From time to time, I have people looking to buy franchises asking me, Johnny Franchise, for advice. Well, I am not really a “Matchmaker.” I do like to give people ideas and perspectives to try and help. Here are the top five questions or bits of advice that I provide to these people when they find me.
Number one is to understand what it’s like to be an owner, and it’s much more than just having a job. You are responsible! You need to take responsibility and be willing to do whatever it takes to get things done and be successful. It’s your fault if things go wrong. You have to be willing to accept the responsibility, liability, and leadership required to be a business owner.
Number two, think about the business concept and brand you might buy; make sure it’s something you actually enjoy. If you don’t do well with people in the morning, don’t buy a coffee shop business. If numbers are not your thing, probably best not to be involved in engineering or mathematics. Find something you have a genuine passion for. It’s important you like the business and can be proud of what the brand represents because it becomes your business personality. Sometimes it can become your identity. Ensure you think about the business and how it aligns with your personal values, reputation, and ambition.
Number three, have other people help you, such as a good lawyer, a good accountant, or other people who will be valuable and keep you from making mistakes. You don’t have to go it alone. The beauty of a franchise is the collaboration, collective knowledge, and experience built into a successful franchise network. You need some local help too. Get the legal and accounting operations set up and operational from the start. You need to have good information to make good decisions. These two areas are not a place to save money, instead be focused on complete, accurate, and timely accounting and legal information. Use budgets, plans, and get help to use this information.
Number four, understand the people and cultural factors. Typically a franchise business needs employees, contractors, or some combinations of other people who will help execute and deliver the service and product for the business. Understanding the people and cultural factors is critical. How many people will be involved? What kind of people will be involved? What are their personalities? What are their expectations? What type of lifestyle do they lead? What kind of alignment or miss-alignment might you anticipate? Take the necessary time to understand the people involved, how you might relate to them, how you identify with them, and how you will collaborate with them. Think about those things in advance. The more familiar, comfortable, and enthusiastically positive those relationships and perspectives are, the better. Get with the people you know and like and want to be successful with. If there’s a good fit, the culture should follow and be positive.
Number five, do your homework on any franchise you get serious about. There should be enough information and history. Make sure to do phone calls, visits, and meetings with existing franchisees. I’ve written about this on my blog. Franchising is a great way to grow a business and a great way to operate, manage, and leverage success as a group. It’s based on quality people with high integrity and hard work. There are no real shortcuts, just points of leverage that can work when done properly. Do your homework and know what you’re getting involved in. Know what’s expected. Know the keys to success. Know where the pitfalls are. Know where the landmines are. Know what to expect and when to expect it. Then use the system to make the most of the opportunity for your particular investment.
Those are five tips for people who are considering a franchise. Glad to share.
“Johnny Franchise says franchising is a great way to grow; when you’re ready, you’ll know!”
FranFund would like to thank John Francis- also known as Johnny Franchise, for this guest blog post. John has a LIFETIME of experience in franchising. You can’t tell John a franchise situation he hasn’t lived or experienced.