One of the most important things to do when you get ready to invest in a franchise business opportunity is to determine your goals for the franchise.
- Do you want a side gig that will let you earn money and have fun while you’re in school or raising kids or beginning your retirement?
- Are you building an empire that will give you the lifestyle of your dreams and finance an even bigger dream when you sell out?
- Is the franchise your dream job, and ownership your security in that job?
These and many more possibilities can be the real reason you’re investing in the franchise. So what do you tell the franchisor?
When you interview for a job, the best possible answer to “Where do you see yourself in five years?” is something like, “I plan to be making this business as profitable as possible, delighting our customers, and working my way up the ladder to the greatest responsibility I can handle with excellence.”
Even if the truth is, “I plan to do this for three weeks and then I’m going to quit and go on a cruise,” the right answer in a job interview is the one that focuses on the goals of the business.
Buying into a franchise business is not the same as interviewing for a job. Still, you have to persuade the franchisor that you will be a valuable partner. It may be tempting to try to give the answer that you think the franchisor wants to hear.
Wait a minute, though… The franchisor also has to persuade you that you’ll be valuable partners to one another, and then the two of you actually have to be valuable partners. You can’t expect to reach your real goals if your franchisor is working hard to support you in a completely different goal.
And you can’t be a good partner working with the franchisor toward shared goals if you are busy working on something else.
There may be specific requirements in a franchise agreement or in a franchise relationship that outline the degree to which you have to share information with your franchisor. You might be using software that gives your franchisor access to your point of sale information or you might have to open your books to your franchisor when you determine the franchise royalties you owe every month.
But your goals are probably not part of the information that’s outlined in your agreement. They may seem a lot more personal and private to you. Or you might worry that your ambitious goals will threaten your franchisor — or that your laid-back approach will make you less valuable to your franchisor. Don’t let those fears stand in the way of discussing your goals with your franchisor. You might end up getting more support than you expect; your goals might fit in perfectly with your franchisor’s plans.
If not, it’s better to know that before you commit than to wait for problems to arise.