Your New Career Alternative

April 2007 – Source: Franchise Research Corp.

Are you ready to embark upon the career adventure of a lifetime?

Take this short quiz to find out if you’re ready to join the ranks of fulfilled entrepreneurs who have found personal and fiscal success in the franchising industry.

1. Have you ever thought, “I want to be my own boss”?
2. Are you willing to take calculated business risks to make the money you feel you deserve?
3. Are you the type of person who sticks with projects, even if they seem daunting at times?
4. Do you have the ability to follow guidelines with a proven track record?
5. Do you regularly seek out and embrace new challenges?
6. Do you dream of being wealthy enough to afford a bigger home, travel more frequently, or purchase new cars?
If you answered “Yes” to four or more of the above questions, you’re ready to dive into a new career.

So why not consider the multi-billion dollar field of franchising?

Clearly, franchising isn’t for every person.  If you like working for someone else and simply want to earn a paycheck, you probably aren’t destined to become a franchisee.  But if you’re constantly asking, “When am I going to be the one in charge?”, “When will I feel challenged at my career?”, or, “How can I make my career dreams come true?” you carry the seeds of entrepreneurial ability.

In simple words, you are franchise material!

That being said, to bring your professional aspirations to fruition, you will need to don an investigative cap and examine several aspects of the franchise industry before joining the ranks of fellow flourishing franchisees.

The following “quick guide” has been developed to help you map out your career path from potential entrepreneur to satisfied franchisee.

Listen to your Dreams, but Don’t let them become Nightmares

Your dream may be to own and operate a franchise, but that doesn’t mean you should let go of your objectivity when examining would-be franchisors.  Yes, there are countless extraordinary franchisors from which to choose, but each one requires a certain type of investor.

Too many impatient entrepreneurs forget that their hearts can often deceive them; without a doubt, it’s important to remain relatively detached when conducting homework on companies in whose products and services you may one day invest.

Realism is your greatest ally in determining which franchises could be acceptable career matches; otherwise, you take an avoidable risk.

As the professionals at MatchPoint? Franchise Consulting Network wisely advise:

“Choose a franchise business that you’ll enjoy! If you have a design background, a sign-making franchise would match your skill set. If you don’t even like to pump gas, stay away from an oil-change franchise.  Being an expert and a specialist at what you do is essential to running any successful business – enjoyment and expertise naturally go hand-in-hand.”

Do your Homework with the Help of Professionals

The Internet is an excellent starting point for any would-be franchisee to beef up his or her understanding of franchising.

By navigating reputable franchise-related websites, you can obtain an enormous education regarding the world of franchising, from profit margins to liquidity to industry categories.  You can also learn “insider data” from current and former franchisees by logging onto message boards and sharing information.

Yet at some point, it’s prudent to obtain advice from a professional, such as a franchise consultant for franchise advice, franchise attorney for legal assistance, and/or accountant for financial guidance.  Hiring a “support team” will help you determine what franchises are available to you, what your legal concerns need to be, and where you stand financially.

Additionally, franchise consultants such as those at MatchPoint? can greatly shorten your “hunt” for the perfect franchisor to meet your needs.  Since time is money, weeks saved can pay off considerably!

Ask Questions… then Ask some More

Be certain to ask as many questions of your franchise consultant and potential franchisors as possible when doing research.  If franchisors are hesitant to return your phone calls or emails or seem affronted by your inquiries, it’s doubtful that you’ll enjoy working with them as colleagues for several years (if not decades).

Of course, many of your questions may be answered after you obtain the Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC) or can be downloaded from some franchisor websites.  Still, don’t be afraid to get clarification on items about which you feel unsure.

As MatchPoint? notes on their website:

“There are thousands of different business franchises, and there will be more than one and perhaps many in your chosen business area.  Look at the alternatives. Ask existing franchisees. Ask customers. Read the franchise trade magazines, newspapers and websites. Attend franchising exhibitions. Do some local market research to gauge demand for the products and services, to test the reputation of the franchising companies, and to test their claims about pricing and any other relevant business claims or information you’ve been given.”

Prepare Yourself… and your Loved Ones… for this Entrepreneurial Journey

Chances are, you have people in your life that will be affected by your decision to become a franchisee.  Perhaps you’re presently the sole provider for your family and this investment will necessitate that your spouse take a part-time job for security or benefits.  Or maybe you’re planning on owning an online franchise that can be marketed out of your house, but will require you to have plenty of “private time”.

It’s wise to get feedback from those around you when looking into franchising as a new career alternative.  These people will be your means of personal (and possibly fiscal) support during the start-up phase and inevitable rough patches; therefore, they deserve to voice their opinions, concerns, and ideas.

Keep your “Day Job” as Long as you Can

Unless you’re out of work, hold on to your existing means of employment until it becomes necessary for you to resign.  If you abandon your employer before you’re legally bound to a franchisor, you’re taking an unnecessary gamble with your income stream.

Instead, stay with your 9-to-5 as long as you can as a means of “insurance” against unexpected delays or plan changes.

Enjoy Yourself

Becoming a franchisee is a journey, not a destination.  You are working as a part of something bigger than yourself, providing a product or service to the public and making money in the process.
Allow yourself to embrace your new career with gusto, and never forget to live each moment of the adventure with enthusiasm.
© 2007 Franchise Research Corp