The Parent Company vs. The Rep - Who Wins?
I have become a bit cynical about parent companies whether they be as a partner, franchisor, MLM, etc. Consider this a business success tip and a challenge to stale thoughts such as "They are not in synch with my business success goals".
There can be a love-hate relationship between a large company and its partners, MLM sellers, franchisees and product representatives.
The large parent company may have thoughts such as:
Don’t let a partner, franchisee or seller show us up.
Allow the sellers, reps and franchisees to test ideas and experiment but maintain control and have limitations.
Learn from the sellers/reps/franchisees mistakes and create systems and processes based on their success (Be sure to claim it as the parent company's idea).
Maintain high awareness of "outside-the-box" marketing by the sellers/reps/franchisees to ensure the brand is not harmed.
Be very aware that no promises are being made that can’t be kept.
Protecting the brand and company is the top priority of a parent company.
On the other hand, the parent company fully realizes that if (you) their sellers are successful; everyone wins.
Large companies are typically DEFENSIVE and then think about the opportunities.
Small companies are first OFFENSIVE and opportunistic and take the risks.
In most scenarios, the large parent company has people making decsions who are working for a paycheck.
Those in the parent company may have an entirely different outlook as someone making a salary vs. the franchisees, partners and sellers who are entrepreneurs and put everything on the line.
It is not a wonder there can be a perpetual conflict based on the goals and identities of the people involved.
Neither the parent company nor the sellers/reps/franchisees have the best answer for how to create success. However when there are players on both sides who are passionate about success, the combined perspectives can be a powerful alliance.
There is risk for co-dependency, lack of faith, fear and greed.
If all parties would remember that the boat sinks at both ends and power comes from the synergy of both parties; everyone can win.
Appreciate the conflict. Have an open mind. Create win-win. Good leaders understand this.
If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner selling the products and services of a company which says "Don't do that", understand that they are not against you, they are simply protective. The answer lies in a business plan, communication, testing the market, using data instead of gut feelings. Remember that most you work with has someone else to answer to, even if you don't.