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Is it good to discount a franchise fee in tough times?

Is it good to discount a franchise fee in tough times?


Tough times often prompt tough decisions, and sometimes the toughest decision can be when to make changes, and when to stick to your guns.

We have all seen (and maybe even used) 'special offers' to help 'close a sale' during tough times. In many cases this makes good business sense, particularly if this helps to clear old stock to make way for new, but selling a franchise is not like any other sale. We are not selling a product or a service, we are in fact selling a brand, a system and an ongoing business relationship - one that needs to be nurtured and developed.

So, how does a loyal franchisee feel after 12 months of hard slog trying to build their business and recoup their investment, when suddenly the new kid on the block appears with a discounted franchise?

Like most other franchise organisations, ATS has been through a 'franchisee' drought over the last 6 months, wondering when things were going to pick up. It certainly has been tempting to come up with 'special offers' and 'deals' to bring on new franchisees and we have discussed numerous options, but at the end of the day, we have grown our business with the support and commitment of our existing franchisees. The last thing we want to do now is jeopardise our relationship with the very people who put their trust (and their hard earned dollars) with us.

There is light at the end of every tunnel and the challenging times we have all been through won't last forever. It isn't just fees that disappear in tough times; it is also values and standards. We owe it to our franchise network to maintain our high recruitment standards and levels of professionalism in order to ensure that we don't devalue our collective businesses in an effort to boost short term sales.