Buying a Franchise, Should you go into business?

Franchise Success: Who’s Responsible?


As you research franchise business opportunities, you have some specific questions in mind. Some may be unique to you, but nearly everyone wonders, “Will I succeed? Will I make money? How much will I make?”

Success and security are on your mind because you’re making an investment. You’re choosing how you will spend your time and earn your money for many years into the future. Franchise businesses — like independent start ups and most jobs — don’t offer a guarantee of success and security.

They offer you a chance to succeed.

Franchisees look into the success rates of franchises in general (higher than independent businesses) and they look into the success rates of specific franchisees. They talk with current franchisees who have succeeded and they try to determine whether a particular franchise will succeed in their market.

But when you get right down to it, you — the franchisee — have the most control over your success, because you are responsible for the most aspects of your franchise’s success:

  • You’re responsible for deciding whether franchising is right for you. If you like to do things your way and have trouble following rules, it probably isn’t. If you appreciate the chance to shine within a system, you’ll probably find franchising satisfying.
  • You’re responsible for doing the research needed to make the right choices. Too many franchisees pick a franchise because they loved it as a customer. Being a customer is not the same as being a franchisee.
  • You’re responsible for making the right choice among franchise opportunities. Franchise businesses are not all alike.
  • You’re responsible for making sure you have the resources you need to succeed. Underfunded franchises can have a hard time making it through the start up phase. If you can’t commit the time and attention, you may not be making the right choice.
  • You’re responsible for following the franchise system. Many franchises would be successful if they did what their franchisor expects them to do.
  • You’re responsible for putting in the time and money to get started. Talk with current franchisees and find out what they put into their franchises. Don’t imagine that you’ll be able to do it with less time and a smaller investment. You’ll have to do a lot of training, marketing, and otherwise setting up before you hang out your “Open” sign.
  • You’re responsible for hiring the right people. Unless you choose a franchise with no employees, you’ll have to make good choices when you hire, and manage your people once you’re hired them.
  • You’re responsible for capturing and using the numbers needed to keep your franchise on track toward success. Franchising is not a mechanical toy you can wind up and watch. You’ll have to stay on top of operations.
  • You’re responsible for making the day to day decisions that help you reach your goals. Some questions are not answered in the handbook. You must be prepared to make some calls.
  • You’re responsible for being aware of and responding to the changes in your market or your industry that will keep your franchise successful. Times change. Even the most perfect system must respond to market realities and changes in consumer behavior.
  • You’re responsible for working well with your franchisor. Franchises are a distribution system. Working well with your franchisor is a must.
  • You’re responsible for getting the most out of the franchisee community. Many franchises have strong communities of franchisees who support one another. It’s up to you to join in.

Who’s responsible for your success as a franchisee? Fortunately, you are.

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