Buying a Franchise

Defining Success as a Franchisee

You’re planning to be a successful franchisee and to run a successful franchise. How will you know?

Without a clear definition of success, you may not recognize it when you see it.

Perhaps more importantly, how will you get from here to there? Without a clear definition of success, you can easily get caught up in the day to day minutiae and fail to make progress toward your particular goal.

Defining success is key.

In some cases, your franchisor will give you a definition of success: the performance standards you have to meet in order to keep your franchise. Chances are, this is not your definition of success for yourself in life, but it can be easy to accept this definition and to forget to look past it. This is like the lowest level of Maslow’s famous hierarchy: survival.By meeting this minimal definition of survival, your franchise will stay in business and in your possession, but that may not be the level of success you want for yourself.

Another way to define success is to determine the amount of money you want to earn from your franchise for your personal income. You might want to replace the salary you have at a current job, you might have determined a figure that will provide you with the style of life you want, or you might just choose a number that means success to you. This can be seen as Maslow’s second level: security. This may not be much different from aiming at the franchisor’s definition of acceptable performance, though your personal number may be higher.

With either of these number-based definitions of success, you can divide the amount you want to earn in a year into quarters, months, weeks, and days, and you can easily see whether you’re on track to meet your goals.

Climbing Maslow’s pyramid, the next definition of success can be about self-esteem. Being the boss, having the work-life balance you want, or fulfilling a personal dream of owning a coffee shop or a pet store are examples of this type of goal. The more clearly you’ve defined your goal, the better equipped you’ll be to meet it. If you’ve always dreamed of opening an auto shop and haven’t thought much further than that, you could find yourself on opening day thinking, “Now what?”

Recognition by others is another kind of success. Being a leader in your community, being of value to your customers, and winning awards from your franchisor are examples of this definition of success. If this kind of success is what you want to see, you may need to spend some time determining what steps you need to take to reach your goals. Some of them may be achieved by operating your franchise with excellence, but some might require action within business groups or community organizations. You might need both to accomplish things and to promote yourself.

The top of Maslow’s pyramid is meaning, but this is also the starting point for many people. If you  want to own a particular franchise so you can help people, to provide jobs for your community, or to finance charitable work, your definition of success is tied to a larger purpose.

With any definition of success, you’ll still need to identify the actions required to get from where you are to where you want to be. Knowing where you want to be is certainly the first step.

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