Franchisees normally just slink away into the dark

Cut a deal, sign the gag order and keep your mouth shut.

That was the advice given to me by a group of my peers at Nutri-Lawn when I rented one of those lawn care franchises in the 1990s.

I didn’t go quietly into the night as 98.2% of franchisees do.

I felt I had nothing to be ashamed of and kinda resented the dehumanization of it all.

I guess I still do. I never imagined so many people feel the same way.


3 Responses to Franchisees normally just slink away into the dark

  1. You don’t read the item 20’s anymore?


  2. Les Stewart says:


    As we both know, human behaviour is complex.

    Disclosure specifics should fairly be placed in their role within the selling situation also. Social science has a full 30 years of proving that the situation is important for understanding behaviour. The law is only recently catching up (see Benforado and Hanson, The Great Attribution Divide: How Divergent Views of Human Behavior are Shaping Legal Policy).

    Man is a story-making animal and the illusion of permanence and faux authority that disclosure regimes, in my opinion, create a net negative business risk for targeted naive investors. Disclosure is dangerously misleading and remains so no matter the lipstick.

    Item 20 alone may be of value but in relation to the the whole disclosure misrepresentation regime it is a cruel, deeply cynical joke. I think it was CS Lewis that said to strengthen a lie add in a little truth.

    Now if we wanted to talk about how opportunism risk levels are dynamic once you sign as a sunk cost investor….well that might be something.



  3. Carol Cross says:

    Obviously, Item 20 is an artifice, a device, that enables franchisors, themselves, to disclose nothing in terms of the financial performance of the units within their systems to new buyers of their franchises before the sale is finalized.

    This premeditated and dishonest disclosure process in the US is a disgrace and a failure of the concept that democracy and capitalism are compatible.

    My government told me that they were making the franchisor provide the information in the UFOC/FDD “to protect you (me) and I resent the lie and don’t intend to fade away into silence anytime soon.

    But, of course, I am old and time is catching up with me and we are all silenced eventually. In the meantime I continue my march!


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