5. Franchise Player

The following topics will be addressed in this post:

What is typically provided by a franchisor to its franchisees? Why would these be valuable to a nascent entrepreneur? Why is the failure rate lower for franchisees than it is for independent businesses?

Some people might not consider franchising truly entrepreneurial because it involves less risk and already established business practices. One colleague calls “pure entrepreneurship” when you do something that no one else is doing. More broadly, entrepreneurs are often defined by traits including risk taking and innovation. I would insist that the entrepreneurial spirit exists in franchising through proper execution of customer service, inventory management, personnel management, and other business skills. Moreover, even franchises carry risk: Sbarro’s declared bankruptcy, Taco Bell had some bad press recently, and auto dealerships suffer from recalls and recessions.

Franchisors have a great deal of self-interest in their franchisees because good franchisees will add revenue and help expand the brand while bad franchisees can do just the opposite. A franchisor will, therefore, have an interview and selection process for potential franchisees. After selection, the franchisor may help with site selection and financing but not always. The franchisor will provide training, manuals, and other support to assure franchisor standards are met. Franchisors will provide product and service development, marketing campaigns, management guidance, and other corporate level functions. Sometimes franchisees are asked to participate in these processes through financial contributions, local innovation, or some other means. Finally, franchisors usually provide ongoing support and inspections to assure the franchisee is functioning at proper levels (AllBusiness.com). Continue reading

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Financiers: Ken Chenault and Vikram Pandit

Ken Chenault (American Express, NYSE: AXP)

Son of a dentist, Ken Chenault experienced a middle-class youth. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Mr. Chenault began a successful career path that culminated in three decades with American Express with the last ten years as CEO (Wikipedia). Mr. Chenault’s personal strategy for career management includes networking and finding people that can be advocates for your interests (Singh). In a CNBC “Beyond the Boardroom” interview, Mr. Chenault averred his personal belief that business leaders can create social change “because it is very difficult to be successful in the world of business today unless you are very involved in society’s interests” (CNBC). Continue reading

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4. The Franchise Tag

The following topics will be addressed in this post:

What is the difference between a franchisee and a company owned store within a franchise chain? Why might one prefer to be the franchisee or the manager of a company owned store?

A franchise may be defined as “a legal agreement that allows one business to be operated using the name and business procedures of another” (Katz and Green). One of the many ways entrepreneurs can enter the business world is through the franchising process. Indeed, my paternal grandmother owned a sole-proprietorship restaurant, but my maternal grandparents chose to purchase a franchise from Western Auto. They operated the business for over two decades and ultimately they sold it upon their retirement. During this time, they employed dozens of people and extended credit to hundreds of people.

Generally, franchising firms have some company stores and some franchise locations. Company stores are wholly owned and operated by the parent organization. In the company stores, the parent organization hires the staff, develops the goods and services offered, conducts marketing research and campaigns. Moreover, company stores fall under the legal and financial aegis of the corporation. The revenues and expenses are part of the parent organization operations and some profits can be returned to shareholders (Nickels, McHugh, and McHugh). Continue reading

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3. Entrepreneurial Self-Examination

The following topics will be addressed in this post:

Do I have the stuff it takes to be an entrepreneur?

Honestly, it’s an open question.

I am intelligent and I am acquiring skills through training and education. I am passionate about my current entrepreneurial path (please see the My Venture page). I believe my proposition adds value to my community and to society in general. Further, this program aligns with the goals of our country, namely promoting national development through commerce and personal development. Continue reading

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1. Entrepreneur Hunt

The following topics will be addressed in this post:

Is the need for achievement – a personality attribute – necessary for success in small business? Locus of control? Independence? Leadership?

“We’re going on a bear hunt./ We’re going to catch a big one./ What a beautiful day!/ We’re not scared.” –Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

These lines from a children’s book can apply to entrepreneurs, as well. Many people tend to conceptualize entrepreneurs as untamed beasts roaming the Serengeti plains and preparing to ambush their prey. Even more, some people romanticize the entrepreneur as the ultimate lone hero battling against all odds the implacable foe that is corporate business. Sometimes these ideas approach reality, but sometimes the entrepreneur is the girl with the lemonade stand or the R&D team within a publicly traded multi-national firm.

Continue reading

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ENT630Expand Engage!

I wanted to initiate this blog with a short introductory post indicating the philosophy of this blog.

This blog will be fun and informative. Irreverence and professionalism are compatible. Iconoclasts will inherit the planet.

Help me jump barriers to communicate, to innovate, and to thrive.

I will post topics of my choosing on this page. Additionally,  I have been asked to respond to some specific questions, and those posts will be found on the Q&A page.

I will attempt to use categories more than tags, so please take a look at the category list.

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