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AN INTRODUCTION TO FRANCHISING
开间专卖店

Back in 1954, Ray Kroc was already in his 50s when he persuaded the McDonald brothers to let him be responsible for a franchising operation. He expanded their clean, efficient, assembly-line style of marketing hamburgers from one location to more than 200 in just seven years. When Kroc died a billionaire in 1984, McDonald's fast-food restaurants were found in all corners of the globe and Kroc was extolled as the “Father of Franchising.”

In recent decades, franchising has grown increasingly popular and widespread. Sales from franchises in the United States more than doubled during the 1980s, the period of the most extensive growth for this creative form of business. Especially prevalent in the retail sector, businesses where franchising has established a strong presence include fast-food outlets, convenience stores, automobile rental agencies, and service stations.

Franchising, in brief, is a system of business based on a legal arrangement in which one party---the franchisee---agrees with the franchise owners to produce and market their goods or services on a local or regional basis. The franchise owner provides operating systems such as advertising and accounting. This system has enabled many entrepreneurs to realize their dream of owning their own business where normally it would have been impossible for them to go it alone.

The reasons for the spectacular growth of franchising are not hard to identify. To begin with, a franchise operation has already identified a potential market and created a product to fit a consumer need. This is especially true of fast-food stores, which have kept pace with the changing outlook of modern societies.

In addition, buying a franchise from an established company, while not guaranteeing success, will at least diminish the risk of failure. While around 30 percent of independent small companies go bust within the first two years, the failure rate for first-time franchisees is only at around five percent.

Another reason why so many inexperienced entrepreneurs turn to franchising is the support usually provided by the parent company. Established accounting, management, supply, and control systems give franchisees the benefit of previously accumulated business experience while still allowing a limited amount of independence.

Franchising, then, is considered by many to be the ideal way to enter business for the first time. Prospective franchisees, however, are well advised to properly research the nature of the industry and the background of the franchise holder before committing themselves and their money. Get it right, and the rewards can be considerable. In the words of Colonel Sanders of KFC fame, “buying a franchise is probably the quickest, easiest, and most successful way of becoming an entrepreneur.” And he should know.


1. extoll v. 颂扬
2. prevalent a. 普遍的
3. outlet n. 批发商店,经销商
4. entrepreneur n. 企业家,创业者
5. spectacular a. 壮观的,戏剧性的
6. outlook n. 展望,前景
7. go bust phr.v. 破产
8. accumulated a. 累积的

 

早在1954年,雷·克劳克说服麦当劳兄弟让他负责经营一家专卖店时,他已年过50。短短7年内,他便将麦当劳销售汉堡所采用的既卫生又高效率的生产线风格,从一处发展到200多处。1984年,克劳克去世时,他已成为亿万富翁,麦当劳快餐店已遍布世界各个角落,克劳克也被誉为“专卖店行业之父”。

近几十年来,专卖店日渐普及并受到广泛的欢迎。20世纪80年代是这种富于创造性的行业发展幅度最大的时期,美国专卖店的销售量增加了一倍多。专卖店中占有很高比重的行业包括快餐店、便民商店、汽车租赁机构,以及加油站等,零售业尤其普遍。

简单地说,特许经营是建立在合法协议基础之上的一种商业体制,协议一方——得到授权者同意的特许经营人在当地或某个地域内制造和销售他们的产品或提供服务。授权者负责提供营运机制,如广告和会计等。这种体制使许多创业者实现了他们的梦想,拥有了他们自己原本无法独力经营的事业。

找出特许经营行业迅速发展的原因并不难。首先,专卖经营已经确定了潜在的市场,也创造出了符合顾客需求的商品。这一点对于与现代社会瞬息万变的境况共同前进的快餐店尤为适用。

此外,买下一家已具规模的公司的特许经营权,虽然不保证一定成功,但至少降低了失败的风险。独立经营的小公司约有30%在头两年内破产,而首次参与特许经营失败的比率仅为百分之五左右。

许多缺乏经验的创业者选择特许经营的另一个原因,就是母公司通常都会给予支援。既定的会计、管理、供应和控制系统,让经销商从前人累积的商业经验中获益,同时仍然保持一定的独立性。

因此,许多人都认为开专卖店是初入商场的理想的选择。然而,打算投身这一行业的企业家在将自身和金钱投入进去之前,建议先仔细彻底地研究这家企业的性质和授权人的背景。做得好,报酬会很可观。如著名的肯德基的桑德斯上校所说:“也许买个专卖店是成为企业家最快、最简单也最容易成功的方法。”而且他应该知道得很清楚。

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