Five Things You Need to Know Before Becoming a Franchisee
If you’re considering becoming a franchisee, you’re probably wondering what life is really like as the manager of your own business. We’re here to provide you with some insight. Though life as a franchisee can be incredibly rewarding, it’s often a challenge. Below, are the top five things that all franchisees should really know before signing their franchise agreement.
1. Franchising takes over
Though you may have been warned about how much dedication and devotion franchising requires, it's unlikely that you truly understand the full extent of the commitment. Franchising can be all-consuming. It can take over your life completely and monopolise your time, effort, and resources in a way few other business models do.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing, and it doesn’t last forever. Over the first few months and years, franchising is demanding. However, with time and patience, you'll find that the workload eases off, the schedule stabilises, and you'll feel as though everything has finally slotted into place.
Moreover, it’s important to recognise the fact that this type of hard work is necessary if you want to establish and grow your own business. Franchisees who expect the process to be quick, simple, and easy are kidding themselves. How can something that provides long-term financial freedom be so easy to achieve? If it were, wouldn’t everyone would be doing it?
The franchise model relies on individuals who are capable of making this type of commitment. Without them, the process would falter and franchise networks would grow at a frustratingly slow pace. Those franchisees who are able to handle the all-consuming nature of this type of business model are the true engine of the franchise system.
2. Franchising requires a strong family
In order to excel in our professional lives, we often rely on support from those in our personal lives. More often than not, this means your family. When you’re put in a stressful and challenging situation at work, it's very difficult for it not to have any effect on the time you spend at home. No matter how much we try to keep the professional and the personal separate, there is some inevitable contamination.
In this respect, franchising is not so different from other types of business model. Over an extended period of time, it can take a toll on your personal life and put pressure on relationships with family and friends. Most of the time, this is due to the way that franchising requires you to commit large amounts of time to growing the business. This time has to come from somewhere and it's usually at the expense of social time with your family.
While it can be difficult and it’s a shame that you have to sacrifice family time, organised franchisees can manage the situation to maximise time with friends and family. The pressure placed on personal relations can also be limited and reduced by open and honest communication and the adoption of a patient and understanding approach by all members of the family.
3. You still have to manage
There's a certain type of franchisee that enters into the system believing that all they need to do is raise the necessary capital, invest, follow the business plan, and watch the money roll in. Individuals who become a franchisee based on the idea that they're being offered a turnkey business that requires no hard work are very much mistaken. With franchising, you really have to manage.
Though it’s true that franchisors traditionally offer franchisees a great deal of support and guidance, they can’t do everything. Many franchisees also find that the central franchisor management team have a slightly skewed perception of the reality of frontline work. This is somewhat inevitable, as they’re working far from the frontlines, providing an entirely different type of service.
It's also true that different franchises will implement different systems. Some will have extensive operating systems that cover everything from staff recruitment to franchisee loyalty schemes. Others will provide franchisees with the bare minimum and expect them to get on with it. Neither style of franchising is inherently better or worse – it all depends on what type of franchisee you are.
4. Say goodbye to structure
The moment you sign that franchise contract, your traditional working schedule is thrown out the window. Forget your usual 9-5, Monday to Friday, corporate timetable, you're on franchising's clock now. This means that you'll have to get accustomed to a different way of doing things, in which you're responsible for the organisational structure and you have to motivate yourself to meet deadlines.
The most difficult thing for many franchisees is knowing when to stop. In the early days, your ‘to-do’ list will be endless. There’s always something else you need to get done, always something more you can achieve. Without an established work structure telling you when you have to stop and go home, it’s easy to just keep on going. Eventually, this will take its toll.
5. Your franchise is dependent on its staff
Though you’re the heart of the business, your staff are also essential. Who you hire will often determine how successful your franchising experience is. Not only can they have an incredible impact on how financially successful your business is, they can also impact on your own ability to run the business in the way you want, too.
For many, flexibility is one of the key attractions of franchising. People want to be their own bosses. However, this flexibility is only available to those that have put in place a team they can trust. If you don’t feel as though you can leave the business in safe hands, how are you going to ever feel comfortable stepping away?
Franchising can be tough, there’s no doubt about that. However, it can also be incredibly satisfying, rewarding and, ultimately, profitable. There are a lot of things people don’t realise about franchising. This is a shame, as understanding the reality of franchise ownership can help better prepare individuals for their future role.
The Editorial Team, Point Franchise ©
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