional networks.
Women, particularly women of color, have always had far fewer opportunities for mentorship which makes it impossible to achieve growth within their careers without them. If women are given limited opportunities to network in and outside of a work environment, then men must limit those opportunities amongst each other, as well. At the most basic level, men should be approaching female colleagues as they would approach their male colleagues. Striving to achieve gender equality within the workplace is essential towards creating a safer environment.
While restricted communication and interaction may diminish the possibility of men being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment, it creates a hostile
environment that perpetuates women-shaming and victim-blaming. Creating distance between men and women only prompts women to believe that male colleagues who avoid them will look away from or entirely discredit sexual harassment they experience from other men in the workplace. This creates an unsafe working environment for both parties where the problem at hand is not solved, but overlooked.
According to LeanIn's study, only 85% of women said they feel safe on the job, a 5% drop from 2018. In the report, Jillesa Gebhardt wrote, "Media coverage that is intended to hold aggressors accountable also seems to create a sense of threat, and people don't seem to feel like aggressors are held accountable." Unfortunately, only 16% of workers believed that harassers holding high positions are held accountable for their actions which inevitably puts victims in difficult, and quite possibly dangerous, situations. 50% of workers also believe that there are more repercussions for the victims than harassers when speaking up.
In a research poll conducted by Edison Research in 2018, 30% of women agreed that their employers did not handle harassment situations properly while 53% percent of men agreed that they did. Often times, male harassers hold a significant amount of power within their careers that gives them a sense of security and freedom to go forward with sexual misconduct. This can be seen in cases such as that of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and R. Kelly. Men in power seemingly have little to no fear that they will face punishment for their actions.
Source-Alex Brandon, AP
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive and founder of LeanIn.org., believes that in order for there to be positive changes within work environments, more women should be in higher positions. In an interview with CNBC's Julia Boorstin, Sandberg stated, "you know where the least sexual harassment is? Organizations that have more women in senior leadership roles. And so, we need to mentor women, we need to sponsor women, we need to have one-on-one conversations with them that get them promoted." Fortunately, the number of women in leadership positions are slowly increasing which means the prospect of gender equality and safer work environments are looking up.
Despite these concerning statistics, Sandberg does not believe that movements such as the Times Up and Me Too movements, have been responsible for the hardship women have been experiencing in the workplace. "I don't believe they've had negative implications. I believe they're overwhelmingly positive. Because half of women have been sexually harassed. But the thing is it is not enough. It is really important not to harass anyone. But that's pretty basic. We also need to not be ignored," she stated. While men may be feeling uncomfortable, putting an unrealistic amount of distance between themselves and female coworkers is more harmful to all parties than it is beneficial. Men cannot avoid working with women and vice versa. Creating such a hostile environment is also detrimental to any business as productivity and communication will significantly decrease.
The fear or being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment is a legitimate fear that deserves recognition and understanding. However, restricting interactions with women in the workplace is not a sensible solution as it can have negatively impact a woman's career. Companies are in need of proper training and resources to help both men and women understand what is appropriate workplace behavior. Refraining from physical interactions, commenting on physical appearance, making lewd or sexist jokes and inquiring about personal information are also beneficial steps towards respecting your colleagues' personal space. There is still much work to be done in order to create safe work environments, but with more and more women speaking up and taking on higher positions, women can feel safer and hopefully have less contributions to make to the #MeToo movement.