What it Takes to Be a Successful Franchisee? Three Things to Think About…
By Jo Gonzalez
Managing Partner, Your Franchise Success
As franchise advisors, we often get asked why we believe some franchisees are more successful than others based on our years of experience. The Your Franchise Success advisor team could fill a book on this subject, but one of the main things we’ve learned is there’s never one reason. There are just as many reasons for success as there are for failure.
I would also say there are no shortcuts to success in franchising or in life for that matter. Not in the beginning, middle or the end. If there were, am sure many of us would have already found those shortcuts by now.
But if I had to narrow it down to the three most important characteristics about successful franchisees I helped find a match, I would have to say these folks were:
1. Goal oriented
2. Honest about their own strengths and flat spots
3. Willing to become educated and follow a system of evaluation in an effort to find the right franchise fit.
We find in 9 out of 10 cases our clients have never written down their goals. We advise if you haven’t explored where you want to be in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years; sleep on it. Ask yourself this question before you go to bed. You will get your answers in the morning. Write them down. Put them in your wallet, your nite stand, on your computer. There is something about writing them down that helps you achieve. Not sure why this is –but they will drive you to personal and professional success if you keep them top of mind.
Without goals, it’s like driving at nite without headlights. My older brother, (I have six of them) used to do this to my brothers and I when we were up north sometimes on the dark country roads for 5 seconds and laugh his head off at our screams. The feeling — lost and scaaary!!!
In addition, successful franchisees are honest with themselves and others. They know their strengths and weakness and with guidance are open to learning how to evaluate franchise models that will leverage these strengths and shore up any flat spots.
Willing to Follow A System That Leverages Their Skills
Lastly, they were willing to follow the step by step system to lead them towards an informed decision on a franchise brand. The ability to follow a system is what franchising is all about. Is it not?
A tell-tale sign that someone will follow a franchise system is reflective of how they go through the evaluation process with advisors and franchisors. Good advisors and franchisors look hard at this and will not be shy to let candidates know if this is a problem.
A systematic evaluation also helps bear out whether or not the franchise candidate will be comfortable executing the systems to the level necessary for success. When I look back at the folks who are happy with their businesses and thank me for the advisory role played, this is the cream rising to the top. We call it finding a good fit.
While there are another dozen or so characteristics I could list, I will stop at these three for now as I believe they are foundational to success in franchising. With no guarantees in life or with a franchise organization, candidates increase the odds of success if these three items are given the attention they deserve.
Jo Gonzalez is managing partner of Your Franchise Success, a Michigan based franchise business consultancy firm specializing in matching qualified candidates with quality franchise companies. She cites the “key” to helping candidates is developing a “franchise compass” (i.e. goals, skills, lifestyle they want to achieve before taking the leap into searching for franchise companies). Gonzalez is a seasoned franchise executive who has helped hundreds of franchise candidates find success through franchising. She also co-owns a nine year old automotive franchise with her husband Rick and has held numerous executive franchise positions including principal in home service, retail, food, hair care and children’s services. Jo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 248.496.2893.