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Join the Plug n’ Play Revolution

Screw Henry Ford

Screw Henry Ford we are no longer in the industrial age. Who wants to be yet another cog in the wheel? Henry, as you know popularized the assembly line and mass production idea. Sure he put a lot of cars on the road and in turn got rich. But this is the 21st century. It’s time to think plug n’ play instead of cookie cutter. I’m not anti-assembly line but I am anti-minion, especially in business ownership. Isn’t that why you want to go into business to start with? To have more control, to have an opinion, to be unique and to express yourself?!

Desk Jockey Minions

You’re tired of being a desk jockey minion, right? I thought so. But before you jump from frying pan to fire let’s make sure you know the difference between plug n’ play and cookie cutter franchises. One will allow you a means to replicate and scale your business the other will treat you like a technician (one step above being an employee in my opinion) or expect you to be subject matter expert. I’ll address the plug n’ play franchise system today and the cookie cutter or what Zoracle calls the Empire franchise in my next article. Now, just to set the record straight, I have no horse in the race. I benefit exactly zero if or when you buy a franchise. I’m simply here to edify you and franchise companies in regards to franchisee-franchisor fit.

On that note, let’s backtrack a bit. There are numerous factors involved in franchisee-franchisor fit one such marker being the stage of growth of a franchise system. There are five predictable stages of growth.  In my last article, we discussed the attributes, challenges and opportunities of a Stage 2 Partnership franchise system. Today I’d like to address the Stage 3 Plug and Play franchise system.

Stage 3: Plug and Play Franchise

A Stage 3 Plug and Play company is focused on providing services and support to franchisees, in hopes of increased unit level economics. Stage 3 companies will have strong training and support. They are increasing their local marketing efforts and acquiring vendor relationships that benefit their franchisees.

To expand their services and support a Stage 3 franchise system will add silos and clarify the roles of individuals within each department so as to increase competence and performance. Naturally, these changes can create some confusion and difficulty in gaining access to higher level staff members. Franchisors who are adapting to a larger more complex organization will make communication a priority during this time.

A Plug and Play franchise has tested their products, procedures and memorialized their systems. Franchisees that embrace these systems will experience quicker ramp-up. In turn, a Stage 3 franchise system requires greater franchisee compliance then earlier stage franchises. Plug and Play franchises have compliance teams protecting their brand equity. If you hate rules this could be a challenge. Here are a few other challenges:


  • Franchisee retention
  • Franchisee validation issues
  • Fewer good markets left
  • More silos and levels at headquarters – decreased access

A Stage 3 Plug and Play franchise allows franchisee a certain amount of self-expression but never compromises the brand equity, which has taken years of consistent methodologies to acquire. If you’re a musician, chef or athlete you appreciate the importance of recipes and rules. It provides a means to master and become proficient at something and build successful momentum.

For an individual whose motivations and skill sets align well with a Stage 3 company there are numerous benefits.

Benefits for Franchisee

  • Excellent market awareness
  • Proven systems
  • Pruning offers resale opportunity
  • Strong support and training
  • Faster ramp-up and leveragability of resources

Are you someone who prefers to exploit rather than invent? Would you be interested in acquiring a going concern? Can you read a recipe or assemble an IKEA end-table? Would you like a proven business to which you can add a bit of your unique pizzazz? Then screw Henry Ford, stop being a minion and join the Plug and Play revolution.

Looking for the pros and cons of mega brand? Then stay tuned for my article on Stage 4 Empire franchises coming up soon.

About Rebecca Monet

Rebecca Monet is chief scientist and president of Zoracle Profiles. Zoracle is a franchise specific solutions provider offering a suite of customizable psychometric assessments. Zoracle’s SpotOn! meta-analysis provides insight no singular profile, survey, algorithm or assessment can. Our SpotOn! science determines franchisee-franchisor compatibility and predicts performance. Zoracle reduces recruitment and support costs while increasing franchisee validation and performance.

Visit where you can search for opportunities by industry, investment level and area while researching the franchise industry as a whole using its free resources.

Rebecca Monet Article Contributor
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