Are You Franchise Material?

March 1, 2007 – Source: Franchise Research Corp.

Coffee shops.  Cosmetics suppliers.  Health clubs.  The list of available franchise company types goes on and on.

With over 5,000 franchises representing countless industries and serving a variety of clientele in practically every country, it seems as if there is a franchise to fit every entrepreneur’s personality.  However, there’s a catch to this reasoning:  if you’re not “franchise material”, you’ll have a tough time succeeding in this multi-billion dollar industry.

But what (not to mention who) is “franchise material”?  After all, one franchisee is destined to have dissimilar interests and skill sets than another.

While it’s true that there is a plethora of franchises from which to pick and choose, the selection of a franchise should be secondary to recognizing and honing some intrinsic traits that the majority of long-term, profitable franchise owners hold.

Five top “franchise material” characteristics, culled from data obtained by the experts at MatchPoint? Franchise Consulting Network, are listed below in greater depth.  Each characteristic enables investors to effectively navigate the waters of independent franchise ownership while working hand-in-hand with a corporate entity.

1.  Natural Leadership

It should come as no surprise that the franchisees that set themselves apart from the rest of the proverbial “pack” have the innate ability to lead others.  When they speak, others cannot help but listen.

Though certain elements of leadership can undeniably be learned, those persons who are “franchise material” tend to have a knack for motivating their employees naturally as well as enthusiastically.  This ability to inspire comes in particularly handy during the start-up phase of the franchise’s existence, as attracting and retaining reliable employees can be a cornerstone to any business’s longevity.  It’s also invaluable during challenging moments, which every company is bound to face.

2.  Teamwork Mentality

Even franchise owners without additional employees (as in the case of many work-from-home franchise ventures) must have a regular connection with their franchisors and customer base.  It is this strong pull and desire to be a part of something larger than themselves that drives them to work long hours and strive to always be at their best.

Certainly, for many people, a team work ethic is anathema; they are those souls who want to “do it all” themselves.  Ironically, they may make better inventors or franchise system founders than franchisees.

That being said, it’s generally wise to learn how to work with other people, even if such behavior doesn’t feel “natural” at first; after all, a lack of “team mentality” can be a prescription for business failure or hardship.

3.  Desire for Ongoing Education

A description of someone with true “franchise material” would be incomplete if the element of continuous education were not factored in.  After all, ongoing education is part of the foundation of ensuring a rewarding franchise experience.

Many franchisees believe that all learning will be directed by their franchisors; yet this well-meaning assumption is generally flawed.

Yes, the majority of educational opportunities (especially during the franchise start-up phase) will come from the franchisor.  However, exceptional franchisees do not limit themselves to seminars and guidebooks, choosing instead to supplement their educations by reading business books, subscribing to magazines, earning degrees, and taking courses to improve their chances of success.

4.  Ability to Learn from Mistakes

There are no guarantees in life; accordingly, there will be periods of time that are more challenging than others for any franchisee.  Competitors come to town with a vengeance and an attractive marketing plan… seasonal workers leave en masse… the franchise headquarters experiences a problem that causes negative publicity… such occurrences can and do affect franchisees every day.

However, franchisees with the capability to learn from their (and others’) faux pas are inclined to weather rough spots with exceptional amounts of positivity and professionalism.  Rather than succumbing to the necessary pressures of owning a franchise, they rise to the occasion and never make the same errors twice.  Their instinctive resilience is a key ingredient to their having fiscally and personally satisfying franchise experiences.

5.  Willingness to Follow a System

Becoming a franchise owner means ceding some entrepreneurial control; after all, a legitimate franchise’s internal structure is already in place by the time the franchisee joins the enterprise.  Basically, the franchise’s skeleton simply awaits a franchisee to “flesh it out”.

Consequently, the most successful franchisees are those who find it unnecessary to tinker with a system that already works.  Rather than spending their time struggling to make formulaic changes, they forge ahead and work within a proven methodology without the need to exercise control over every franchisor-directed detail.

A Final Note

If you’re still unsure as to whether or not franchising is the right path for you, take heart.

Many franchisees spend copious amounts of time working with reputable franchise consultants to determine if franchising is the right career or perhaps business choice for them.  Some organizations, such as MatchPoint? Franchise Consulting Network even offer free personality assessments to potential franchise owners.  This process can often take a few months of diligent research and soul-searching; however, no franchisee has ever regretted evaluating him- or herself before taking the plunge into the franchise pool.

So… are you “franchise material”?  Find out by contacting MatchPoint? Network’s professional franchise consultants today.

? 2007 Franchise Research Corp