Finding the perfect franchise comes down to whether it’s the right fit for your expertise
When you decide to leave employment and start your own business, there are a world of options to choose from. Franchising is a very broad sector with businesses ranging from cost-reduction consultants to care providers, from retailers to home-tutoring franchises.
One of the many advantages of franchising is that you can choose to run the business that you've always dreamed of but never thought possible. The support of a franchisor can mean that in many cases you don’t need previous experience of the industry that your new business will operate in. For example, 70% of Tutor Doctor franchisees don’t come from a teaching background. Ultimately, the franchisor should be the industry expert: the purpose of the training and support that you will receive is to help you to become an expert too.
Whilst you may not need direct experience in your chosen industry, your business will benefit from the transferrable skills you can bring to it from your previous career. So when people ask me “what is the best franchise to invest in?” – which they often do – the straight answer is “the one that suits you the best.” And to understand which franchise that is, you’ll need to do a thorough assessment of what a typical working day will look like and what skills are needed to carry out each and every task. You’ll then have to spend time looking at your own background, experience and personal strengths and weaknesses to make sure that, with 100% honesty, you know how and if your skills will transfer.
Speak to a franchisor 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 work independently? When you discuss with the franchisor the skills needed to be successful, it's often useful to talk about and with other franchisees in the network to understand their journey better.
It’s also a good idea to use an evaluation system to understand how well you're suited to the franchise. Most people are familiar with a SWOT analysis for business and the marketplace but fewer professionals conduct the exercise by looking at themselves to assess what strengths they personally have. By doing this you will see how your strengths could create opportunities and what weaknesses – unless compensated for – could pose a threat.
If you understand your own transferrable skills, you're unlikely to waste time looking into businesses to which you are unsuited. You’ll also be better equipped to answer a franchisor when they ask you “why do you feel you’ll be successful?” An ethical franchisor should only award a franchise to someone who has the right transferrable skills. And you should only want to be involved in a business where your skills give you the best possible chance of success.