Traits of a successful franchisee

28/05/2018 15:35 | Start a business

What traits make a successful franchise

If you’re wondering whether now is the time to become a franchisee, there are several things you need to consider. As a franchisee, you’ll have to make tough calls, commit to long working hours, and utilise all of your acquired experience to succeed. If you’re not ready, you may doom yourself to failure. To help you determine whether you're adequately prepared, we’ve compiled this list of the top 10 signs that prove franchising is right for you. Hopefully, they’ll help you make your mind up.

What makes a successful franchise?

1. You have the drive and determination

Buying a franchise means that you’re going to commit to growing your own business for the foreseeable future. The key phrase here is – ‘your own business.’ As the manager of your own franchise unit, you’ll need drive and determination to succeed. There won’t be a boss breathing down your neck every day to make sure you hit targets. Nor will there be a supervisor to motivate you when you're just not feeling it. With a franchise, it's all down to your drive and determination to succeed.

2. You understand how to balance risk

To some extent, all business ventures are risky. You’re investing money in a business model that you expect to generate profits, though there is no guarantee that it actually will. The franchise system is like any other business model – there is always an inherent risk. Consequently, franchisees need to be able to assess, balance and, where possible, mitigate against risk if they’re to succeed. There’s a fine line between taking a few chances and exposing yourself to dangerous amounts of risk. Similarly, it’s also easy to miss opportunities by being over cautious.

3. You can motivate a workforce

In most franchises, you won't be operating alone. Instead, you'll be managing a team of employees that will depend on you for instruction, guidance, and motivation. This last point is essential, as it's a quality that's very difficult to teach. Generally, you're either able to inspire, or you struggle to motivate others. When employees are unmotivated, their productivity drops, they're likely to be absent more often, and the quality of their work suffers. If you're to succeed as a franchisee, you need to be able to motivate.

4. You’re happy to let someone else lead

Though you’re technically your own boss, franchisees also have to follow the strict protocols, procedures, and practices that are set out in a franchise’s operations manual. The franchising system puts franchisees in a strange position. Though they manage a business and are responsible for its success and failure, they also have to report to a higher authority – the franchisor. The ability to follow someone else’s lead is an essential quality in any franchisee, as it won’t always be possible to do exactly what you want.

5. You can be your own boss

That having been said, it's also vital that you're capable of filling the traditional role assumed by a boss. In your franchise unit, you will be in charge, so it’s necessary to develop and refine all the skills, abilities, and qualities you believe constitute a good manager. Everyone has their management style, but you need to be sure that yours works when put to the test.

6. You can take advice

When you first begin exploring the idea of opening a franchise, you’ll quickly have to get used to taking advice. It’s typically a good idea to seek guidance at every juncture – you should request legal advice for the franchise agreement, financial advice for the terms of your bank loan, and management advice from the franchisor. The list goes on and on. However, taking advice is incredibly important if you’re to thrive as a franchisee. Part of the appeal of the franchise model is the wealth of experience and expertise you can tap into, so make the most of it!

7. You’re willing to borrow to grow

It's rare that a prospective franchisee can raise all of their initial investment in cash. Most franchisees will have to borrow from some kind of lender. It's important to know that there's absolutely nothing wrong with borrowing, though you should be aware that not all lending is beneficial. A willingness to borrow is often necessary to get ahead, but so too is an understanding of what constitutes favourable and unfavourable terms.

8. You have business smarts

Though many franchises will say that previous experience in their industry is not a prerequisite when becoming a franchisee, nearly all will argue that you need some understanding of basic business practices to succeed. While this doesn’t mean a degree in Business and Management is required, common-sense business smarts are an essential factor in building a successful franchise.

9. You have a passion for a particular line of work

The best franchise business for you is one that you are genuinely passionate about. Being able to enjoy your work is essential if you’re to perform at the highest levels. While it may be possible to get by without passion as an employee, it’s not possible as the leader of a growing business. Running a franchise can mean long hours, stressful decisions, and a lot of self-doubt – in these situations, it's your passion and desire that gets you through.

10. You can demonstrate your aptitude

Finally, if you really want to know whether you’re ready to become a franchisee, you can take an aptitude test. The British Franchising Association (bfa) have a free, online aptitude test that will offer insight into whether you're as prepared as you think you are.

In reality, only you can be sure whether you’re ready to become a franchisee, or whether you need a little more time. While our top 10 signs might help identify where you need to improve and what skills and abilities you may be lacking, it's not a foolproof checklist. If you want to know whether you're ready, the best way is to begin talking to franchisors, industry experts (like us), and the bfa. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch or take a look through our online resources.

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