Buying a Franchise

Franchisees Must Cope with Change

What song do you love to sing in the shower? “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” could be a great choice for a franchisee, focusing as it does on dreams coming true. But if “I Did It My Way” is your theme song, you might not be ready for franchising.

Franchisees have to be able to accept change They have to be willing to change their way of doing things to follow the franchise system, and they have to be able to change how they think about subjects like marketing and customer service to mesh with the franchise’s approach.

If you know in your heart that you will never be happy following someone else’s system, go ahead and give up your franchise business dreams. If you’re willing and committed, but you need a little help to get past the initial stress, here are five things you can do that will make it easier.

  1. Understand the system. If you struggle with the idea of putting the coffee on the left and hot water on the right because it seems as though putting the coffee on the right is more natural, go ahead and ask why the coffee goes on the left. There’s a reason. Even if the reason is simply that this is where most people expect to find the coffee, knowing the reason should help you feel motivated to get used to the change.
  2. Recognize that you don’t really have control over everything anyway. You don’t control the weather, the government, or the local TV schedule, and you probably are okay with that. Add a few more things to the list of items that aren’t under your control, like your vendors or your marketing spend. If you accept your lack of control over everything instead of focusing on every little change in the way you’re handling the daily round at work, those changes will bother you less.
  3. Check the data. In a good franchise system, you’ll have metrics you can check to make sure the system is working as it should. Plenty of business owners swim upstream for months or years, continuing to do things that don’t work, because they’re thought up the system and they’re emotionally attached. Let your detachment from the franchise system work in your favor, see that it works well, and then get attached.
  4. Practice. You’ll soon find that the franchise system feels natural — if you don’t fight against it. Get up every day and follow the system as precisely as possible, and you will get into the swing of it much sooner. Keep practicing your old way of doing things, and it will just get harder and harder to make the changes you need to make.
  5. Celebrate the wins. At first, you might just have to celebrate the things you don’t have to change, but as you get comfortable with elements of the system that were awkward at first, give yourself some credit for making those changes. Maybe you’ve given up sodas in the past or struggled to get used to a friend’s married name. You probably cheered yourself on when you got the new habit in place. Do the same when you get the new franchise system down smoothly.

With these tools in place, you can choose the franchise business opportunity that works best for you, secure in the knowledge that you’ll be able to follow the system even if you know you’re a little hard-headed.

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