Considering a Franchise? Examine Yourself First

When you are considering self-employment for the first time and are looking at buying a franchise, make sure to distinguish between a product or experience you want to use and enjoy, and the work you want to do. There isn’t much worse than losing your passion for something because you hated it as a job.

For example, if you enjoy attending parties, grazing on the food, and meeting new people to talk with, you probably won’t enjoy being an event planner, while your friend who hates engaging in the small talk of the party guest, but really loves being there, in charge, with a list of tasks, a staff to manage, guests to please, and hosts to reassure, would be a great match.

Or, you have zero passion for cleaning, and would rather do almost anything else, but you do like managing staff, preparing schedules, balancing books, and dealing with clients. With these attributes, you might be well suited for many kinds of franchises, but possibly it’s a cleaning franchise and their organization that fits your personality, budget, and timeline for launch.

Whatever it is, party planning, or house cleaning, elder care or food service, make sure that you consider the tasks that make up the day for that business owner, the type of tasks that you happily do on a daily basis, and assure that there is a match between them.

While preparing to buy a franchise It’s important to spend part of your research time drilling into your own background, looking at yourself as if you were an HR person. When you look at a particular franchise opportunity and its culture and really consider it deeply, would you hire yourself for this job?

What are your most well developed skills and accomplishments?

If you don’t feel already that you have a good idea of what this is and a sense of how you really want to spend your days, here is an exercise that can help you uncover talents and skills you may have overlooked or forgotten.

Take 5 sheets of paper and write a question at the top of each one.
  1. What do I have?
  2. What do I want?
  3. What do I need?
  4. What have I done?
  5. What do I love to do?

In 30 minutes, write 20 answers for each one of these questions for a total of 100 answers. That gives you just over 30 seconds for each answer. This does not allow time for second-guessing and at the end you will have a revelatory list.

It’s important that you fill the lists out quickly, completely, and without censoring yourself. There are no silly answers, as in the end those you might have thought were irrelevant, or even foolish usually provide the greatest illumination.

“I’m hungry and want an omelet, I should tie that shoelace up, I love to dance, I need a coffee”. These answers are all as valid as more obviously pertinent answers such as: I have managed a staff of 450 or I want to be my own boss. Writing every thought down allows you to move quickly through the exercise and arrive at real insights. Editing as you go along, stifles thinking and limits your results. There is no need to write complete sentences as long as you know what you are referring to.

When you are done, group the answers into logical categories. Think about them. What attributes do they reveal about you and what does it tell you about how you want to spend your days?

Pay careful attention to the things that you might want to dismiss as unimportant. Be willing to be surprised in what you discover. Done properly, this exercise will reveal things about yourself that you have missed recognizing.

Compare this list to the attributes that various franchises require as revealed by your research into them. Match your strengths and preferences to the needs and character of your chosen opportunity.

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