Open Source Franchising: From artisanship to industrial

Years ago I happened to cut my hair by a Jean Louis David salon, and once understood how simple was to choose my hairstyle from a brochure, I never tried another barbershop. Jean Louis David could inspire any wannabe open source Franchisor.

Barbershop Barbershop by Joel Aron

Jean Louis David in the 60s changed the world of the hairdressing, inventing modern cutting techniques using clippers, eventually starting an international salon brand, now famous all over Europe. It was a revolutionary idea, since barbershops and hairdressers were artisans delivering personal services, at some extent unreplaceable.

Speaking with a managing director of a franchisee, I learned about the training they receive, preparing them to achieve any kind of cut using clippers, but also about opening manual razor’s packaging in front of customers (in order to show them that are new).

When we need a haircut we do know what we want, we also know how long it should take, and we can easily judge if the shop meets our cleaning standards. In a word, we are educated clients.

Nicole France, formerly Gartner’s analyst, wrote:

IT has been and largely still is an artisanal craft, part skill and part black magic. Most organisations of any size have had to create their own IT departments, not so much out of desire, as of necessity.

So while IT Providers must still raise the bar on delivering reliable IT services, ensuring also legal compliance, IT Customers should better understand the benefits and tradeoffs involved in focusing on (predictable) results. In this respect there is a tremendous need for marketing actions.

An Open Source Franchisor could be aimed at delivering to the market IT basic services using OSS, with a fixed-time fixed-price formula, training its franchisees to meet predefined performance criteria.

Open Source franchising for customers could eventually become a shortcut to get reliable solutions, and as seen with Geeksoncall there is plenty of space for growing in computer services franchise arena.

The International Franchise Association, an organization devoted to enhancing and safeguarding the business environment for franchisors and franchisees worldwide, recommends the following when considering franchising:

  • Demand: Is there a demand for the franchisor’s product or services in your community? Is it seasonal or does it generate repeat business? Will there be continuing demand for the product or services in the future, is it temporary or a fad?
  • Competition: What is the level of competition, nationally and in your community? How many company-owned outlets does the franchisor have in your area? How many competing companies sell the same or similar products and services?
  • Location: Is it located in the inner city? What are the demographics? Is this particular type of business needed in your community?
  • Name Recognition: Is the company’s name widely recognized? How long has the franchisor been in operation? Does the company have a good reputation?
  • Training & Support: What backgrounds do the current franchise owners have? Do they have prior technical backgrounds or special training that helps them succeed? Do you have a similar background?

The demand for these services is still partially unexepressed, and need to be stimulated, while on the other side we might consider there is no competition in this respect, yet.

A strong Brand is important, and that’s why my perfect franchisor is Sun.

Training will make the difference, moving from artisanship to industrial has never been too easy, though.

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