What it takes to become a Franchisee

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What it takes to become a Franchisee

Buying a franchise is one of the most popular routes to starting your own business; right from the start, you get the advantage of a name and brand identity which people trust, as well as support from the franchisor for logistics, training, business methods and advertising. Many people start their first business as a franchise and it is possible to get started without a great deal of preliminary business training or experience. However, there are a number of personal characteristics which are important for potential franchisees in determining whether their attempts to start a successful franchise business will result in success or failure. Franchise companies look at the following personal traits as being the most important when they invest in you to represent their brand for a long lasting business relationship.

The most important personal trait that you can have as a business owner is a positive attitude. You have to be focused and concentrate on getting good results. When you run into challenges, will you be able to determine the correct action to overcome them? When you make mistakes, will you be able to recognize them and learn from them instead of becoming frustrated? The ability to keep your eyes on the prize and not let setbacks prevent you from giving the business your all is important for all people who want to succeed in business. Think of it from the franchisor’s perspective: when you look for someone who is going to represent the face of your business to the world, would you choose someone with somewhat more education but a poor attitude, or someone who is fresh but eager to learn and capable of adapting to and overcoming any problems that may arise? Having a positive attitude is the single most useful trait that a potential franchisee can have, so make sure that your heart is in the business and convey your can-do spirit when communicating with the franchisor.

Another vital characteristic of one’s personality for franchisees is being able to work with the franchisor. Franchise owners need to demonstrate a spirit of cooperation; this is the whole point of choosing to go with a franchise business. A franchise system works because each franchisee follows the same business model and operating processes as the franchisees in other areas. When franchise owners do this, the franchisors are able to assist and supply them most effectively, and the customers at each local franchise location are assured of getting the most consistent service. Franchisors provide a system which franchise owners can follow, including a wide array of contracts and training materials for managers and employees that can get you up and running in no time. Franchisors also cooperate on an ongoing basis with their franchisees to develop regional promotions. They can also provide special support and counsel to help franchisees adapt to the demands of their local area and adjust their business plan when common challenges are encountered. A franchisee that is able to ask for help from the franchisor when needed and respond flexibly to a situation is one which is more likely to succeed in the long run. Therefore franchisors look for people to represent their business who realize that there is a lot that others can teach them and that it takes a group effort to be successful.

Franchise owners also need to display good communication skills. People skills are a must for any kind of business owner; this ties in as well with cooperating effectively with the franchisor, and with having a positive overall attitude towards the business. As a successful owner of a franchise, you will need to be able to relate well not only with the people working for the franchisor, but also with the employees and the customers at your own place of business. Strong employee relations will go a long way towards determining your success. A positive attitude at the top is often reflected in better attitudes among the employees, and better attitudes among the employees means that your customers will receive a higher quality of service and be more satisfied. This in turn, means that you will be able to encourage repeat business, which is vital to making your local franchise location successful. By treating your employees well, you can also reduce the amount of employee turnover and save money and time that would otherwise be spent on finding and training new employees. In addition, when dealing with customers, be sure that you make it clear that their satisfaction is important to you. Remember that the customer is always right!

While many people enter into a franchise agreement as their first business, there are exceptions such as people who manage multiple franchise locations or come from a background of running other types of business. While having previous business experience or training is not essential to becoming a successful franchisee and is generally not given the same kind of weight as personal characteristics, it is still valuable and may make a difference in the selection process. More important than any specific training is your personal account of the jobs that you have had, the businesses that you have run, your various life experiences reflecting the way that you have adapted to changing situations and your ability to deal with the challenges that arise as a part of work and life. Someone who has consistently demonstrated an ability to make good decisions (or to learn from one’s mistakes) in the face of adversity, particularly in a business context, will have an advantage when running a franchise business. Make sure when you are making your case to start a new franchise location that you give the franchisor a sense of how your life has prepared you to handle the details, great and small, of running your own business. An additional note: franchisors are generally less interested in applicants having experience within the industry of the franchise that they are running. This is because it is easier to train people with less experience. They may have other positive character traits, such as a willingness to learn, than people who have had previous training that may conflict with the franchisor’s training and who may not be interested in unlearning previous habits. Still, it is possible for applicants with same industry experience to be successful, and some employees of a franchise rise to become managers by taking management training courses which provide an ongoing career path within the franchise structure.

Finally, franchisors want to make sure that you have the resources needed to get your franchise started. In addition to a stable life which allows you the time you need to handle a growing business, you must be able to afford the costs of starting the business. This requires being able to demonstrate with your bank that you have enough start-up capital. In some cases, you may need to obtain a business loan or some kind of outside funding to begin running your business. If you cannot yet collect enough money to start a franchise, don’t be hasty! It is better to wait until you have the resources necessary to pursue your business goals without risking your quality of life, or getting to the point where you are unable to make adjustments or necessary purchases for your growing franchise because you have run out of money. Make sure that you have everything you need in place before you enter the franchising process so you can do whatever is necessary as the business moves towards being in profit.

If you have the traits listed above, you are well on your way towards becoming a successful franchisee. Remember: to be a good franchise owner one must have

  • a positive attitude
  • be good at working with the franchisor and asking for help and advice whenever needed
  • show strong personal communication skills with employees and customers to ensure the highest level of customer service and satisfaction
  • demonstrate the ability to flexibly overcome various obstacles throughout life using one’s previous life and / or business experience
  • have enough of a budget (which may include outside funding, business loans, etc.) to take care of any expenses that will or may be required as the franchise gets onto its feet without risking the state of one’s own personal finances

As you can see, the most important thing in determining one’s success as a franchise owner is one’s own personality, and not necessarily previous experience. Many new owners of franchises are young and do not have extensive experience in the industry of which the franchise is a part, in fact this may be a downside in making an application. The most important things by far are a positive, outgoing attitude and an eagerness to learn. Make sure that you reflect these kinds of personal traits when you apply to run a franchise business in your area, and you will maximize your chances of entering into a strong ongoing business relationship and being one of the franchises that succeeds.

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