The Winning Franchisee

This article is out of The Franchise Buyer’s Guide & Workbook I wrote in 2002.  Back then and still today, psychological and other tests are used to help determine if you will be a successful franchise owner.

I’m not a psychologist, and I doubt any of the creators of these tests are either.  My opinion is while the exercise may get you thinking, there is no test that can predict franchise success.

Here is what I wrote back in 2002. See if this sounds like you.

What Makes a Winning Franchisee?

Franchising, actually owning any business, isn’t right for everyone.  Successful franchisees represent the middle ground between being an employee and a true entrepreneur.

Webster’s Dictionary defines an entrepreneur as “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise”.

While becoming a franchisee may seem to meet that definition, true entrepreneurs with the vision to take an idea and bring it to a successful conclusion are rare; as rare as those that can build a house from scratch without a plan.

Franchisees, on the other hand, take a tried and proven concept, developed and continually perfected by the franchisor.  The system follows a set of established procedures with an existing plan to build and then run the business.

Operating a franchise is a balancing act between business ownership and employment.  To be truly happy as a franchisee, you must have certain characteristics of the entrepreneur and those of an employee.

For instance, a willingness to work hard in an employment situation is believed to indicate a good candidate for franchise ownership.

But someone who has already founded a business - and accustomed to calling all the shots, may not be the best candidate.

You don’t need all the qualities of a successful franchisee to become a successful franchise owner, but most franchisors know that the following usually makes the best and most profitable franchisees.

Those that:

  • Are financially qualified with an excellent financial history;
  • Have confidence and enthusiasm for the product or service coupled with a desire to make a profit, not just a desire to make a profit;
  • Are motivated by a strong desire to achieve success;
  • Are willing to learn new skills with the ability to train others;
  • Have a history of management or teaching experience, including retail or customer service, or other areas where there is interaction with the public;
  • Have the willingness and ability to accept direction and follow a system;
  • Don't necessarily have the marketing, administrative or entrepreneurial skills needed to start a business from scratch and need, and are willing to pay for, the franchisor's systems and support.

So that’s it.

I don’t personally think you need to take a quiz to understand if you are cut out to be in a franchised business for yourself, and believe most people intuitively know what is right (or wrong) for them when they have the right information.

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