If you’re driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, chances are high that you like adventure. But that doesn’t mean you like all kinds of surprises when it comes to being a business owner. Situations that come out of nowhere to disrupt your plans can leave you reeling. At the same time, you may find unforeseen benefits and enjoyment in the process of running your own business. Autumn is the season of change, so it’s a great time to think about the pros and cons of a life filled with the unexpected. In the spirit of Halloween, here are some of the “tricks and treats” we’ve seen business owners experience in our years at FranNetDFW.
Beware the Zombie Attack
What many small business owners fail to grasp at first is how critical their hiring decisions will be to the success and even the survival of their organization. It turns out that it really does only take one “bad apple” employee to turn your business into a hollow shell of its former self—keeping customers away in droves. And trying to get rid of that dead-eyed worker can be risky for owners who aren’t familiar with HR regulations and best practices. Doing due diligence to avoid being “tricked” by someone who looks fine on paper or has a good interview presence is essential!
Enjoy Shape Shifting
While we focus very heavily on matching clients with the right business opportunities based on their skills and talents, people grow and change as they go through life. Often, becoming a business owner provides a chance for previously undiscovered abilities to come to light. For example, someone who has never done public speaking might uncover a gift for that activity when it becomes necessary as a way for them to promote their business within their local community. Or, they might discover a knack for innovation and creativity that was stifled in a previous role.
Watch Out for the Vanishing Coin Trick
This is one challenge that we always try to prepare people for prior to buying a franchise. They not only need money to purchase the business, they need working capital to keep it afloat and to pay their own household bills until they start turning a decent profit. That could be 12 months or longer, depending on the type of business and many other factors. But it can still come as a visceral shock to see money going out for a while before it starts coming back in. Planning to own a business is like preparing for the winter. It’s vital to have a buffer of cash in the bank to keep things running so the business doesn’t turn into a ghost town.
Treasure the Magic Moments
These are those times when things that seemed impossible suddenly become a reality. It often starts when clients find out that they can actually afford a franchise—that there are opportunities in reach that they can purchase with their retirement funds or a home-equity line of credit. Or, a special moment might come later when they realize they are now in a position to use profits and strategic partnerships in their business to help support a cause they care about, impacting more people than they ever could at their previous nine-to-five job.
Often, these various surprises come about because folks don’t know what to expect. To help educate the public, WFAA TV did a segment on the topic of franchising featuring yours truly. You can see my clip here as we bust some of the misconceptions about franchising. With the right guidance, the process of becoming a business owner doesn’t have to be spooky! Talk to us at FranNetDFW and treat yourself to free consulting.