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Would You Make a Good Franchisee? A Personal Assessment

By FranChoice Blog | Mar 21, 2018

person on mountaintop

How can you tell if you’re right for franchising? It takes some personal assessment. In many cases, the people who succeed as franchisees are those who know themselves quite well. They can identify their strengths and weaknesses. As a result, they capitalize on their strengths in the way they operate their business. And they surround themselves with people who are strong in the areas where they are lacking. If you’re not sure of your own strengths and weaknesses, check out the list of questions below. Your answers will tell you whether franchising should be in your future. And they’ll help you choose the right business to focus on.

Rate Yourself – A Personal Assessment

Take a good look in the mirror. This personal assessment will help you develop a clear understanding of yourself, your motivations, and your goals. These questions are designed to get you thinking. Take your time answering them, write down your answers, and be completely honest. There are no right or wrong answers, only useful insights.

Personal Assessment Part A: Personal desires, motivations, preferences

What are your reasons for wanting to own a franchise? Be specific. Do you dream of getting rich, or is your stronger desire to be free of the need to work long hours? Do you want to be your own boss and take control of your destiny? Or do you primarily hope to get away from a job that makes you unhappy?

Do you desire or feel pressure to make more money? To what degree does money motivate you?

Do you work hard consistently, whether or not the task offers an immediate reward?

Are you willing to exchange the benefits and perks you have in your current job in order to get a new business off the ground?

Personal Assessment Part B: Personal health and family involvement

Are you in good health? Do you feel able to handle the stress of starting a new business venture?

How involved is your family in helping you make this decision? Will any family members be involved in any aspect of running the business?

Does your family support what you are doing? Do they fully understand the risks and commitments (time, emotional, financial) involved?

Personal Assessment Part C: Work environment

Do you fit well in and prefer a corporate environment? Would you prefer to work for someone else and let them shoulder the the major responsibilities or would you rather be your own boss?

Do you prefer to work from your home? How do you feel about working at the same location every day (e.g., an office or retail space)? Or would you rather be “out and about,” calling on customers?

Think about your relationships: with employees, employers, customers, family, and friends. How well do you work with and get along with others? Do you prefer to work alone/independently, with only a few other people around you, or with many others?

Personal Assessment Part D: Work style

Do you crave control of all decisions? Or would you rather have someone else be in charge of major decisions, to shoulder the blame or take the credit?

What hours do you prefer to work? Do you like having a set schedule? Are you willing to work nights and weekends? How many hours per week you are willing to work?

Do you mind a long commute? How far are you willing to travel to work each day?

Do you enjoy sales? Are you more comfortable with B2B (business to business), retail, or business to consumer sales? Do you prefer an environment where customers come to you?

Do you enjoy having a system where the process is spelled out for you? Or would you rather “do your own thing,” creating and modifying the process along the way?

How do you react when you have an idea that is not supported by your boss, even though you are convinced it would benefit your organization?

When you make decisions, do you require a great deal of support before you are comfortable you made the right decision? Or are you confident in your decision-making regardless of the degree of support from others?

How well do you multi-task?

How do you feel about accepting coaching and assistance from others?

Are you “set” in your ways? How do you feel you deal with change?

Save your work

Keep your answers to these questions handy and use them as a reference tool. As you investigate the world of franchising, they will help you make decisions that suit your style, preferences, skills, and motivations.

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Evaluating a Mandatory Marketing Program

By FranChoice Blog | Mar 14, 2018

person handing over money

A franchisor’s mandatory marketing program can offer its franchisees many benefits. However, the very nature of this type of program can cause conflict in the franchisor/franchisee relationship. The fact that the fund is mandatory, requiring franchisees to contribute either a fixed amount or a percentage of gross sales, is not usually the perceived problem. Mandatory funds are actually very common in franchising. Rather, the frequent sticking point is that the franchisee has little to no say in the way these dollars are spent.

Advantages of a Mandatory Marketing Program

Pooling funds contributed by all of its franchisees gives a franchisor more to work with. The franchisor will have more buying power to create a marketing campaign that will benefit the entire system. It can hire a top-tier public relations or advertising firm. It can purchase more expensive advertising, such as television spots, that single franchisees might be unable to afford on their own. Strategic, integrated, large-scale advertising helps build the brand, which in turn benefits individual franchisees. Without a pooled fund, each individual owner must advertise on a smaller and less-noticeable scale.

Look for Balance

Not all mandatory marketing programs are created equal. When evaluating a franchise, take a good look at the marketing program. Assess its quality and whether you’ll receive adequate bang for your buck. Knowing what to look for can help you decide whether the franchisor does a good job of allocating marketing funds.

Consider the most frequent causes of friction in the franchisor/franchisee relationship:

Problem: The cost of producing marketing materials is so great that distribution (i.e., getting the materials in front of the consumer) suffers.

What to look for: Balance between these two sides of the same coin. Great commercials aren’t effective unless they air frequently and in the right markets. Poorly designed ads that air frequently and broadly could do the brand more harm than good. Look for high-quality advertisements that are frequently and widely aired/distributed to a desirable range of potential customers.

Problem: The amount of money spent to promote the brand is greater than the amount spent to urge customers to take action.

What to look for: Again, balance between these two key aspects. Brand name familiarity isn’t enough in itself. Krispy Kreme may be a household name but unless its marketing makes you want to seek out its donuts, the individual franchisees are getting little benefit. Look for a balance between brand building and call-to-action marketing. If a franchisor puts all of its eggs in the brand marketing basket, you’re likely to be unhappy down the road.

Ask the People Who Know

The best way to assess the strength of a franchisor’s mandatory marketing fund is to ask franchisees. Consider it a red flag if the majority are unhappy about the way their marketing contributions are spent.

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