Seven things no-one tells you about starting a franchise

Starting your very own franchise business is as easy as 1,2,3. That's what you will hear from every franchisor trying to solicit you into buying their licence.

Seven things no-one tells you about starting a franchise

Starting your very own franchise business is as easy as 1,2,3. That’s what you will hear from every franchisor trying to solicit you into buying their licence. Try typing “starting a franchise business” in Google, and you will find at least 1000 articles claiming that’s the easiest thing anyone can do and only people who haven’t invested in one won’t become successful. Unfortunately, the truth is not exactly like this. Sure, starting a franchise business is 100 times easier than establishing a solo business. However, it’s neither easy nor a sure thing. So, instead of lying to our potential franchisees, we prefer to share the 7 things no one will tell them about starting a franchising business.

You will want to give up

The first 4 to 6 months are crucial. That’s the period when you are not just working tirelessly and getting nothing in return, but you are also burning through your working capital. This is the initial phase of your franchising business when you still haven’t got the gist of it and are still learning. So it’s only natural that you’d want to quit. However, success comes only for those who suffer through this rough start. Hang in there, follow the provided business plan, and ultimately you will reach success.

You will need to be available 24/7

Many people forget that a franchising business is still a business. You still have the same duties and responsibilities as if you were in business on your own. The only difference is that when you are a franchisor, you have the road to success paved in front of you, as well as some helpful support. While with a solo business, you will be working 24/7, with a franchising business, you will get to enjoy family time, weekends, and vacations. Still, that doesn’t mean you can just vanish. You still have to be available 24/7. After all, the business is yours, and every single decision is yours to take.

You will need help and support from your family and friends

While you will have some very generous support from the franchisor’s in-house team, this is just for work. Emotionally you will need your friends and family. Being a business owner, be it a franchise or otherwise, takes a massive toll on the person’s psychology, and having the support of your closest people is something you can not do without. It’s extremely helpful knowing you have some trusted people behind your back whom you can trust and ask for help.

You will need to invest at all times

Each business endeavour starts with an investment, and that’s what every franchisor will tell you. They will disclose their fee and how much it will cost to establish your business. However, what anyone rarely mentions is that you will have to continue investing. Usually, it’s not money that you will invest, but time and effort. However, if you want to grow rapidly, you will have to break your piggy bank every once in a while. Still, it’s not wasting money if you have a plan to profit from your investment.

You will have to shape-shift

I’m the boss is a lyric from The Lonely Island’s great song, which perfectly describes the mentality of people who use this phrase. You must be more than “the boss” as a franchise owner. You will have to be a genuine chameleon in your workplace, as one moment you will be the manager, and the next, you might need to be the cleaner. Then you will work at Finance, while just a minute later you will have to be the HR. Yes, especially at the beginning, you will need to shape-shift in any role that needs your attention, which might be frustrating at times, but that’s how you learn your business inside and out.

You won’t be making a profit from the very get-go

If that’s a surprise, you haven’t been reading carefully. Profits come depending on your efforts and your business model. Fantastic Services’ franchisees, for example, become self-sufficient in the first 4-6 months on average. That’s why we always ask potential franchisees to have a certain amount of working capital ready before we sign. 

Your ideas will often fail at first

Failure is part of success, and you should embrace it. For example, have you ever wondered why Apollo 11 was the one that reached the Moon? It’s because ten previous Apollo missions failed. But through each one, they got closer and closer. The same will be with your ideas. At first, they will fail, but the point is never to give up.

These seven things are not a secret, yet Franchisors prefer to forget about them, as they might sway you to rethink your investment. Still, I believe it’s a far better strategy to let potential franchisees know precisely what they are getting into before they make their final decision.

Rune Sovndahl
Rune Sovndahl