How to be a Successful Franchisee
Starting as a franchisee can be an exciting and rewarding journey, but it's important to know whether this model is the right fit for you.
The ideal franchise owner is somewhere between a thriving corporate executive and a wild, untamed entrepreneur (like Steve Jobs, who could never have worked for someone else). You need the drive to be your own boss and make your mark in the business world, but also appreciate the structure and support of an established business model.
What type of person are you?
If you're the kind of person who loves to see your name up in lights, or you thrive on chaos and unpredictability, then maybe a franchise isn't the right fit for you. But if you're the type of person who wants to step into a proven system and focus on executing it flawlessly, then a franchise could be just the thing you're looking for.
Of course, owning a franchise is still owning a business, which means you need to have the grit and determination to push through tough times. Whether it's a global pandemic or a key employee quitting, you need to be able to weather the storms and keep moving forward.
Know yourself to know the business you should own
The most important thing to consider when choosing a franchise is whether it's a good fit for your personality and skill set. Are you comfortable managing dozens of employees, or would you prefer a more boutique operation? Do you thrive in a brick-and-mortar environment, or do you prefer working from home? Asking yourself these types of questions can help you find the perfect franchise for you.
At the end of the day, starting a franchise should make your life better. Whether that means more time with family, more financial security, or simply the satisfaction of being your own boss, it's important to focus on what matters most to you.
You’ll also need to consider if the business model will work in this type of economy. That’s more of a check box exercise, and you’ll find plenty of businesses that fit this – and it’s going to be impossible to pick one!
When I speak with my clients, I’ll ask them questions that drill down into what type of business will suit them best. Examples of a few questions I might ask include:
When you wake up tomorrow morning, you're a business owner. Walk me through your day. What are you doing? Are you talking to employees?
Are you going to a brick-and-mortar or going to an office?
Or are you going into a home office, and you have a virtual assistant?
I guess it’s really a question of knowing yourself to know the type of business you should be owning.
What do successful franchise owners need to know before investing in a franchise?
When it comes to investing in a franchise, many people want to know what the hot franchise is right now. But the truth is, what’s hot for one person might not be the right fit for someone else. That’s why it’s important to start by asking yourself what you want to do.
As a franchise consultant, my role is similar to that of a high-level executive recruiter. I’ll sit down with you and talk through your skills, experience, and goals. It’s this knowledge that will help me find the perfect match for you – the franchise business that dovetails with what you’re really good at and your vision for your future.
For example, I often work with people who have a background in sales but are tired of the pressure and stress that comes with that job. In those cases, we look for a franchise that still involves managing but doesn’t have the same level of pressure.
It’s all about matchmaking, really. We take the time to get to know our clients and find a franchise that’s a perfect fit for their unique needs and goals.
Questions I frequently ask would-be franchisees
When it comes to investing in a franchise, capital is definitely part of the equation. In our first conversation, I always ask my clients how much capital they have to invest, just like a realtor would ask a homebuyer what their budget is.
However, it’s not just about the money. I also ask my clients to describe what their day looks like and what they want in a business. This helps me understand their ambitions, needs, and vision. Indeed, this question often flushes out other details such as how much time they have to invest and what kind of business model would be a good fit for them.
It’s common for people to have unrealistic expectations of owning a business. They want to make a low investment and make a lot of money with a minimal time commitment. That’s just not realistic. Owning a business requires hard work and dedication, and part of my work as a consultant is to keep clients grounded in reality.
That’s why I like to share my own experiences as a franchise owner. An example of this is when we opened a day spa in Utah in 2019, and we had to work through the challenges of COVID. I can talk to my clients with real experience about what it’s like to deal with unexpected surprises and mitigate risks. And there will always be surprises – the secret is to be prepared for them.
At the end of the day, investing in a franchise is a big decision, and it’s important to ask the right questions and get the right advice. That’s why I always encourage my clients to be honest about their goals and expectations, and I work hard to find a franchise that’s a perfect fit for them.
Are you considering starting a business or buying a franchise? To learn how to become a successful franchise owner, take the first step today – take our free franchise aptitude test.