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Some in franchise ‘management’, meaning those who work in the ‘franchisor’ side of the industry, claim that the best leaders (and growth experts) in franchising possess MBA’s and other such advanced academic credentials. I disagree. Although I too went through the two year grind of an ‘early on’ MBA program (long before the after hours ‘executive programs’), I can assure you that it is the entrepreneur, the business founder, that I will bet on for sage advice at every stage of franchising.
Obvious to me, and I think that most people will agree, it is not an academic degree, but rather a thorough knowledge of a business concept that makes the ‘teacher’, the franchisor, valuable to the franchisee.
Why is this an important point of discussion? Because, today the ‘executive class’ is claiming more often that it possess the learned skill sets necessary for franchise success. This is pure ‘bunk’.
After many years in the industry, most fee for service franchise consultants, such as me, have found that no one franchise executive without core experience in a given brand will ever replace the founders who built the concept from idea to fruition and know every pitfall and every turn on the road to winning. Concept knowledge simply cannot be replaced by blackboard knowledge, and that holds doubly true in franchising whether you are the franchisor or the franchisee. Stick with those that are a known, successful commodity.