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Chapter 1. Franchising as Entrepreneurship > The Entrepreneurial Team

The Entrepreneurial Team

High-potential ventures are best brought to fruition by management teams, not individuals. Choosing the team is the most important part of the entrepreneurial process. Be sure you understand what constitutes “relevant experience” in a potential team member. Perfect relevance is a track record of having launched a new venture in the same industry with great success for all the stakeholders. But experience can still be relevant and significant if the team member has startup experience, has had bottom-line responsibilities in the past, and has managed people and hard assets. At Togo’s Eateries[3] the founders required a team with knowledge of real estate, construction, specialty foods, franchising, and marketing. Other franchisors are concerned not to have franchisees with industry experience because they will need retraining to shed their “bad habits.” However, experience in local markets and marketing may be critical. Franchisees have to look at the age and experience of the franchise system and the sophistication of training programs.

After considering the relevant general business and specific industry experience of the team members, consider characteristics that we call the “vital organs” of entrepreneurs: opportunity obsession, flexibility, and leadership. One of the potentially dramatic advantages of the franchise entrepreneurial alliance is that the definition of the team can and should be very broad. When the franchisee organizations and the franchisor organization are viewed as a team, then both can leverage the special skills and competitive advantages of each.


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