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Much research has been done into the skills, motivations and behaviours of successful franchisees. In fact, most experienced franchisors have developed a “Franchisee Profile”, which sets out the type of person who is best suited to their franchise. Some even use psychometric profiling tools to assess how you compare with their existing top performers, as a way of predicting how successful you might be.
In general, you need to possess and exhibit some basic, key skills that will fuel the overall potential for success of your franchise business. Here are some of the important characteristics that, from our experience, successful franchisees possess:
Successful franchisees are attracted to franchising for many reasons: some have always wanted to run their own business but don’t have their own original idea, while others want to seize control of their own destiny and reduce their risk through franchising. What they have in common though, is a desire to build a business, rather than buy a job.
They invest in a franchise because they have a clear vision about their ideal future and carefully decide that franchising is the right vehicle for achieving helping them to it. They are also willing to make personal sacrifices along the way for turning their vision into reality.
Being the CEO of your own business sounds glamorous, but brings many pressures with it, too. Running a franchise business is not a 9am to 5pm job. As well as the hard work and potentially long hours, you will sacrifice job security. Successful franchisees adjust to this initial ambiguity and have unyielding self-belief.
As the leader of your business the buck stops with you and you’ll often need to make important decisions. Successful franchisees thrive on achieving results and are proactive, determined and tenacious. After all, the franchisor will provide support but cannot run your business for you.
A successful franchisee needs good interpersonal skills and must be able to deal with people in a positive way. As a franchisee, you and/or your teams will be the face of the brand and set the tone for the customer experience.
Successful franchisees put the customer at the heart of their business and have an unwavering commitment to exceeding their expectations each and every time. In many cases, a franchisee’s role will be to build strong relationships by networking in their local community.
Good people skills also extend to how they manage and motivate their staff. By treating them with trust and respect they will remain loyal to them, reducing employee turnover and delivering a great customer experience.
One of the main reason why good people sometimes fail in franchising is because they don’t follow the system. They try to “reinvent” the tried-and-tested system and procedures, challenging each step in the process.
Successful franchisees on the other hand, understand that someone has already done the work, tested the procedures and proven that the system works, so pay attention to and follow the system in place. Nationally, a uniform approach and common standards are important for delivering a consistent customer experience, a cornerstone of all successful franchise networks.
While the system is a major attraction for many, this can leave others feeling stifled and even suffocated. If you choose to invest in a franchise, there’s very little you can change: so if you have a burning entrepreneurial spirit and are constantly looking to put your own mark on things you’ll probably be much happier and more successful on your own.
Running a franchise is no different to any other business – to be successful it requires hard work and a burning passion. Successful franchisees work harder than paid employees and posses strong, disciplined work habits fuelled by their personal vision. Any successful franchisee will tell you that they work until the job is done and will do whatever it takes. The great thing is because they have chosen a business that genuinely excites them, they rarely see this as a chore.
All franchisees are offered continued support and training by their franchisor. Successful franchisees embrace this, welcoming the advice and direction from their franchisor’s support staff. They view the relationship with their franchisor as a strategic partnership and by pooling their resources, talent and energy, they can achieve more together.
The franchisee must have the minimum amount of liquid capital (easily accessible funds like cash) and net worth (typically the value of their house and other assets, minus outstanding mortgages and personal borrowing) to meet their franchisor’s requirements. A reputable franchisor will not allow prospective franchisees to invest without sufficient initial capital.
According to the 2010 NatWest/British Franchise Association Survey, the average initial investment for setting up a franchise in the UK is £63,900. So while cheaper franchises are available, for many, becoming a franchisee requires the investment of life savings; for others, High Street banks view franchising as a lower risk of enterprise and are willing to lend up to 50–70% of the total investment (depending on your personal circumstances and the franchise in question). Either way, the decision to invest requires serious consideration. Are you able and willing to back yourself financially?
The decision to start your own business and the sacrifices you’ll have to make will affect your family as you divert time and attention to your business. With every business there will be challenging times during which you’ll need their full support. Successful franchisees have the full backing of their families and can count on this.