Are you looking for a franchise? Well, let me get straight to the point. You might not be cut out for it.
You could be intelligent and highly-skilled with a decent wedge of cash behind you. But all of these things count for nothing unless you have the right attitude for franchising.
So, what is the right attitude? And how do you know if you have it?
The five attitudinal traits of a good franchisee
In 25 years of franchising, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some fabulous franchisees who have built prosperous, fulfilling businesses. I’ve also worked with plenty of people who ticked all the right boxes, but never really seemed to take off. Over time, I’ve come to realise that there are five core characteristics that distinguish a great franchisee.
1. Wholehearted commitment – buying into a franchise is not like starting a new job. There’s no ‘9 to 5’, no ‘switching off’ and no ‘leaving it to somebody else’. It requires serious 100% commitment, and it could change your whole lifestyle. You need to recognise this, and so do your family.
2. Realism – it’s good to be ambitious, but you also need to be brutally honest with yourself when assessing your skills, work ethic and financial resources. A broad skill base is more important than specialist knowledge. It’s also important that you are organised, disciplined, hard-working and personable. Please don’t stretch your finances too far when buying a franchise – if you start out with a huge debt it will add so much pressure!
3. An enterprising personality – franchisors don’t want entrepreneurs. Franchising is about following a proven system, not inventing a new one. But we do want people who are energetic and outgoing. If you have a positive disposition, enjoy being active and solving problems, the chances are you’ll make a good franchisee.
4. Drive – you need to be a self-starter and a team player. You should be goal-oriented and able to handle responsibility. Yes, you’re buying into an existing business idea and model, but it is still your business – you’re the one who has to make it work.
If you’re committed, realistic, enterprising and driven then you may well have what it takes to be a successful franchisee. But there’s one attribute that trumps all the others:
5. Collaborative – franchisees who recognise the value of working closely with the franchisor will always be more successful than those who ‘plough their own furrow’. The franchisor has created, tested and run a successful and proven business model. So work with the system. Don’t waste your valuable time reinventing the wheel.
Very few people possess the full spectrum of attributes and skills that any given franchisor is looking for. But some things are more important than others. We can work with you if you are shy; we can teach you new business skills if you lack in certain areas and we will give you the tools to enable you to build your business.
A franchisor is like your spouse. They care, they want you to be successful – so take advantage of their experience, knowledge and support. However, if you believe that your way is better or that the franchisor is simply an interference, it’s likely to lead to an early divorce or certainly poor business development.
A good franchisor wants you to succeed, and will help you do so. Choose your franchise well, work closely with the franchisor, and get ready to roll your sleeves up!