In Career Transition? Considering Self-Employment? Ten Questions to Ask Yourself.
With nearly 4000 franchise brands in the U.S., a little self evaluation before you go clicking around the web getting inundated with calls and emails from franchise representatives will save you lots of time and money.
Here’s ten basic questions to ask yourself to help you focus on what’s important first…
- Evaluate your current situation. Why now? What is it about now that makes it a good time to look at becoming a franchise owner? Did you just get laid off? Are the kids grown and gone? Are you too young for retirement?
- Know Yourself. Take Inventory of transferable skills, strengths, flat spots. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you hone in on franchise support that will leverage your strengths and provide support for flat spots.
- What are you trying to achieve? Write down your 2 year, 5 year &10 year goals. It is critical to get this down on paper. You’ll need to compare your lifestyle and financial goals with the reality of system-wide sales and earnings and the lifestyle of current franchisees in their respective systems.
- Do you have support from your spouse, family or friends? Super Important. While a good franchise system provides support, it’s helpful to have a support system that acts as a good sounding board and helps you navigate highs and lows. If not, seek out a business mentor, coach or local business association where you can network with other business people.
- What business model suits you best? Owner/operator, executive model, semi-absentee with a manager? What about hours of operation? Think about the lifestyle you are envisioning. The goal of being self employed is to run a successful business not having it run you.
- What franchise category are you most interested in, ie., retail vs. service? There is a big difference in the business model and investment. While food is typically what people think of when they think franchising there are many other types of franchise. categories like pet care and family entertainment that are not as obvious. (See below YFS represented brands, food, pet care and family entertainment).
- On a scale of 1-10, How willing are you to follow someone else’s system? Proven systems are part of what you’re investing in so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. If you score yourself an 8-10, you’re someone a franchisor will want to consider.
- What’s your financial situation look like? How much money are you willing to invest, length of time you can go without a paycheck, etc., Franchisors will want to see liquid capital, net worth and credit worthiness. Rule of thumb: Whatever the investment is, 20-30% should be your own liquid capital.
- What’s your timeline? Take into consideration the time it takes to investigate a brand, site selection and build out (if retail) and grand opening.
- Can you go through a mutual process of evaluation in approximately 6-8 weeks? Investigating a franchise is a two-way street. Franchisors and candidates need to be mutually comfortable that the opportunity is a good fit and are convinced that you’re willing to go through the research process in a timely manner.
Answers to these questions will help you begin to consider if now is the right time to look at franchise opportunities
If you’re not inclined to a DIY evaluation– take the short YFS Franchise Assessment. Minutes after submitting answers, results will be sent to you and a representative of YFS will provide a free 30 minute counsel and review session.
About Jo Gonzalez, Your Franchise Success, (YFS). Jo Gonzalez is a 32 year franchise veteran and has helped hundreds of people find franchise success. As a former franchisee and franchisor principal, she has walked the talk.