Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Seaman Stains

There are 419 scams, there are directory scams, and there is franchising.

Dress yourself up in a manufactured qualification, such as CFE (Certified Franchise Executive - surely you knew that!) from the IFA (International Franchise Association), add a few more pay-as-you go "qualifications" such as fellowship of the Institute of Directors (yes, you can become a "Fellow", just like with a real qualification), from£360 p.a., and membership of the Insitute of Marketing (from£130 p.a.) and the Institute of Export ("from only £67.50 p.a."), so in total no exams and about as much cost as parking a car in Hong Kong for a couple of months, and what have you got?

Yes, you have got "Professor" Roy Seaman of the renowned Franchise Development Services Limited, in business since 1981.(This is "Professor" as in Honorary Professor of Beijing Normal University's International Franchise Academy, which somehow fails to get a mention on the university's Wikipedia entry (fix that, Roy!), perhaps because it is really "based in Zhuhai (Guangdong) in partnership with the renowned Beijing Normal University". Ho, hum.)

So, armed with your curious title and your paid-for paper, what next? Why not send out some letters to random people and see what transpires? Such as:

"Following our previous correspondence via the UKTI ..."

err ... what correspondence? I've never heard of you before.

"... we thought that you would like to know that further FDS offices have now been established in the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand. This is (sic) an addition to our well established offices here in the United Kingdom and in Spain. We are now planning to award a Master Franchise for Hong Kong."

Isn't just one "well established" overseas office after 31 years something of an indictment of your own franchising skills? And you picked Iraq and Pakistan ahead of Hong Kong? You think Iraq is more interested in brands than Hong Kong?

"Yours sincerely, Professor Roy Seaman, CFE"

Good luck, Roy.

1 comment:

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