If you're considering investing in a franchise then you're not alone. In fact, franchising is becoming increasingly popular as a route towards self-employment and business ownership via a tried and tested business system. Many of the potential investors considering buying into a franchise are contemplating second careers. They are looking for ways to use their existing experience to work for themselves, without taking on the risks of creating a new independent business that doesn't have a network, system or brand recognition.
However, it's important to know that franchising isn't an automatic route to success. Many of the attributes required to be self-employed and a franchisee are similar to those needed by people who are independent and there are additional skills and attributes that franchisees will particularly need. Here is a look at some of the common stumbling blocks for those coming into this industry.
You Don't Want to Follow a Business Model
If your passion lies in creativity, innovation and in doing things your own way, then the chances are that the franchising model isn't for you. Franchising success is predicated on a consistent customer experience regardless of location or unit type. Consider one of the industry's greats McDonalds. When you enter a McDonald's branch anywhere in the world, you recognise the branding, the product and the customer service offer. Your experience as a customer will be consistent and in line with the company's brand. Every interaction you experience, from being greeted at the till to being served products presented recognisably and at similar speeds, will be wholly recognisable and consistently good. In fact, the success of this system lies in the fact that individuality is not catered for. The strength of the business model and the brand and the reliable replication of these assets, can be found at the heart of the franchise's success. If you invest in a franchise and display your desire to forge your own path, you may find yourself in forfeiture of your licence. In fact, most potential investors who display these characteristics would not make it through the recruitment period.
You Prefer to Balance Your Work/Life Commitments
Most self-employed business people work for themselves to reap a number of rewards. These include things such as being able to influence their own income, to provide for their family through their own efforts and success and to create the lifestyle that they crave, which is balanced and self-directed. However, new franchisees are still self-employed business people in the process of launching a new business and they will need to be highly committed to putting great amounts of energy, time and effort into their new venture in the first few years at least. In fact, many franchises will see the investor doing everything to begin with and learning a vast amount before the business is generating enough income to bring in extra staff. So if you want to succeed at franchising, you'll need to be willing to put the time in.
You Aren't a Fan of the Franchise Brand
Unless you share a passion for the franchise brand that you buy into, you are very unlikely to succeed. This is the same for all self-employed business people an unshakeable belief in the product or service that you are providing is absolutely essential for you to grow your business in a successful and sustainable way. Be honest with yourself: does the brand resonate with your interests and values? If not, keep looking as the franchise industry is vast.
You Don't Enjoy Taking Criticism or Being Taught
When you buy into the franchise system, you will undergo a rigorous process of training. Be prepared to be told what to do. Regardless of your background, experience and prior seniority, you will be starting again as a franchise owner and you must be prepared to listen and absorb guidance. Of course, most successful business people realise that they never stop learning and aim to listen more than they speak, so this could be considered as a positive attribute for entrepreneurial success in general.
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to the best type of business for you. Do your research and be honest about your motivations, objectives and passions before you sign on that dotted line.