Buying into a franchise is a great business opportunity. While it takes a lot of hard work and capital, it also comes with support and a fairly stable business investment. But remember, when you’re buying a franchise, you’re not only betting on the product and the market; you’re also betting on yourself and your ability to run a business. Before you get started, ask yourself if you think you have what it takes to be successful.
Customer service skills – Sure, you may not do a lot of customer service as the owner of your establishment, but that doesn’t mean you can make money with poor customer service skills. As the owner, you set the tone. Your employees look to you for how to behave at work. They often learn from you how to treat your customers. Plus, no matter how hands off you want to be, you’re still going to have to deal with upset or unruly customers, and other businesses and suppliers. When it comes to your business, good people skills can go a long way.
Passion for the product – For many people deciding what franchise to get into, money is often their main consideration. There are some names out there that are so established, it’s hard to mess it up and not make a profit, but buying into the most profitable company is not necessarily the best bet for you. You also need to find a company with a product you support and believe in. If you don’t really care about what you’re selling, then you’re not going to want to work to get things started. This could leave you drained and disillusioned, and will often take a big hit out of your business.
Planning – You can have all the desire and charisma in the world, but if you’re not a good planner, you’re not going to be a successful business owner. Sure, franchising is easier to plan than starting an independent company because a lot of the decisions are made for you, but that doesn’t mean you can just jump in without preparation.
Willingness to be trained – An established franchisor will normally have a fairly rigid set of rules that you must follow as a franchise. They may range from the products you buy to the way you greet your customers. If you want to be a franchise, you have to be able to learn and follow all the rules set forth by the franchisor.
Leadership skills – While you’re working as a part of a larger team, as a franchise, you will still be a business owner. That means you have to work with your own team in addition to outside sources. Good franchise owners must be skilled at hiring, training, and managing their employees. Remember, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.