Going into business

26 Apr

Live from my netbook, it’s Explainin’ the Cosmos, an occasional series where I try to explain why things are the way they are, even if the facts aren’t necessarily on my side. This week, I look at Franchises. Word of warning – I’m also watching the F1 so apologies if I lose my train of thought.

Franchises. At their very simplest, a franchise is a bloke in a pub wearing a Man United shirt. He doesn’t actually play for Man United, has probably never been to Manchester, and may come across as a bit of a tit, but you can instantly recognise him as a Man U fan by his attire. Similarly, no two Man U shirt-wearing dickwads are the same. Some will be easier to punch in the mouth than others. However, the question facing any sane person is this: Why bother? Why wear a shirt that will make you stand out like a particularly plummy sore thumb, when you could just blend in with the crowd and (gasp!) be judged on your character instead? OOH! Button leads Hamilton second! This won’t last long!

Over to the world of business, and I offer Subway as an example to explain my convoluted football shirt metaphor; Why are small companies going arse over tit to get a Subway franchise when, if anything, it might be cheaper to run an independent sandwich shop?

1) The brand.

Let’s face it, we live in a society which is dominated by branding. Not only are we, as humans, attracted to colourful pictures and logos in the same way that bees are attracted to pwetty fwowers, but being rational beings, we somehow equate these images with high quality, and as such buy the products on offer. I guess this is the key to franchising that attracts the small businessman – for a low low cost you can make your little business look like a bigger fish in a small pond.

2) The equiptment.
Button’s still winning by the way, Hamilton is P4! The sucker.

But hold on! I hear you say. Surely running a franchise must be like, well expensive on account that you’d have to buy a whole load of junk just to compete? Not so. As any franchise owner will testify, by signing up to a certain brand, once the initial outlay is made you are literally bombarded with all sorts of stuff in order to operate, either outright on a cheap deal or more likely on a rental deal. For instance, by buying a Subway franchise you get a bread machine for the baking of bread. If you’re a Spar store, you get all those promotional signs for free! Amazing!

3) You don’t need to be that good.

That’s right. The greatest thing about running a franchise, and cynically speaking the only reason for many, is that by operating under the banner of a big successful company, you don’t really need to do all that much. Because you sell a product which, by its very nature, is the same as you’d get from a fellow franchisee, and because you don’t have to worry about the cost all that much (see 2), the thing will run itself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fairly sure that there will be quality controls in place, and that franchises can be revoked. I’d be surprised if Dominos (sake of argument) would tolerate one of their franchisees selling a pizza that tasted like a Papa Johns, but provided they ran to the detailed instructions sent to them by head office, they’re sorted! I like how the Toyotas started the race in pole and second, but now they’ve dropped back. The car in front’s a Toyota MY ARSE.

It is with that in mind, ladies and gentlemen, that I offer a proposal. With a strong brand, free equiptment, a solid product and a general sense that you don’t have to do anything, I offer you a chance to join my latest project, TITS UK. The brand of course is based upon Tits, which as we know everyone likes: men and lesbians for sexual reasons, starving babies for nutritional reasons, kids for drawing them on photos purposes, you would have to agree that Tits is a winner, or a cretin.
The product that we do? It’s an internet related venture. Everyone associates the internet with them, hey, some might say that’s why it was founded. Experience? Who needs experience when you have tits? Vettels on a two stop strategy, what a fool.

So to sum up, sign up to TITS UK and you’ll basically get a million quid or something. Sure, there are still some minor details to sort out, such as business plans and what to do, but aside from those nominal details I think I’m onto a winner! Hey, with the profit I’ll make, I may even have enough money to buy a Manchester United shirt and wear it to the pub!

Ooh dear poor Kubica. Johnathan Legard is flipping TEDIOUS by the way.

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