Today’s post shares five do’s and don’ts for new franchisees and prospects. Read on to learn how to hit the ground running with your new venture, or ensure your franchise research is up to snuff.
- Consult multiple sources. If you’re still in the research or preliminary application phase, don’t believe everything you read on the franchisor’s website. Due diligence requires that you look at as many different sources as possible. Visit local franchises and talk to the franchisees there. Search for any mentions of your desired franchise in the news. If possible, contact franchise business brokers to get the inside scoop on the brand.
- Keep an open mind. This point applies to prospects and new franchisees alike. If you’re still in the research phase, keep an open mind in regards to the kind of business you may be looking for. While it’s great to have a strong idea of your personal preferences before you get started, many people are surprised to fall in love with a new model or industry as their research progresses. Don’t limit the opportunities that may be available to you by being dogmatic about choosing one business model over another. For new franchisees, keep an open mind about your role in the company. Rather than sticking to front-line service or background management, embrace the learning process and familiarize yourself with every aspect of the business. Knowing every detail of operations will be invaluable for big-picture decision-making down the line.
- Be a stranger. This point applies to future franchisees who are still courting the franchisor of their dreams. Most systems follow the same application model: preliminary contact via email or telephone, followed by in-person meetings to discuss eligibility.
Some prospective franchisees make the mistake of resting on their laurels after they’ve completed their preliminary application. Beware: this could actually cost you an opportunity to work with your chosen franchisor!
Remember: franchise systems are really big family units. At the end of the day, the franchisor will always be more interested in welcoming somebody likable and familiar into the fold, rather than trusting their brand reputation to a total stranger. So don’t be a stranger in the interim between your preliminary application and your “judgment day”; those candidates who make the effort to meet franchisees, attend seminars and “meet and greet” events, and even go the extra mile to arrange a business meeting over dinner will greatly increase their odds of being selected. Moreover, getting familiar with your potential franchisor early on will give you more opportunities to learn about the company’s attitudes and organizational culture, so you can gauge whether they are right for you – compatibility is a two-way street, after all.
- Reinvent the wheel. The amount of creative freedom allowed within a franchise system differs considerably from brand to brand; some franchises will nurture your innovative vision, while others will insist you follow their playbook every step of the way. Acknowledging the fact that your operational freedom will vary, it’s still a good idea to avoid rocking the boat early on. Don’t walk into franchise ownership and expect to reinvent the wheel; instead, show your franchisor that you’re a team player who believes in their process, and looks for appropriate times to offer up ideas and process adjustments.
- Overstate your work capacity. Most people inflate their abilities in interviews, so this point may seem a little counterintuitive. Nevertheless, this kind of talk rarely benefits new franchisees. It’s one thing to state your willingness to work hard; it’s quite another to pledge yourself to an unrealistic workload. Not only does this set you up for burnout and failure, but it’s actually not what many franchisors want to hear. Today, many franchisors are looking for the vaunted “work-life balance,” which is associated with stronger communities, happier workers, and increased productivity. Don’t undersell your value to the franchisor, but don’t overstate your work capacity either!
About FranNet Canada
FranNet is a 29-year-old company with roots in the U.S. Its purpose being to nurture every entrepreneur’s dream of business ownership. We actively employ a specific profiling and consultation method. This method is geared to each investor with a specific business model and based on franchise trends typically found in Toronto, Ontario, Vancouver, British Columbia, or Calgary, Alberta. The most lucrative Canadian franchise opportunities are waiting for you. For more details visit – http://frannet.ca/buy-a-franchise/canada-franchise-buying-process/