Surprising Similarities between Franchising and Football

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There are some surprising similarities between franchising and football!  As Euro 2024 approaches, thoughts turn to the excitement and anticipation of a new championship – much like the optimism of a new franchisee.

Teams have trained, tactics discussed, and plans made. New signings are eager to prove their worth.

Sometimes, early games impress, but can also lead to disappointing results, leaving fans, commentators, and pundits asking ‘why?’

This is where the franchise comparison comes into play. There are key similarities that apply to franchisees, franchisors, players, and managers alike.


Training is essential in preparing a new franchisee for launch. It often focuses on the technical aspects of the business but doesn’t always emphasize the mental approach. Implementing the business plan requires a clear vision and strategy, as well as belief, resilience, self-awareness, and people skills. Just as athletes perform best when their minds are in the right place, new franchisees need the same mental preparedness.


Sports managers are often caught out by using outdated tactics and failing to adapt to changing circumstances. This is also true in business. Franchisees rely on franchisors to continue research and development, keeping the consumer offer fresh, ahead of competitors, and attractive.


Great managers inspire players to give their all, characterized by strong motivational ability, empathy, and a clear-headed approach. They know when to push and when to support their players. A good franchisor should exhibit these qualities with their franchisees, just as franchisees should with their own employees.

Team Selection

A team is only as strong as its weakest link – a concept that applies in many areas of life. The franchise team, central to the franchisor’s business, supports the franchisee network, not the other way around. Poor franchise recruiters fail to convert good inquiries and may recruit unsuitable franchisees just to hit targets, compromising quality.

Knowing Your Role

The franchisor’s MD should focus on the bigger picture – supply line, logistics, product enhancement, competitor activity, and marketing initiatives. This allows franchisees to leverage their strengths day-to-day within their territories, concentrating on growing their business.

Monitoring Performance

In football, every aspect of a player’s performance is analysed. While franchisors don’t need to be as statistically rigorous, they must monitor KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) critical to business success. They should also assess the performance of their own team and suppliers, evaluating the effectiveness and value of different franchise portals and the performance of their recruiters.


Franchisees occasionally need guidance and direction. The franchisor should be vigilant and ready to offer advice that benefits both the individual franchisee and the network as a whole. It’s crucial to prevent a misbehaving franchisee from damaging the brand and the investments of other franchisees.

This article is not exhaustive but highlights some key aspects relevant to both franchisees and franchisors.

Football is just a sport – the game of life, and by extension franchising, is far more rewarding!


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