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Introverts as franchisees: what’s not to like? Introverts can make strong leaders. They are most likely to succeed when they embrace their strengths and push beyond their comfort zone when needed.
What is the definition of an introvert?
While many people think of introverts as being shy and timid, that’s a misconception. To determine whether someone tends toward introversion or extroversion, look at the way they recharge and draw energy. Introverts do so by spending time alone, while extroverts gain energy from being around others. For more insight on introverts, check out Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain.
What strengths do introverts bring to a franchise?
There are many ways introverts are well suited for business leadership such as the running of a franchise. Many introverts are naturally skilled at listening, preferring to hang back, listen, observe, and analyze a situation before chiming in. Listening skills are critical in business. It’s the best way for a leader to tune into and understand the needs and concerns of clients and employees.
Introverts are careful planners. They prefer to think about the task at hand or the next project before acting upon an idea. This can be an advantage when executing a business plan, devising strategies, and attending to tasks that require attention to detail. Introverts tend to be less impulsive and less likely to engage in high-risk behavior. They typically take time to assess circumstances before they act, which minimizes the potential for error and maximizes leadership effectiveness.
What types of franchises are best for introverts?
When researching franchise opportunities, introverts (as well as anyone else) should take into account the ownership model, work environment, and/or degree of contact with clients and employees involved. For example, those who prefer to minimize in-person interactions could look for an “executive owner” or “semi-absentee owner” opportunity where they hire a manager to oversee and supervise the employees.
The bottom line
What’s the verdict on introverts as franchisees? Well, they’re just as likely as extroverts to be successful. If you’re an introvert, embrace your strengths. Consider some of the most successful introverted entrepreneurs: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, J.K. Rowling, and Mark Zuckerberg.Read More
If you’ve found a franchise you’re interested in potentially buying, franchise discovery day tips are good to consider. Discovery day is an important step in your research process. It comes after you’ve done your preliminary research and are focusing in on one or a small number of franchises.
What is a franchise discovery day?
During a typical discovery day, you travel to visit the franchise and its staff. You’ll gather information to help you assess whether the franchise offers what you’re looking for and whether you’re a good fit. Typically, you get a chance to meet corporate staff, tour the headquarters and a franchise unit, check out the products and services, and in some cases, meet franchisees.
You can ask any remaining questions, get a feel for the corporate culture, meet the founder, and speak with key staff in marketing, operations, and training.
Franchise discovery day tips
Remember that as you evaluate the franchisor, the franchisor is evaluating you as a potential franchisee. Here are some things to think about as you prepare:
- Arrive properly dressed, armed with questions, and ready to listen and learn. If possible, find out in advance what type of attire is appropriate. First impressions are important. Avoid looking at your phone during presentations and discussions.
- Be prepared to explain how your skills, experience, and personality will help you succeed as a franchisee. Any self-assessment you did earlier in the process should give you some good material to work with.
- Meet with people in operations, training, technical support, and marketing. Can you see yourself working with these people long-term? Pay attention to the way people in the organization interact. How much respect do they show each other? Are senior executives open to suggestions from lower-level employees?
- When meeting the founder and/or president, pay attention to how they describe the vision of the company and where it’s going. You can also assess their leadership style, passion for the company, and whether they inspire you.
- Soak up the culture and corporate personality. Is it formal? Informal? Would you fit in? Do your values align? Do you trust what they are saying? This is a long-term relationship, so these issues will affect your future. Trust your gut.
- Make comparisons with information you’ve uncovered earlier in your research. Does what the franchisor is telling you jibe with what you heard from franchisees during your validation calls?
- Resolve your most important remaining questions. Keep them specific, and limited to about a dozen or so.
Being invited to a discovery day is a big deal indeed. It means you’ve done enough legwork and homework to be close to a franchise decision. So treat the day as the important event that it is, by putting your best foot forward and paying close attention to what you seeing and learning. That was you can maximize your chance of future success.Read More