I’ve been in contact with a number of franchisees while researching my chosen brand. I’m hearing some grumbles from some. How seriously should I take them?

It’s good that you’re not just getting a “pretty as roses” picture about the brand.


It means that people are being honest with you. At the same time, some people will complain for the sake of complaining. So these are the things you need to pay attention to.

  1. Are the complaints recurrent with different franchisees? It may point to a systemic problem where the franchisees aren’t getting the support they need or promises delivered on.
  2. Be sure you know what the complaining franchisee’s beef with the franchisor is. No system will have all their franchisees perfectly aligned at one time. Find out whether their complaint is because they’re struggling – that points to training; whether it’s because of lack of feet through the door – that points to marketing; whether they’re making money – that points to whether the brand is successful and if the royalties and fees are realistic.

If you’re not getting the answers you want, try modifying your questions by saying “Can you give me a specific example of when this happened?” and press for more information with “how” and “why”.

Franchise Zone
About the Author
Franchise Zone is published by Entrepreneur Media SA. It offers advice and franchising opportunities in South Africa.

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