When investing, potential ice cream franchise owners are often hyped up on the great opportunities that owning a franchise presents. To make a reasonable decision and not be surprised when challenges come along, however, it is important to also consider the difficulties that owning an ice cream franchise presents. Here are some of the good, bad, and ugly parts of becoming an ice cream franchise owner.
The Good: Support, Consistency, and Ice Cream!
Owning any type of franchise immediately brings brand recognition and with it, brand loyalty. Customers come to an ice cream franchise because they know that they can expect a consistent product, location style, and service. An ice cream franchise also comes with a built-in support structure, so there is no need to select vendors, test products for popularity, or many of the other challenges that come with beginning an ice cream shop without franchise support. An ice cream shop is more fun than many other franchise opportunities because you are selling ice cream. Most customers are happy and ready for a treat, so positivity is woven into the fabric of daily operations.
The Bad: Creativity and Marketing Limitations
While a built-in support structure can be a good thing, the limitations on creativity in operations can be a bad thing. Franchisees work the front lines of an ice cream franchise, so they see what customers want and how operations can be improved. Unfortunately, franchises allow very little flexibility, in most cases. To add a product to the line or change a marketing strategy, the process may be long and involved. This can be very frustrating for franchisees that enjoy creativity and know the ice cream business well.
The Ugly: Franchise Over-Monitoring and Royalties
Ice cream franchisors differ widely in how franchises are controlled and monitored. Some franchises offer franchisees programs to promote growth and encouragement. Other franchisors closely monitor locations for compliance with rules and threaten franchisees with fines and probationary consequences for defaulting on franchise agreements. Franchisees must also pay royalties regularly, which cuts into profit margins. Franchisees should thoroughly research a company and talk to other franchisees to find out how these issues are handled before making the commitment to run a franchise location.
To Ice Cream Franchise or Not to Franchise?
Owning an ice cream franchise can be a fulfilling endeavor for a franchisee that understands the risks and has fully researched the company that is being invested in. Franchisees should be sure that the “good” will outweigh the “bad” and the “ugly,” or that the franchise rules fit with the franchisee’s preferred styles of operating before investing. With research and the help of the right franchisor, opening an ice cream franchise can be the start of something wonderful.