Are you looking to become a successful franchisee? Let’s look at three steps to maximizing your chance of financial success. The good news: it’s not rocket science. And if you’re capable of each of these steps, you’ll be well positioned to thrive as a franchisee.
1. Assess Your Suitability
Franchise ownership is not for everyone. Near the beginning of your research process, it’s a good idea to do a self-assessment to make sure you’re going down the right path. Do you have these traits? If so, you’re likely a strong candidate:
Great Work Ethic. A successful franchisee does whatever it takes to get the job done – willingly and with enthusiasm. They put in needed hours and know that seemingly unexciting tasks can be just as important as fun ones.
Strong “People Skills.” A successful franchisee has good interpersonal skills. They’re skilled at interacting with employees and customers in a way that inspires loyalty, value, and trust.
Cautious About Risk. While a successful franchisee is willing to take risks, they strive to manage and minimize those risks whenever practical. No gamblers here — a successful franchisee is deliberate, purposeful, and prudently cautious.
Coachable. A successful franchisee values opportunities to learn from the experience of others. They see the advantage of adhering to established best practices rather than reinventing the wheel at every opportunity. They are not afraid to ask for help and will adjust their course of action as needed.
2. Find the Franchise Opportunity That’s Right for You
Franchises come in all shapes and sizes. What’s right for your friend or mentor might not be right for you. The most successful franchisees take the time to find their perfect fit by doing the following:
Determine Readiness. Don’t skip the critical self-assessment process. You’ll need to define exactly what you want to accomplish through business ownership. Then do a personal inventory that assesses your strengths and weaknesses and the financial resources you’ll have available.
Review Disclosure Documents. Do your homework to weed out the weaker performing franchises. Success leaves a paper trail. Carefully review the mandated disclosure documents you receive from the franchisor. They provide valuable clues about the relative success of the franchise system.
Talk to Franchisees in the System. Look for a track record of strong performance from existing franchisees. Validation calls are vital. These conversations with current franchisees will help paint the picture of the franchise as a whole and enable you to get a feel for your own chance of success.
Explore the System’s Values and Culture. Meet with the employees and officers of the franchise company in person. You should be able to get a sense of what it would be like to work with them. How well do their values and focus align with yours?
3. Follow the Franchisor’s Playbook
Once you’re in, keep in mind this important fact: every great franchise has a tested, proven system of operation. In order to get the most out of the system, you’ll need to do the following:
Learn It. Take advantage of every training opportunity. While you’ll feel anxious to “get going,” take the time to thoroughly learn about the business. This investment in training will pay huge dividends as your business grows more quickly and with fewer expensive mistakes.
Practice It. In training as well as during start-up operations, be sure to review your training materials to engrain best practices as your standard of operations. At every turn, do the best you can at executing the franchisor’s systems in the way you were trained.
Don’t Stray. A successful franchisee resists the urge to innovate or come up with a new way to operate the business. If there’s another worthwhile way to operate, the franchisor will test it and refine it. You’ll get all the benefits without any of the risks that come with innovation.
Help Others. Once you’ve established your business, dedicate a percentage of your time to assisting other operators. This activity will repay you in many ways and is another hallmark of a successful franchisee.
If you’re ready and willing to follow these three steps, you’ll be good as gold! You’re on the path to success as a franchisee.