When you make the monumental decision to become your own boss, unless you know exactly what you want to do – and make the purposeful move to do it – knowing where to start can feel daunting.
When you make the monumental decision to become your own boss, unless you know exactly what you want to do – and make the purposeful move to do it – knowing where to start can feel daunting. What business suits you best? Where are you most likely to succeed? Franchising offers the best of both worlds; you have the autonomy of business ownership and can finally be in control of your destiny with the backup of an experienced support team and a proven model behind you. It’s also an extremely broad industry, full of business opportunities that tend to almost every customers’ needs. One of the many advantages of franchising is that it allows you to run the business that you want, and maybe have always dreamed of running, but never thought that you could.
You might think that having previous experience in an industry is a necessity when finding your next venture, but it’s not always the case. Of course, it advantageous if you possess a passion for the sector, but more often than not, franchisors are looking for individuals that are results-driven, willing to learn and have a real desire to make a difference and to make an impact in their community. No franchisor is expecting to find a franchisee who just popped out of their brand mould! What they are looking for is someone who has clearly assessed and understood their skillset, who is ready and willing to follow the model and can leverage their own local knowledge, relationships and expertise to build a successful business.
The responsibility to assess your skills and figure out how well a business will suit you is as much yours as it is a franchisor’s. Taking time to do this will save you a lot of wasted time down the line pursuing opportunities that won’t work for you or the brand in question.
To understand what franchise suits you best, it’s important to identify and appreciate what you believe to be your own skills, abilities and personal qualities. One great technique to evaluate this is to conduct a SWOT analysis (this stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). Most people will be familiar with the system for business and the marketplace, but fewer ever conduct the exercise on themselves. By doing this and being completely honest about it, you will see how your strengths could create opportunities and what weaknesses you have which, unless compensated for, could present a challenge in the future. As well as your strengths and weaknesses, remember to take into account your background and career history – experience counts for a lot! Consider your preferences when it comes to tasks because, even though you’re good at something, doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to enjoy doing it. What are your likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses and ambitions for the future?
Armed with this knowledge, you can then spend time looking at how these attributes will relate to different franchises. A great way to approach this is to map out what typical ‘working day’ will look like in a brand that you like, and list what skills are needed to carry out each and every task. Are you well matched? If not, does the model allow – or expect – you to recruit in supporting talent and skillsets?
In the process of making your decision, it’s a great idea to speak to the individual franchisors. That way, you will be able to get a good understanding of what it takes to run the business. Will you be customer facing? Is there a technical element? Will you be employing a team or working independently? Franchisors love being asked questions as it shows initiative and impressive business acumen.
An ethical franchisor will only award a franchise to someone who has the right transferrable skills – so knowing, and being able to communicate your own, is a vital part of your journey to business ownership. To give you the best possible chance of success, look for a business where your existing skills are complemented by the training and support offered by the franchisor. If you truly understand your own transferrable skills, you are unlikely to waste time looking into businesses to which you are unsuited. You’ll also be well placed to ensure that you have answers for a franchisor when they ask you ‘why do you feel you’ll be successful?’.
This article comes courtesy of Tutor Doctor, the world’s fastest growing in-home tutoring franchise. Since launching in the UK in 2009, they brand has welcome over 70 franchisees to its UK network.