Where to Start?
With over twenty years in franchising, friends and acquaintances often ask questions about franchises. Sometimes they are generally curious about how it works, often they are motivated by an interest in learning more about owning one. I have divided the top questions asked, and some that should be asked, into five segments in creating this blog. This is the second segment of the group.
Part 2 of 5: Where to Start?
Is A Franchise For You?
Franchising, with its variety of options and different models may seem appealing, but that does not mean it is for everyone. There are financial risks and long-term commitments to take into account. Before going any further, you need to have a heart-to-heart with yourself to make sure you would be happy in a position as a franchisee. You will need to ask yourself – and honestly answer – some tough questions. Such as:
- Are you comfortable with all of the daily decisions being left to you?
- Are you comfortable with cleaning toilets and firing an employee all in one day?
- Do you have confidence in yourself to handle all aspects of a business?
- Are you an optimist even when things go south?
- If you have a family, are they supportive?
If you answered ‘yes’ to the above questions, then chances are you may be a good match for franchise ownership.
Two questions that may rule you out for owning a franchise would be:
- Do you consider yourself extremely independent or fiercely stubborn?
- Do you mind answering to a superior?
Because if you answered ‘yes’ to either of these two questions, you may prefer to start your own business from scratch rather than attempting to follow someone else’s proven system.
Do You Have What It Takes?
Franchisees are expected to work independently but not in isolation. While every franchise model implements fixed procedures and regulations, it is a tightrope to run a business while adhering to a franchisor’s stipulations. Managing that balance takes a special individual, one who has drive and motivation countered with a good bit of unpretentiousness. Business ownership taxes both your mental and physical fitness. Pushing through daily office frustrations, while continuing to follow the concrete path to success is a constant battle. Owning your own business will drain your energy and raise your stress level; therefore, closely consider your motivation level, your finances, and the reality of what’s expected of you. Even with those considerations, the payoff of self-fulfillment, freedom, and profitability versus being a spoke in the corporate wheel is why the franchise industry is growing exponentially each year.
Finding Your Franchise Fit
Throw a rock in the air and you will likely hit a franchise. Shopping centers, strip malls, on neighborhood corners, franchises are everywhere. Finding your fit may not be as easy as it appears, particularly if your community is saturated with franchise shops. In fact, that favorite yogurt shop you’ve been eyeing could be booked in your area (and even the surrounding territories). And further investigation may expose the need to be on your feet for twelve hours straight, which may not be your idea of franchise ownership.
Research is required. No sugar-coating it, you are going to have to research and then research deeper. And the first thing you will need to research is yourself. Decide what will make you happy, what are you looking to get out of ownership. What was the motivating factor that got you to this point?
As mentioned earlier, if being on your feet for twelve hours is not what you had in mind then perhaps a service-provider business will better suit your needs. Having free time for family is high priority for many prospective franchisees as well. Perhaps a more flexible schedule that a seasonal business can provide is the perfect fit. A seasonal franchise allows you to spend more of your spare time with family and enjoying vacations. Jot down a list of your wants and needs, your budget and any skills you want to utilize; this will help guide you in choosing a franchise that will fit your expectations.
Do not get pigeon-holed into believing you cannot own a business because you have no experience in the industry. Training should be a large and ongoing part of the investment process and as long as you have the passion to succeed, the rest will come.
Our third segment will discuss the nuts and bolts of buying a franchise.
About the Blog Author
With over 25 years of franchise experience, Tiffany Dodson, CFE holds deep roots from senior marketing roles at well-known international franchises to recognition as a top performing franchisee, Master Developer, author, and speaker. Find Tiffany at The Salt Suite and reach her via Tiffany@TheSaltSuite.com.