The Winning Franchisee

This is an article out of The Franchise Buyer’s Guide & Workbook I wrote in 2002.  I think it is just as relevant today as it was when I first wrote it.

What Makes a Winning Franchisee?

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

While buying a franchise may seem to meet that definition, true entrepreneurs with the vision – and the risk appetite - to take a new idea and launch it successfully are rare. As rare as those that can build a house from scratch without a plan.

Franchisees, on the other hand, choose to eliminate much of the risk and start their new business with a proven concept and system for making money.  And skip the trial and error period that can easily last five years or more.

Instead of learning as you go, a franchise comes with initial and ongoing training and a playbook to go by called the Operating Manual.  With a quality franchise system, the manual will fully detail the proven methods used to start and run the business and is continually updated.

Operating a franchise is a balancing act between private business ownership and employment.  A satisfied franchise owner typically has both the traits of an entrepreneur and those of an employee.

For instance, a willingness to work hard in an employment situation usually means a good candidate for franchise ownership.

You don’t need all the below to become a happy, profitable franchise owner.  But franchisors know someone with most of the following has the highest chance of being a satisfied and productive franchisee.

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 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 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.

If most of the above sound like you, then you have the traits of a successful franchise owner.

What’s Your Personality?

In addition to the above, there are a number of online personality tests that can tell you quite a bit about yourself, for example, your strengths, weaknesses and personality type.

I recommend them to every candidate I work with.

The three most popular are Myers-Briggs, DISC and The Enneagram.  I personally like Myers-Briggs, but they all seem to work pretty well.

The results will tell you a lot about your unique personality and communication skills so you can fine-tune your search for the right franchise for you.

Back to Articles