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Running a Franchise to learn Business

Sam Walton's book Made in America, is a book that anybody wanting to start a Business MUST read.

Before going on to start Walmart, Sam Walton was many things, including a newspaper boy and an army officer. Walton knew from an early age, that he wanted to be in the retail business, running successful retail stores.

How could an army veteran with no background in retail selling, go on to found a retail empire and one of the biggest companies in the world?

When Sam left the army he had,

no contacts,
no knowledge of the retail industry,
limited capital
no idea how to run a Business
no mentors
no big investors

Sound like anyone you know?

Understandably he was hesitant to risk his entire life savings on a retail shop, that he had no idea how to run. Yet he wanted to learn how to run a retail business successfully.

What he did next through design or accident was the best decision of his life.

HE GOT HIMSELF A FRANCHISE

In 1945, soon after the second world war, Sam Walton met Butler Brothers. Butler Brothers was a successful retail company in southern USA. They ran a chain of retail stores called Ben Franklin, which they were franchising for a moderate franchising fee, with certain conditions.

Walton decided to take on a Ben Franklin franchise and put up a store in Newport, Arkansas.

Everything Sam Walton learned about the retail trade, was pretty much because of the Ben Franklin experience.

Running a Ben Franklin store taught him,

How to source stuff cheaply and efficiently
How to display merchandise in such a way that it would be attractive to the customer
How to keep overheads down and maximize profit
How to treat customers so they would keep returning

The franchise also taught him;
Accounting and finance: with no other knowledge of accounts and finance, Walton continued to use the Ben Franklin accounting formats even after he had stopped being a franchisee and started the Walmart Stores.

Processes: Walton was able to see first hand, that strong processes lead to scalability. He used many of the processes from Ben Franklin in his Walmart stores.

Moral of the story:

GET A FRANCHISE THAT DOES THE SAME THING YOU WANT TO 

Granted, every industry does not work on the franchising model, but chances are some where in the world, some one is doing what you want to, and is willing to franchise it.

Apart from the ones you have probably heard of, McDonalds, Subway, Dominos, there are others in every possible industry;

White Tiger, a laundry service

Paradise Juice, a juice and smoothies franchise

Novatech, an education and training franchise

and on and on. This site will show you a number of companies that want to franchise their business model.

Looking back, I wish I had taken this route, before setting up Ushtara. This would have saved me a lot of time and effort learning stuff which others have already figured out. The franchising fee is the price you pay to reduce your own learning time

But remember that Franchising has its limitations. You will have to keep paying the royalty as long as you are a franchisee.  There are also other restrictions like the kind of products or services you offer, where you can source your input materials from and so on. A little research will show you which is the best franchise for you.

LEARN THE BUSINESS AND THEN GET OUT
Continuing to be a franchisee once you've learn the business, doesn't make sense. Treat your franchisee experience as a paid apprenticeship where you invest a small amount to learn the ropes faster. But your end aim must be to get out, once you've finished learning.

Being a franchisee can never get you to the really big stakes game. For that to happen, you must break out on your own.

Who knows, one day your successful business model might be one that franchisees are willing to pay a royalty for.

Till Next Time,

Sunil

Continue on to the Next Chapter








This post first appeared on Phoolosopher: So You Want To Start A Business, please read the originial post: here

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Running a Franchise to learn Business

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