Advice used to be when talking to your customers; act like a big business even if you are small, as if you would lose credibility for being a small business. That the large companies with household names somehow possessed a mysterious power to be better at business!
I’ve noticed a bit of a swing in the other direction lately and anyone with a TV can’t help but have noticed American Express’, ‘shop local on Saturday’ campaign. I will call it the ‘Small Town Phenomenon’, now it’s cool to be small. Now it’s cool to be on Main Street rather than on the huge retail park out of town.
Let’s look at this from the perspective of a Tutoring Business Model, do we go big and buy into a big name or stay small-town?
As a franchisee of a big name tutoring company you could buy into the brand of the ‘Mother Ship’ and all of the advantages that brings to the table; a turnkey business, marketing, branding, testing, curriculum and a tutoring business model that has already proved itself in the marketplace.
But does a small-town tutoring business model give you more flexibility?
You have the freedom to run your business in a more flexible manner. This is why, in my opinion, the ‘small-town phenomenon’ is taking place. Small business owners can make decisions quickly, ideas don’t necessarily have to be ‘run by corporate’, you can join in activities with your neighboring businesses and jump into local marketing campaigns without staying within the lines drawn for you. Small companies are therefore seen as more flexible, more personable and are perceived as giving better customer service. Right or wrong perception is everything.
I truly believe that since the crash, large businesses are viewed through a distrusting eye. All of those banks taking bail outs to pay management bonuses. Many people are asking themselves does this happen in every large business?
This brings us back full circle to the franchise tutoring business model and the question of whether a franchisee can appear to be a ‘small town’, ‘main street’ business. I guess the answer lies with the tutoring business model you are thinking of buying into, but keep in mind that the reputation of the franchise brand can be damaged at any time by another franchise owner on the other side of the country, that’s the danger of a household name; it’s on everyone’s lips!
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