Most people looking to buy a franchise for the first time make one big mistake: they start by looking at all the different opportunities first.
When you start this way, you can end up paying good money to do the same job you did as an employee; a job that you probably didn’t like in the first place! We do this because it is what we know and it seems logical. However, if you are ready to purchase your own franchise business and want to guarantee you make a great decision, let me give you some ideas to make choosing the right franchise business more fun and profitable.
When you buy a franchise, it needs to be an extension of you. You need to ensure that the franchise you buy satisfies the following two criteria: 1. You are doing what you enjoy. 2. You are doing what you are good at. In order for the franchise opportunity to be an extension of who you are, it needs to satisfy these two criteria.
Before you start looking or if you are looking now, go through the two exercises below.
1. Answer the question ‘What do I like doing?’
Start a brain dump and write down anything you can think of. Write down everything that interests you and everything you enjoy doing, no matter how silly it seems. You can refine your list to be more business focused later on. Once you determine you have captured what you like doing, move onto the next exercise.
2. Answer this question ‘What are my strengths?’
A good starting point is to ask your friends or colleagues. You’ll get some great answers. Be prepared, however, because they might also tell you what your weaknesses are. This can be powerful yet confronting. This exercise ensures that you do not search for a wrong opportunity.
Once you are confident about what you like doing and what your strengths and weaknesses are, try to match your likes with your strengths
Once you are confident about what you like doing and what your strengths and weaknesses are, try to match your likes with your strengths. This requires thinking about what strengths you could use with what you like doing. For example, if you like sales and you know you are good at it, this is a great match. However, if you like landscaping but your strengths do not include a talent with outdoor architecture, you may want to rethink your decision.
Be aware there is another side. We all have weaknesses and fears, and your business will also carry these. Do not despair! The reality is a business opportunity will never be a perfect fit. The key is to plan for your weaknesses. None of us are good at everything. Inevitably you will find that you fill in the ‘gaps’ through a number of sources. One of those should be your franchisor.
Many good franchisors provide excellent systems that allow you not to worry about IT, reporting, accounting or workflow. Many of the administrative and operational activities are handled by your franchisor as part of the royalty/management fees.
Over the years, we have found that by developing great systems and providing all the back office operations we allow our franchisees to focus on what they are good at, which is growing their business.
As your business is an extension of you, make sure that the opportunity you choose is a match between your strengths and what you enjoy doing. Utilise your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses.
Once you feel confident about what you are looking for, go find a few businesses that meet your needs, support you financially and, more importantly, make you happy doing what you want to do.