No Franchisee Stands as an Island When Advisory Boards are Strong
By Steven Belmonte CEO, Vimana Franchise Systems LLC | October 28, 2008
Perhaps there are those to whom it would seem trivial to talk about Donne's words in an attempt to apply them to some extended part of commerce, but it seems clear that that intonation in 1624 was meant to be extensive and all encompassing in a way that required consideration not on just a philosophical level, but so too in practical everyday situations.
So, Donne as a philosopher of the hotel industry? All right, let's not get carried away. But we can keep in mind the more contemporary instruction from Clarence the Angel delivered to George Bailey in Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life": "No man is a failure who has friends."
For the hotel franchising industry, friendships are most keenly important not with one's workers or lenders, or even with the employees and executives of one's franchise company. Indeed, the most important bonds are to be formed with other entrepreneurs who have cast their lots with that particular franchise company and figuratively or in reality hoist the same franchise flag every morning in order to properly welcome weary travelers to the inn.
For it is they who know best the struggles and obstacles to success faced 365 days a year by a hotelier in a franchisor/franchisee relationship. And it is they who are the most likely sources of information and problem solving that eventually can lead to enhanced bottom lines and the attainment of success in the hotel industry.
Before going any farther, let me be clear that none of this is no imply that the owners and executives of hotel franchise companies are mercenaries out to make lots of money off the hard work of their franchisees with no concern for the eventual success of those franchisees. After all, I spent a large part of my career as president of Ramada Franchise Systems, which is one of this industry's oldest and strongest franchise companies. It, like other franchise companies, owe its continued strength and existence to dealing fairly with franchisees.
Nonetheless, I recognize that there are many franchisees who can legitimately find one or more faults with the manner in which some hotel franchise companies do business. But, for the most part, franchisors understand the reality that their success is very dependent on the success of their franchisees and they work hard to avoid any situation in which they would compromise the success potential of those franchisees.