Don’t try to fit the business, make the business fit you.
Are you one of the millions of Canadians who have been taking stock of your career options this January? Typically after the holiday season, the back-to-work blues tempt us to dream of a life beyond the 9-to-5 corporate job; with more flexibility, fewer office politics, no bosses and greater personal fulfillment and financial reward. But for many, the grind of starting a new work year is already causing those resolutions to fade. At some point in our lives, almost all of us have wondered what it would be like to work for ourselves.The appeal of self-employment comes to the forefront at this time of year and drives many of us to make resolutions to change our careers.
A substantial majority of Canadians believe working for themselves would provide greater control and more financial benefits than working for a corporation. The 2017 RBC Small Business Poll found that 88 per cent of Canadians say that owning a business would allow them to have control over their future and 83 per cent say that it would allow them to make more money.
But starting from scratch to build a business is an intimidating idea. That’s why franchising is such an attractive alternative.
January is usually one of the busiest times for me as a franchise consultant; this year has been busier than I can recall in recent years. Those who are interested in the proven success models that franchising offers often come to me with a specific franchise in mind. With more than 1,200 franchise opportunities available, I always advise that people do their homework to make sure the business fits them, instead of trying to make themselves fit the business.
Here are the first steps every would-be entrepreneur should ask themselves along the journey to own their own business:
1- Reflect and evaluate
Before you decide what franchise to purchase, ask yourself what you want out of the business and what you would bring to the business in terms of your skills.
List your strengths, weaknesses,skills and interests, be really honest with your self about the things you like and dislike doing. Then dig deeper. As an example, retail franchises sound great if you like customers coming to you, but you also need to consider among many other factors:whether you also like managing marketing, inventory, scheduling and working with casual labour. Many retail workers are teenagers or young adults so you can expect a lot of turnover – this means hiring and firing. If you have minimal experience in these duties, or don’t like being a hands-on manager,then there’s a greater risk of failure, and in this case, the retail ownership option likely won’t be right for you.
What about your financial and lifestyle goals? While business ownership is a vehicle to achieve your goals, remember that it’s important to enjoy the ride along the way. You can’t truly assess how well a business “fits” until you can be relatively certain (through research) that you can achieve/exceed your goal of running that business successfully. You might love running the business but if you don’t want to work crazy hours or can’t get anywhere near your financial goals, then does it truly “fit”?
2- Research your options
After you have identified your skills, interests and goals, it’s time to research different kinds of businesses. Consider the type of business environment you might like to work in, whether it’s service or sales based, the initial investment of the purchase, and the lifestyle it affords, among other factors.
An important thing to remember is not to become too focused on one specific franchise or even an industry. Eighty-five per cent of FranNet clients who purchase a franchise, end up buying one they hadn’t originally planned on.
While the Internet and franchise shows are a good place to start, there are over 1,200 franchises in Canada, and the multiple options can be overwhelming. In situations like this, most people can benefit from help to find clarity through the fog of information overload.
3- Talk to a professional
Let’s face it – you likely have never bought a business before, so there’s a lot you don’t know. Doing your own self-assessment is a good start, but if you are serious about franchise ownership, then it’s time to speak to an expert franchise advisor because they will help you significantly broaden your perspectives,focus your options,refine your research and align these findings to ensure you find the optimum franchise for you.
Contact me for a free consultation. For most people, making a career change into business ownership is one of the biggest financial and lifestyle decisions you will make in your life. In 2018, don’t let your dream of business ownership fade. Let me help you make your recent resolution a reality.