I recently read the book “The Wealthy Franchisee” by Scott Greenberg. In this book, Scott describes multiple different things that make franchisees successful, and I love his insight that creating wealth is a lot more than money. In part of the book, he talks about franchising being like a recipe.  I agree but Scott Greenberg’s stores got me thinking about my own experiences as a father and as a franchise owner of several franchise brands.  Not all recipes are the same, some are simple to follow and some are tricky to pull off.

High-heel cupcakes are a bit complicated.

This idea reminds me of when my girls were little. They were very into watching all of those cooking shows. During that time, I had a conversation with my youngest about gift-giving, especially since we were approaching the holidays. We talked about being a good gift giver and receiver; sometimes, the best gifts are the ones you make yourself. You don’t have to buy expensive gifts; it’s about the intention of giving the gift.

After our discussion, she returned to me and said, “Dad, I know exactly what I want to get Ann Marie (my wife) for her birthday… I am going to make her high heel cupcakes.” In my mind, I thought, “wow, high heel cupcakes, that sounds pretty complicated.”  What I said however, was “That is a great idea and a perfect gift, you get the recipe and I will go buy the special ingredients.”  We can figure this out.

Apple pie is straightforward and simple.

Another time we made an apple pie together. One of our neighbors had an apple tree, and we had the girls go over to ask if they could pick a few apples from the tree to make an apple pie.

Apple pie is a basic recipe, and it’s not very complicated; hard to screw up an apple pie.

High-heeled cupcakes, on the other hand, have some concrete steps and parts of the recipe that you need to get right; otherwise, the outcome you are looking for isn’t going to happen.. 

The more I thought about high-heel cupcakes as it relates to franchising and franchising as a recipe, I started thinking about a few conversations I’ve had with candidates.

If you have a franchise model that they’re selling as a swift break even and a very low initial investment, there are probably some particular aspects to that recipe that make that happen.  Like the successful franchise owners are natural salespeople.

If a typical fixed retail franchise is half a million dollars to get opened (and many franchises cost that much to get open), this particular franchise is saying that it costs $200,000 to get open. Pay attention to the formula or the aspect (or the recipe) to ensure that you’re opening your store in that range. The same with break even, like there’s a very specific recipe to follow to get your cash to cash flow positive so quickly.  You might want to ask questions around these “tricky” parts of the recipe.

Tricky Recipes vs. Simple Recipes

The point here is that some business models have tricky recipes, and some have simple recipes to follow. When you’re considering buying a franchise, you want to think about how complex the formula is and how you will be able to follow that recipe so that you have the outcome you expect. Not all recipes are apple pie, and not all recipes are high-heeled cupcakes. 

David Weaver is the Founder of Franchise Your Freedom and a senior consultant with FranChoice, the premier national network of franchise consultants. David helps people all over the country find the right franchise fit by sharing his personal experience and philosophy on how to select the right brand.  He shares proven strategies and over a decade of experience growing franchise companies for himself with those that are doing it for the first time. You can learn more about David at FranchiseYourFreedom.