Most of the time, franchise owners receive advice or input from their parent companies regarding certain issues. But some companies have also taken advice from their franchise owners, and reaped the benefits, Entrepreneur magazine reports.

Liberty Tax Service CEO and Founder John Hewitt commented, "Communication and feedback is important from our franchisees, employees and managers in order to incorporate changes that are necessary to stay on the cutting edge of the tax industry."

While different companies have different policies about suggestions, both franchisees and franchisors told the magazine that as long as the franchise owner is upfront about his or her ideas, runs them by the company first and meshes with the business plan, franchises have no issues with some experimentation.

"There's innovation that explores new territory, and then there's innovation that rocks the system," T. Scott Gross, a former franchise owner, told the magazine. "One is good, and one is not good. No matter how you do it, the last thing a franchisor wants is a surprise."

The magazine says many popular products and services, such as McDonald's Big Mac, were originally ideas proposed by franchisees.

There is an ever-growing number of franchises in the U.S. The International Franchise Association says that there are more than 900,000 franchise locations in the country, which account for more than 11 million jobs - approximately 8 percent of the workforce.




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