Mythbusters: Common Misconceptions About What Makes a Successful Franchisee

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3 key traits of a successful franchisee

Do you think you know what it takes to be a successful franchisee? There are lots of myths floating about, so we’ve rounded up three of the biggest misconceptions to show you just how suited you might be to investing in a business.


The franchise world suffers its fair share of misconceptions, which means many people overlook the opportunity to become a flourishing business owner. Let’s run through some of the biggest myths out there when it comes to the qualities of successful franchisees.

MYTH: You need experience

The thought of running your own business can be daunting, so it’s easy to see why many people believe you need bags of experience – even if you join a franchise. But this isn’t the case. The vast majority of franchises provide comprehensive training schemes to all new investors as standard. And lots offer regular follow-up programmes to help franchisees in their professional development.

In fact, many franchisors actively look out for investors with little or no expertise in the field they’re entering. This way, the new recruits don’t have any bad habits and the franchisor can train them to work to their requirements.

So, what do you need?

In the place of experience, most franchisors want their investors to demonstrate the willingness to learn. They’ll expect you to put in the effort it takes to set up a business under their branding and make sure it’s profitable. Often, completing a training scheme and working the hours to set up a business demands a good deal of patience.

It’s worth remembering that running a franchise can be tough at times, and you may need to work long hours and weekends. Without motivation and a clear sense of purpose, it’s easy to lose sight of why you chose to become a franchisee and fall behind the other investors. A positive attitude is key.

On the other hand, it’s also important the franchise you choose matches your ambition. If you have plans to grow your business quickly and then expand your portfolio by setting up additional units, you’ll need to make sure your franchisor supports multi-unit franchising.


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MYTH: You need the confidence to run the show

Although franchisees run their own businesses and often manage employees, they’re ultimately working under the guidance of the franchisor. As an investor, you are joining someone else’s company, so you don’t have to come up with time-saving operational strategies or industry-winning marketing campaigns. Franchisees don’t have the pressure of steering the franchise towards bigger and better things; they take the franchisor’s model and work within their specifications.

Of course, there will be time for you to suggest improvements, but it’s down to the franchisor to weigh up the pros and cons and implement them. As long as you’re using their guidelines to reach profitability within your own unit(s), you’re doing your job well.

So, what do you need?

Franchisees must be happy to let someone else take the lead. This may not seem like an essential skill for a business owner to have, but it’s crucial to a franchisee’s success. You need to be able to learn and take advice from your franchisor. Even if you have the expertise to build a profitable business without their guidance, you’ll benefit from knowing what it takes to develop a franchise unit under their particular brand.

Communication is a big part of this step. To become a successful franchisee, it’s vital you maintain an open dialogue with your franchisor – and even your fellow franchisees, if you get the chance. Regular meetings will give you the chance to flag any issues in good time and get as much support as you can.

So, leave your ego at the door, and open your mind to new ways of thinking and working. After all, it would be foolish not to take advantage of all the training opportunities and business support you’ve already paid for in your franchise fee.

MYTH: You need savings

Every entrepreneur needs capital to get their enterprise up and running, but franchising makes it easier to secure this crucial initial finance. There are several options open to you when it comes to funding your franchise unit. You can get a bank loan, use your overdraft or even collaborate with friends and family (read our Top ## Tips for Securing Finance for Your Franchise to learn more).

The most popular option among franchisees is approaching an official lender for capital, and franchising makes this process much easier than it otherwise would be. Banks and building societies are often more willing to lend to investors joining the franchise industry than those setting up independent businesses. Official lenders are usually aware of the added security franchisees have, thanks to the brand awareness and access to a proven model they’ll benefit from.


So, what do you need?

Unless you’ve got large sums of cash stashed away, you’ll need to be willing to borrow money and stick to the repayment contract you sign. Depending on the franchise you join, you may not need to borrow much capital at all; our low-cost opportunities give investors the chance to become successful franchisees for under £10,000.

Before you approach lenders, you need to have a solid business plan in place. Anyone handing over their money will want to know you’ve carefully considered your route to profitability and are capable of repaying the loan. To maximise your chances of scoring a loan, read up on everything you need to include in your business plan before you get started.

Find out more

So, there you have it, some of the most important qualities of a successful franchisee. You don’t need experience, savings or the ability to take control of the entire franchise yourself. Instead, a willingness to learn, borrow money and adhere to an established business model is key.

There are dozens of misunderstandings surrounding the franchise world, and learning more about them could give you the motivation you need to launch your own business as a franchisee. Why not take a look at some of the other articles in our Mythbusters series?

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