I have often been asked why some franchises fail and why some thrive.

In my twenty years in the franchising arena, and having traveled to more than forty nations and spoken in thirty-two, my conclusion is that, most of those that are thriving know the importance of excellence and pursue it with persistence.

Here are some excellent quotes on excellence:

  • “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”  Vince Lombardi
  • “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” Vince Lombardi
  • “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”  Aristotle
  • Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.” Aristotle
  • Excellence, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean, relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it.” Aristotle
  • “We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent.” Barack Obama
  • “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”  Confucius

Why excellence is important for franchises

The oft-quoted sentence, “It is no more the big, but the fleet-footed, that will conquer the world,” needs a qualifier.

Unless the fleet-footed is excellent in many ways, the consequence might very well be “More haste, less speed.”

I often tell my clients not to rush without thinking through things, especially when it comes to quality—unless they want to be like someone speeding towards the wrong destination…

Franchisors who do not think about excellence will very quickly find themselves surpassed by new entrants many of whom are more enthusiastic, younger players who are a lot hungrier for success.

One way to compel oneself to excellence is by incorporating a research and development (R&D) element in the organisation.

With a dedicated R&D staff, championed by the CEO himself/herself, the implication is that the organisation is always on the look out for better things.

Franchisees’ morale will also be raised as they are assured of the franchisor’s commitment to excellence, which, in other words, means the franchise is more competitive and the business more solid.