George Cohon, renowned businessman and founder of...
When you're considering becoming a franchisee in Canada, there are some obvious traits everyone knows they'll need, such as a willingness to put in hard work and some business skills. For a successful franchise, however, the traits need to go beyond that. Here are four questions you should ask yourself before you sign that agreement to ensure you're ready to take the plunge.
Are you ready to lead?
In your current job, you may not be responsible for leading anyone, including yourself. As a franchisee, however, you're going to be leading your business, even if you're the only staff member at first. Following the system will only get you so far; you need to be able to lead the company as a whole and any staff you end up hiring.
Do you like working with people?
Franchises tend to be people-focused. Whether you're dealing with employees or liaisons from the franchisor or customers, clients and vendors, you're the public face of your business. Therefore, being able to work with people is essential for success. If your current job doesn't allow for much human interaction, you will really need to weigh this question seriously.
Can you follow the system?
One of the main franchise benefits, besides getting access to a proven brand, is the system that's in place for franchisees to use. This system provides direction to success that has been proven (if the franchise is established already) and helps ensure consistency across multiple locations with different owners for customers or clients. If you want to own your own business because you never want to answer to anyone or have to have someone else's input or approval for a decision, a franchise may not be the ideal situation for you. While many franchises afford their franchisees a lot of freedom, there will still be some rules and requirements you'll have to honor.
Is patience a virtue of yours?
Building a business takes time, and franchises are included in this. Although it will be easier to get your franchise business off the ground than a traditional small business, you'll still need to be patient as your business develops.
Ask yourself all the tough questions before you join a Canadian franchise to ensure you're ready for such a commitment. A franchise is a rewarding experience for many people, but you need to be prepared for all that it entails so you have the best chance at success.