You’re ready to start a business, and have decided that the franchise business model is the right fit for you: you want to operate your own business, while having the support of an established system behind you.
But before you get started and take that giant leap into franchise ownership, it’s essential to remember that franchisees are small business owners, and it takes a special combination of skills and traits in order to own and operate a business that resonates with your community.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of 10 of the top attributes of Canada’s most successful franchisees. So read on, and get ready to undertake a serious self-assessment to ensure you have what it takes to join the ranks of elite franchisees across the country!
There’s no doubt about it: franchising is a lot of work. Above all else, in order to thrive, a franchisee needs to be able to put in the time and effort to make their business a success. This is especially true for the first three to six months you’re in business, when you’ll be spending long hours learning the system and laying the foundation for a strong business.
Based on the amount of work you’ll be putting into your franchise (see point #1), you need to be 100 per cent focused on franchising, as it’s a full-time career that requires full-time participation. Don’t entertain any notions of being able to balance franchising with another job or career; with most franchise businesses, there simply won’t be time for other employment endeavours. If you’re not ready or able to focus on your franchise full time, you may want to reconsider this path.
3. Business oriented
Most franchise systems don’t require you to have specific skills or experience in the category you’re entering (for example, you don’t need to have food experience to own a restaurant franchise), but almost all franchisors are looking for candidates with strong business acumen. Ideally, you have an education or work background in business, with general business skills and know-how that can be transferred to assist you in running your franchise of choice.
4. Able to lead
While you’ll be following the franchise system, as a franchise owner, you’re in charge of your operation, and are responsible for your staff, and your results. It’s up to you to encourage and motivate your team members, to provide guidance, and to solve any issues as they arise, so you need to be ready to heed this call. Do You Have What it Takes to Succeed as a Franchisee?
5. Enjoy working with people
Franchising is a people-focused business: you’ll not only be interacting with your team of employees, but also with the customers/ clients you serve in a public-facing capacity. You need to be able to work with people to resolve problems, and to put your customers and community first. On top of that, you also need to be able to work with the franchise head office team, who will be there to provide continuous support.
6. Able and eager to communicate
As you’ll be spending so much time on a daily basis with your team and your customers/clients, you need to be an effective communicator. You should be able to clearly articulate tasks and expected outcomes to employees so they can thrive, and strong communication skills will also be a major asset in developing relationships with members of your community, which is critical for local marketing efforts.
7. Ready to follow a system
While you need to have entrepreneurial skills to own and operate your own business, you also need to remember that in franchising, you’re not going it alone. While the day-to-day operation of your franchise falls on you, ultimately, you’ll be following the system of operations as set out by your franchisor. Franchises are replicable businesses that are consistent from one location to the next, so you need to follow the system to the letter to ensure that your business looks and operates the same as every other franchise in your system. While you may not enjoy the freedom and flexibility of setting all of your own rules as you see fit, don’t forget that you’ll have the support of your system when you need it most, which is something that often can’t be beat.
To meet changing consumer needs, franchises need to follow suit, and will undergo rebranding and renovations, and put new advertising/marketing programs in place to cater to these customers. This means changes will often be introduced by the franchisor, and you need to be prepared to incorporate these changes, and to make time for any ongoing learning/training. Franchise legislation and labour laws are also changing the way franchises operate, so you need to look to your franchisor to provide updates on any legislative changes, so you can ensure you’re meeting all legal requirements.
When you’re putting in the hard work and long hours, it can be hard to remember that successful businesses aren’t built overnight. While you’ll be off to a strong start with the help of an established system of operations from the franchisor, it will still take time to grow your franchise business into a successful operation. But if you can be patient and stick with it through the first development period, you’ll be through the hardest part, and on your way to success.
As they say, when you’ve found the career that you’re truly passionate about, it doesn’t feel like work at all. While the other nine skills and traits listed above will definitely be key to your franchising success, having passion for what you do is absolutely essential. When you find the franchise category and business that you love, you’ll be more ready and willing to rise to any challenges that come your way as you take your business to new franchising heights!