At one point or another, we’ve all uttered the phrase “I wish I had known then what I know now.” At its core, this is all about the garnering of knowledge and experience to avoid problems and derive the maximum benefit from a given situation. Many startups fail for reasons such as poor quality of the product or service offered. Others go under because they have an unworkable business model. Fortunately for franchisees, they usually have few reasons to utter those words as they’ve already bought into a tried and tested model.”
As a franchisor, having developed a business idea and turned it into a reality, I have used the expression many times. We made countless mistakes and explored more than a few blind alleys when we established our first pilot branch. We commissioned computer systems that were not fully effective and much of our marketing was widely off the mark. But we persevered and, at great cost in terms of both time and money, we eventually got it right. The process was long and painful but it had to be done so that we would know that it would be successful when we awarded someone our first franchise. And today, 21 years later, those first franchisees are still with us and are continuing to trade successfully. Their success and that of many others is a result of the business knowledge that we have gained over the years, often by making mistakes of our own.
I still often wish that I had known then what I know now but franchisees don’t have to because the franchisor has already ventured into the unknown and overcome the hurdles and pitfalls in order to establish a successful business model. More than just a safety net, a good franchise will supply the franchisees with a spring board to success. The only thing a new franchisee has to do is to provide the hard work, dedication and commitment that will make the leap into a new career a triumph. You don’t have to waste time and money making costly mistakes, creating effective processes and systems, finding experts to consult when you have an IT or an accounting problem. You don’t even have to pick profitable partnerships with companies you can do business with.
So while starting your own franchise still offers both the challenges and rewards of being your own boss, you can reap the benefits of following a tried and tested formula to achieve your goals. In short, you enjoy the benefits of hindsight, without actually having made any mistakes yourself. “If only everything in life could be this straight-forward.”