Thinking about going into the franchise business? If you’ve got business skills, energy, drive and money to invest, it could be just the ticket. However, before you leap into a franchise agreement, better ask yourself these questions:
1. Are you a hard worker?
If you thought the nine-to-five was hard and you’re looking for an easy way to make a fast buck, then franchising probably isn’t for you. As a franchisee, you can look forward to long hours; as a franchise owner, your business will be with you twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. If you’re up for the hard graft, though, the potential for rich rewards is great. On the other hand, if you’re a clock-watcher and would rather put your feet up over weekends, public holidays and after-hours, then perhaps franchising isn’t for you.
2. Are you reliable?
Showing up is half the battle, said Woody Allen. To make a success of a new venture means you need to be there, day in and day out, nurturing your venture through the start-up phase. Flaky fly-by-nights aren’t going to cut it – franchisors are looking for solid, reliable, committed types, who’ll knuckle down and get the job done. Remember, too, that customers appreciate businesses that can deliver and they’ll reward your reliability with repeat business.
3. Do you have good leadership skills?
You’ve run out of stock. Your supplier can’t deliver ‘til next week. Your invoices haven’t been paid. Your franchisor is nagging you for a royalty cheque. A difficult customer is creating a scene in front of others. Being a business owner means dealing with crises from time to time and navigating through tricky times. Strong leadership skills are what will get you through it. If you’re the kind that would rather put your head in the sand or run to escape pressure, you’re not cut out for franchising.
4. Do you have business acumen?
You may have been top of the class when it comes to your particular area of expertise, but being the best at what you do doesn’t necessarily mean you can make a successful business out of your specific skill set. Of course, it helps to be talented but you also need a healthy helping of good, old fashioned business nous. Being quick to understand the fundamentals of business, how to turn a profit and eagerness to learn more is what will make your franchise a success.
5. Do you have financial skills?
Someone’s got to keep tabs on what’s really going on in the business, and that person is you! Finances is what will make or break your new franchise and, while you don’t have to be the world’s best accountant, you do need to be able to understand the fundamentals of accounting and financial management - cash flow, income and expenditure, profit and loss, assets and liabilities etc. etc. If you have no idea what we’re on about here, best you take a short course in accounting, bookkeeping or financial management or reconsider becoming a franchisee.
6. Do you have good people skills?
Developing relationships is at the heart of developing a business, whether it be with clients, employees, suppliers or the media. As the franchise owner, you’re the personality of the business; the person in the front line. There’s no getting away from this one – if you’re not a people person, staying in the back office might be more your thing.
7. Do you have a genuine interest in the industry in which your franchise operates?
To drive your franchise onwards and upwards, you need a genuine passion for your line of business. Not only will passion motivate you, but your enthusiasm will rub off on those around you and energise them to work with you to achieve your goals. What better way to live your life, but to get up every morning to do the thing you love!
Author: Franchise Finder, Online Directory of Franchises and Business Opportunities in South Africa