BY BILL BRADLEY | January 15, 2013
If you’re thinking about buying a franchise, you’re likely questioning your readiness or the timing of the decision. You may even have some self doubts as to whether you would make a good franchise owner. Are you truly a good candidate for franchise ownership? Do you have the talent and expertise to own a franchise? Do you have the personality and the drive to be your own boss? If you’re thinking about buying a franchise and are not asking yourself these questions and more, you’re not approaching the franchise buying process properly.
How do you see yourself in a franchise business? Are you making sandwiches as a Subway franchise owner? Are you managing a team of handymen or housekeepers or hair stylists providing services to your customer base? Are you an investor switching gears from real estate investing to ownership of franchise businesses geared toward multi-unit ownership?
Regardless of how you see yourself in franchising, your decision to buy a franchise should depend on your goals, your personality and character, your financial situation, your level of risk tolerance and your family’s lifestyle needs and expectations. Further, you must feel comfortable working within a franchise system. If your personality will not allow that, you will not be successful in franchising.
Ask Yourself – Why am I thinking about buying a franchise?
If you see buying a franchise as a means to replacing a job, you are barking up the wrong tree. Franchise ownership is far more encompassing than the 9 – 5 responsibility you feel holding down a job. You cannot expect to see a steady paycheck every Friday. You cannot expect to put in 8 hours a day with an hour for lunch. You cannot make plans for the weekend because you are building a business that doesn’t operate just 5 days a week.
You are responsible for all aspects of running a business. Yes, the franchisor provides the business format, assists with design of the facility and dictates what services you may offer or products you may sell, but this is your business. You’ll need to hire and manage a staff, rent and maintain space for your business, market your franchise to your community, and, above all, meet a financial budget to help assure your long term success.
Ask Yourself – Can I build a business relationship with my employees?
Your success in a franchise business will largely depend on your ability to hire and manage your employees successfully. Labor is typically a franchisees biggest expense and can be either a blessing or your worst nightmare.
To help determine whether or not you might succeed as an entrepreneur, ask yourself the following questions:
- 1. Will you see your employees as an asset and a part of your business success?
- 2. Do you have the ability to communicate with your employees without offending them in any way?
- 3. In today’s business world, you may have a language barrier with your employees. Can you deal with that?
- 4. Would you be too emotional during the hiring and firing process?
- 5. Can you discipline an employee then get them on the right track?
- 6. You may be working with employees of all ages. Can you relate to the needs of any age group?
- 7. Can you avoid working too closely with your employees to the point where a true friendship evolves?
If you have expertise in managing or supervising employees and you were successful at it, you will have a much greater chance of success in franchising.
Do you have the ability to see the big picture?
You’ll need to have a great deal of confidence from day one that you’ve made the right decision and chose the best franchise for you. You’ll need to make a total commitment to the franchise system you chose and firmly believe, if you follow the system and operate your business effeciently you will succeed. You’ll need to see the big picture and not read too much into the successes or failures you experience daily or monthly or even in a year. If you can stay the course, and learn from your experiences while growing your skills in your franchise model, you will succeed.