Ready for a Career Change? These 8 Transferable Skills Are Essential for First-Time Franchisees

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It’s not uncommon for people to think they’re unsuited to business ownership, but, chances are, you already have lots of the attributes you need. The franchise industry can support first-time franchisees, but here are the eight transferable skills you may have already developed.

The roots of modern-day franchising go back to the 1800s, and the range of franchise opportunities available now is more diverse than ever. There’s a reason why people through the generations have found themselves making a career change and choosing to become a franchisee. 

If you think you’re not cut out for the franchise model, it’s time to change your mindset. There are opportunities for people of all social and business backgrounds, and most franchises offer some form of a training programme to make sure investors have the knowledge to succeed.

Transferable skills for franchising

First-time franchisees must have the following skills if they’re to start a franchise unit successfully - and if you’ve already got them, you’re at an advantage. If not, there’s no need to worry; it’s never too late to boost your expertise. 

1. Research skills

Being able to conduct in-depth research is an essential skill for first-time franchisees, even before they sign on the dotted line. You must be able to scout out the most reliable investment opportunities and uncover any red flags. 

Once you’ve become a franchisee and your business is up and running, you’ll need to use your research skills to identify industry changes and new opportunities. You may be able to capitalise on passing trends or act ahead of time if you anticipate bumps in the road. 

2. Networking skills

Networking is a huge part of any business ownership journey, and it’s another skill first-time franchisees should try to develop before they make their investment. When able to talk to existing franchisees and get the most out of conversations with them, prospective investors can gain a deeper understanding of a franchise and its credibility. 

The chance to network is also incredibly important for business owners. Industry events and franchise conferences provide a fantastic opportunity to make connections and share insight, but if you don’t have basic networking skills, you won’t benefit from them. 

3. The ability to take advice on board

There’s a lot of paperwork involved when you invest in a franchise, and it’s sensible to consult a variety of industry experts along the way. Most first-time franchisees seek advice from an accountant while they secure funding and a solicitor before they sign the franchise contract. 

If you’re new to the franchising world, you must be able to accept your limitations and take advice from those who know the system inside out. 

4. The ability to follow instructions 

Running a franchise business is all about following a tried and tested model. Franchisees who can’t stick to the strategies and regulations set out by the franchisor risk damaging the reputation and profitability of the entire franchise network. 

As an investor, you’ll be at the helm of your franchise unit, leading employees and nurturing growth, but you must leave your ego at the door. If you’re an independent spirit dreaming of running your own business with total control, franchising probably isn’t for you. 

5. Communication skills

When you invest in a franchise, you become part of a large organisation with an extensive network of business owners, suppliers, employees and customers. Although you’ll be in charge of running your particular franchise unit, cooperation is key, and you’ll need to demonstrate a supportive and approachable management style. 

You’ll be in regular communication not only with your franchisor, but also any workers you employ, and you must be able to convey your ideas and opinions succinctly and tactfully. 

6. Organisational skills 

Franchisees are responsible for the ongoing monitoring of their unit - or units. While you’re likely to be left to your own devices when your business is up and running, you’ll need to communicate with head office on a regular basis. 

Keeping track of finances, overseeing operations, checking in with employees, and managing marketing are all key parts of running a franchise unit. Plus, you’ll need to do all these jobs while thinking on your feet, anticipating future stumbling blocks and planning business growth. 

7. Leadership skills

While some investors work alone, many build a team and delegate tasks to others. First-time franchisees who will develop a workforce need to be able to keep their staff members motivated and maintain high levels of morale. 

Your employees will look to you for instruction and guidance, and may even come to you with serious concerns or problems over the years. Being able to recognise their needs both as workers and human beings is essential; you must be capable of supporting the people in your business. 

8. The ability to stay motivated when the going gets tough 

Franchise contracts often last for at least ten years, so first-time franchisees must be committed to driving success in their business. If you take your eye off the ball, you could end up damaging the reputation of the brand or forcing the franchisor to consider terminating your contract early. And if you hire employees, you should have the ability to keep spirits and productivity levels high. 

Luckily, most investors can rely on their franchisor and fellow franchisees to pick them up when they need support. Networking events are the perfect opportunity to find advice and reassurance from those who have already overcome the issues you face.

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Start a franchise unit and become a franchisee

If you’re thinking about making a career change and starting your own business, the franchise industry can offer a great deal of guidance and support. Hopefully, this list of skills needed for franchising has demonstrated the accessibility of the franchise model for most people. 

Take your first steps on the path to entrepreneurship by browsing current investment opportunities from the menu. Alternatively, view our business guides or use the search box to find specific resources. 

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