How to Find a Franchise that Suits You
When you’re considering a franchise opportunity, the first important consideration is whether the needs of the business you are examining is a fit for your personality, skills, and goals. It’s important to be really clear about what matters to you before you begin because you are unlikely to become a different person once you start.
In the immortal words of the great American philosopher poet John Prine, "You are what you are and you ain't what you ain't".
To figure this out, begin with a personal inventory. Think about how you like to work, how much money you want to make, how you want to spend your days, and the skills you have to contribute to the business.
Following this, do a complete inventory of any business or sector you are considering, look carefully at the work environment, the potential payout, and the necessary skills, as well as of course, the required financing.
If you choose to investigate a business that is based on a hobby or passion you have, make sure that you will be working at that business in a way that keeps the passion alive for you. Just because you love cooking for family and friends doesn’t mean you want strangers sending their perfectly good food back to the kitchen because they decided they don’t like eggplant.
Here are some tips to help guide your investigation.
What is your style?
First, and most important, are you good at following procedures and leading others in following them as well?
Brand consistency is a pillar of the franchise business model, so it is essential that you have meticulous work habits and work well in a structured, process-driven environment.
You will also need to be good at or willing to learn: Hiring and personnel management skills, record keeping, budgeting, sales, marketing, and client retention.
How do you share best?
Second, if you are knowledgeable and skilled in a particular area and wish to professionalize this, how do you like to share those abilities?
Do you prefer to sell a service, and manage a team that fulfils it; to execute the main function, like bookkeeping, or being or financial planning; or to manage and staff a retail outlet, but not do any front line service? Each of those options requires a different type of person.
Perhaps you are an excellent salesperson with no particular creative skills or talent, but you are capable of recognizing and working with those that have them. You also don’t like being tied to one location. You might do well with a sign shop franchise, or a printing house, either of which does bulk work, often for clients that have no in-house designer. This is an especially good fit if you like to make site visits and meet face to face with the clients, but also have the ability to leave when the meeting is over.
Thinking of a food franchise? Are you interested in a restaurant, or a mall outlet? Consider whether you are you more comfortable with the mass market, or with something higher-end.
If you like working with people, maybe food service is more suitable. If you like working with food, making sure it’s always fresh, and training a staff to be sensitive to this as well, then perhaps a restaurant would suit you best.
Maybe you are interested in a professional service franchise. Bookkeeping, financial services, tax preparation, and paralegals are all examples of professional services that can be supported by franchise organizations. Here is our directory of Canadian franchises for sale by industry.
How big are your goals?
You’ll want to consider scale as well. You might want to buy a professional service franchise because you like being a bookkeeper and working with the tools provided by a specific organization, but you don’t want to have to manage a large staff. In such a case, you’ll want to make sure that your territory is small enough that you can service both the potential client base and also your payments.
Or, maybe you prefer leading a team of bookkeepers and accountants rather than doing the hands-on work yourself? In such a case, you want a large, ambitious territory that you can develop and build.
In doing this personal inventory it’s important to analyze not only your own strengths and preferences, but also the actual nature of the business you are examining. With our food franchise examples above, there is a world of difference between a fast food outlet, which is primarily about managing and training staff to serve people, and a grocery store, which is more about presenting and grooming the product.
It’s the same with any other business; you want to look not only at the market sector it’s in, but the actual working environment, possible remuneration, and the tasks that go along with successfully running the business under consideration.
When all of these factors are in alignment, that is to say, when your personality fits the business requirements and environment, your income needs match the potential payout, the size of the task is a match for the level of your ambition, and you have the funds required to commence, then you have an excellent fit and a good chance at success.
Feel free to contact us if you would like to ask questions about any aspect of this process or a particular franchise in the BeTheBoss directory. Meanwhile, be sure to download our our free ebook: Franchising in Canada, a Safe Alternative.