I counsel prospective buyers frequently about how to evaluate franchise opportunities. One of the traps they fall into when buying a franchise is just falling in love with the business and wanting one badly. If it is a newer and/or smaller franchise system, or one of the ever increasing numbers of start up franchises, it can be really difficult to get an accurate picture of the franchised business’s true probable profitability.
My Jedi Knight Ninja Social Mediaist Guru (whom I constantly frustrate by being too busy to participate in social networking the way he says I should) emphasizes that social media is about the connection to a real person. He also says that effective social media activities generate trust between the connections made through participation in social media. In my sporadic forays onto Twitter, I have seen that there are many franchise developers and franchise sellers active on Twitter.
Here’s the number 1 pitfall in the effects of social media used by those who pitch buying a franchise is the:
Franchise sellers – and really anyone in sales and marketing. They attempt to build a relationship with the prospect that has an implicit “trust me” element to it.
“Trust me”, I won’t steer you wrong;
“Trust me”, this is the business opportunity you have been looking for;
“Trust me”, this franchise is in the top 100 list of Know All Business and Franchise Opportunities Magazine;
“Trust me,” this is a proven concept;
“Trust me”, this fits your personal passion for [saving the planet, offering healthy meals, making a million dollars……]
There are many franchise sellers who are honest, accurate and play by the rules set by state and federal franchise law who don’t need to imply you can trust them. However, there are many who sell franchises who really don’t care and make their living by selling and that is where “trust me” can tip your decision making in the wrong direction.
Following your passion may lead to personal fulfillment, but it may not lead to profitability. To paraphrase what the Dormouse said to Alice:
“Use your head!”