What is a franchise business model?



In the world of entrepreneurship, the franchise business model has emerged as a popular avenue for aspiring business owners to realize their dreams of owning and operating their own business. Offering a unique blend of independence and support, franchising provides individuals with a proven business concept, established brand recognition, and ongoing guidance from the franchisor. Let's delve deeper into the intricacies of the franchise business model and uncover how it works.

Meaning of Franchise:

A franchise is a business arrangement in which an individual or entity (the franchisee) is granted the right to operate a business using the trademarks, products, and services of another company (the franchisor) in exchange for a fee or royalty.

Meaning of Franchisor:

The franchisor is the entity that owns the original business concept, brand, and intellectual property rights. They grant franchisees the rights to use their brand name, business model, and support services in exchange for initial franchise fees and ongoing royalties.

Meaning of Franchisee:

The franchisee is the individual or entity that purchases the rights to operate a franchise unit from the franchisor. They are responsible for investing in and managing the day-to-day operations of the business, while adhering to the standards and guidelines set forth by the franchisor.

How Does the Franchise Business Model Work?

To illustrate how the franchise business model operates, let's consider the example of a popular fast-food chain like McDonald's. McDonald's, the franchisor, provides franchisees with access to its well-established brand, menu offerings, operational systems, and marketing support. In return, franchisees pay an initial franchise fee and ongoing royalties based on their sales revenue.

Franchisees receive comprehensive training and operational support from McDonald's to ensure consistency in quality, service, and customer experience across all locations. They also benefit from national advertising campaigns and promotional efforts coordinated by the franchisor, which helps drive foot traffic and increase sales.

 Franchisees are responsible for securing a suitable location, investing in the necessary equipment and inventory, hiring and training staff, and adhering to McDonald's standards for food preparation, cleanliness, and customer service. They operate their businesses under the McDonald's brand name, following established protocols and guidelines set forth by the franchisor.


Advantages  for a franchisor:

·       Rapid expansion potential with less capital investment.

·       Revenue streams from franchise fees and ongoing royalties.

·       Access to local market knowledge and expertise from franchisees.

·       Reduced operational risks as franchisees bear some responsibilities.

·       Enhanced brand recognition and market presence through widespread franchise locations.

 Disadvantages for a Franchisor:

·       Loss of control over franchisee operations and brand consistency.

·       Potential conflicts with franchisees regarding operational standards and business decisions.

·       Legal complexities and liabilities associated with franchise agreements.

·       Upfront costs and ongoing support expenses for training and assistance to franchisees.

·       Reputation risks if franchisees fail to maintain quality standards or face negative publicity.


Advantages for a Franchisee:

·       Access to a proven business model and established brand.

·       Training and support provided by the franchisor.

·       Marketing and advertising support at both national and local levels.

·       Economies of scale through bulk purchasing discounts.

·       Higher likelihood of success compared to starting an independent business.

 Disadvantages for a Franchisee:

 ·       High initial investment costs, including franchise fees and startup expenses.

·       Ongoing royalty payments to the franchisor based on sales.

·       Limited autonomy in decision-making and business operations.

·       Restrictions on product offerings, pricing, and marketing strategies imposed by the franchisor.

·       Dependency on the franchisor's success and reputation, with potential risks if the franchisor encounters financial or legal issues.


The franchise business model offers entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to own and operate their own business with the backing of a well-established brand and proven business concept. By leveraging the resources, support, and expertise of the franchisor, franchisees can mitigate some of the risks associated with starting a new business while maximizing their chances of success. Aspiring entrepreneurs looking for a pathway to business ownership should consider exploring the lucrative opportunities offered by the franchise business model.


Questions to discuss

a)     What is a franchise business model, and how does it differ from other business models?

b)    What are the advantages of investing in a franchise compared to starting an independent business?

c)     How do franchisors select and vet potential franchisees for their business?

d)    Can franchisees make modifications to the franchisor's business model, or are they required to adhere strictly to set guidelines?

e)     What ongoing support and resources do franchisors typically provide to their franchisees to ensure their success?

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