So What Does It Take to Be a Successful Franchisee?

Having helped hundreds of people become self employed, our team often gets asked why we believe some franchisees are more successful than others based on our years of experience.  We 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. 

We would also conclude 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.   

To narrow it down to some of the most important characteristics about successful franchisees that come to mind, we came up with what we consider the Top 3. They are candidates who are:  

  1. Goal oriented
  2. Honest about their own strengths and flat spots 
  3. Open to becoming educated and willing to follow a system of evaluation in an effort to find the right franchise fit. 

Goal Oriented

We find in 9 out of 10 cases our clients have never written down their goals.   If you haven’t explored where you’d like to be in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years —sleep on it.  Ask yourself this question before you go to bed.  If you wake up with some good thoughts on the subject —  Write them down.  Put them in your wallet, your nite stand, on your computer.  There is something about writing down goals that helps people achieve.  Not sure why this is –but I have found it to be true in my own life.     

Without goals, it’s like driving at nite without headlights. My brother used to do this to my brothers and I when we were up north on the dark country roads for 5 seconds and laugh his head off at our screams.  The feeling — lost and scary!!!   


In addition, successful franchisees are honest with themselves and others.  They know their strengths and weaknesses and are open to learning how franchise models can leverage strengths and potentially shore up their flat spots.   

Open to Becoming Educated and 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 franchisors. Good franchisors look hard at this and will not be shy to let candidates know if this is a problem.    

A systematic evaluation also shakes 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 it was because they did a thorough evaluation with the franchisor and as a result had realistic expectations.

While there are another dozen or so characteristics we could list, we believe these three are foundational to success in franchising.  With no guarantees in life or with a franchise organization, candidates increase the odds of success if these items are given the attention they deserve.

By Jo Gonzalez, Your Franchise Success