What Makes a Successful Franchisee
The prospect of joining a franchise can be exciting. Many would-be business owners leap into the process as quickly as possible. Although most franchisors want their franchisees to succeed, and they have developed plans and training specifically for this purpose, there is no guarantee of success. There are many obstacles and potential problems. The road to becoming a successful franchisee is different from the road to simply becoming the next franchisee. So what are the aspects successful franchisees share and what are some of the early pitfalls?
Each of the following is an important characteristic commonly shared by successful franchisees:
1. People Skills
Prosperous business owners enjoy dealing with people. Almost all franchises involve people in some way. Whether it is the customers that patronize your services or your own employees, you will most likely have to interact with people on a regular basis, regardless of the industry. If you do not enjoy continuous human interchange, then you may become stressed enough to drive business away. Almost any new business will require a degree of networking talent to expand. You may need to build a customer base and make connections with needed revenue streams. It is possible to be successful despite difficulty in relating with people, but it may require hiring extra staff and working harder than you would otherwise have had to do.
2. Risk Aversion
Contrary to expectation, avoidance of risk can be an asset to the franchise business model. The reason why franchising is so powerful a tool is because many of the potential pitfalls have already been stumbled into—the mistakes already made by the franchisor. Although investing in any franchise involves a degree of risk, possibly a large amount for a younger franchise, franchising is almost always substantially safer than a start-up business. Those individuals who wish to take the full reigns of risk are best left to start their own business. A savvy business person, however, would utilize the experience and wisdom of the franchise system to focus on success rather than personal preferences. The most successful business owners tend to be those that spend the time to research and ensure that they have chosen the strongest franchise system they can.
3. Proper Capitalization
The best things in life are free, but everything else costs money. Proper capitalization involves more than simply having the correct amount of money to buy the franchise and pay the start-up costs. Most small businesses fail because they don’t account for such contingencies as operating capital—the money you use to pay your bills and keep the business running even when you have no customers! The best business owners are those that understand success is a matter of weathering failures and setbacks, not by imagining that they can somehow leap to the top from the moment of inception! Part of being properly capitalized, is having the ability to accrue additional funding if needed. Being a homeowner, having a high net worth, having a long credit history, and having a high credit score are always assets, even if the particular franchise you desire doesn’t require them.
4. Positive Attitude
It’s a cliche, but it’s true. People with can-do, optimistic attitudes tend to be more successful in business. With this mindset comes a willingness to do what is necessary to make the business work. It is important to be willing to get your hands dirty. If you are afraid that you are not happy-go-lucky enough, do not worry. Part of what is meant by having a “positive attitude” is about treating others with respect and working hard. Being respectful to others will create an atmosphere of openness and growth. It will also make you appear more trustworthy. Seeing your business as a wondrous opportunity will help you to nurture it and make you more likely to put in the time and effort needed to save it from disaster. Sometimes heart makes the biggest impact, as it is the difference between a business owner that loses faith, versus the one that is willing to make the personal sacrifices to keep the business afloat.
Like most anything else, practice really does make perfect. It should come as no big surprise that most successful business owners are not first-timers to the game. If this is your first attempt at business ownership—do not fret. Any attempt you make now will help you in your future success. Many successful entrepreneurs have owned many businesses before striking it rich. You should also consider past and current business owners a great resource. Talk to as many as you can find and ask them about their successes and their failures. Try to learn from them what you can. Accomplished business owners are also unafraid to ask for help. It requires a certain lack of egotism, but they avail themselves of the franchisor’s training and services. Part of why franchising exists is to offer the help and advice not offered in a do-it-yourself model. Using the experience of the franchisor is a sure ticket to prosperity in the land of franchising.
Now that you know the secrets to success, you can begin to utilize them to make a difference in your approach. Some may have been obvious, some may not, but they are all important qualities if you wish to focus on owning a franchise business the correct way, and not your way. Let go of your ego and open to the destiny that lies before you!