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  • Quick! What's common between

  • beef burgers, baseball training

  • and auto mufflers?

  • Tough question. Let's ask it another way.

  • What's the common factor between McDonald's,

  • D-Bat and Meineke?

  • You may know the answer if, along with a Big Mac,

  • you've absorbed a fragment of the romantic story of Ray Kroc.

  • He's the salesman that created what became

  • the world's biggest fast food chain.

  • He did it by making a deal

  • with a couple of men called the McDonalds.

  • Brothers they were, owners of a small restaurant chain,

  • and the deal was, he could use their brand name and their methods.

  • Then he invited small entrepreneurs

  • to open McDonald's, that they'd run as operators,

  • with an ownership state.

  • Very different than the business model where Mom and Pop stores

  • have full ownership, but no similar support.

  • All the examples

  • in my opening question are a franchise operation.

  • Kroc is sometimes credited

  • with inventing franchising,

  • and so is Isaac Singer, the sewing machine magnate.

  • Not so. The real genesis of franchising

  • was not in stitches or beef,

  • it was in beauty.

  • Martha Matilda Harper

  • was a Canadian-born maid.

  • She made the beds, cleaned house, did the shopping.

  • In the employment of a doctor's family in Ontario,

  • she acquired a secret formula for shampoo,

  • one more scientifically based

  • than the quackeries advertized every day in the newspapers.

  • The kindly doctor also taught the maturing young woman

  • the elements of physiology.

  • Martha had a secret ambition

  • to go along with the secret formula:

  • a determination to run her own business.

  • By 1888, serving as a maid in Rochester, New York,

  • she saved enough money --

  • 360 dollars -- to think of opening

  • a public hairdressing salon.

  • But before she could realize her dream,

  • two blows fell. She became sick,

  • and collapsed from exhaustion.

  • Mrs. Helen Smith, a healing practitioner

  • of the Christian Science faith, was summoned to her bedside.

  • The two women prayed, and Martha recovered.

  • No sooner was she better then she was told,

  • "Oh no, you can't rent the place you've eyed."

  • You see, her venture was to be the first public hairdressing salon.

  • A woman in business was shocking enough then.

  • Only 17 percent of the workforce in 1890 was female,

  • but a woman carrying out hairdressing

  • and skincare in a public place?

  • Why, it was sure to invite a scandal.

  • Martha spent some of her savings on a lawyer, and won her case.

  • She proudly displayed on the door

  • of her new her salon a photograph

  • of the barely five-foot Martha as Rapunzel,

  • with hair down to her feet, but glowing with good health.

  • Her sickness, too, had proved a boon.

  • Her ambition was now propelled

  • by Christian Science values.

  • The Harper Method, as she came to call her services,

  • was as much about servicing the soul

  • as it was about cutting hair.

  • In the therapeutic serenity of her salon,

  • she taught that every person could glow

  • with the kind of beauty she had,

  • if spiritually whole and physically obedient to what she called

  • "the laws of cleanliness, nourishment,

  • exercise and breathing."

  • She was very practical about it.

  • She even designed the first reclining shampoo chair,

  • though she neglected to patent the invention.

  • Martha's salon was a huge success.

  • Celebrities came from out of town

  • to experience the Harper Method.

  • They enjoyed the service so much

  • that they urged her to set up a salon in their cities.

  • And this is where Martha's ethical sense

  • inspired her crowning innovation.

  • Instead of commissioning agents, as other innovators had done,

  • from 1891, she installed

  • working-class women just like herself

  • in salons exactly like hers,

  • dedicated to her philosophy and her products.

  • But these new employees

  • were not provided a salary by Martha.

  • The women in what became a satellite network of 500 salons

  • in America, and then Europe and Central America

  • and Asia, actually owned the Harper's Salons.

  • What was good enough in the nineteenth century

  • for suffragette campaigners like Susan B. Anthony

  • and was good enough in the twentieth century

  • for Woodrow Wilson, Calvin and Grace Coolidge, Jacqueline Kennedy,

  • Helen Hayes and Ladybird Johnson

  • must be good enough for the rest of the world.

  • Today, only the Harper Method Founder's Shop

  • remains in Rochester, New York, but Martha's legacy is manifold.

  • Her health and beauty treatments have been copied,

  • and her business model is dominant.

  • In fact, half of retail sales in America

  • are through Martha Harper's franchising idea.

  • So the next time you enjoy a McDonald's hamburger

  • or a good night's rest at a Days Inn,

  • think of Martha.

  • Because these franchises might not be the same

  • without her inventing the model, over a century ago.

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B2 TED-Ed martha harper salon mcdonald rochester

【TED-Ed】The real origin of the franchise - Sir Harold Evans

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    陳劭杰 posted on 2013/10/09
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