The Winning Franchisee

By Michael J. Childs

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.  But someone that has started businesses on their own and are used to calling all the shots may not be.

You don’t need all the below to be a happy, profitable franchise owner.  But if you have most of the following, you have a good 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;
  • Are motivated by success;
  • Are willing to learn new skills and train others;
  • Can accept direction and follow a system;
  • Don't have the skills to start a business from scratch and need, and are willing to pay for, the franchisor's systems and support.

 Do You Know Your Personality?

There are 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.

Just remember, no test can predict franchise success.

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