Q: How do you know when the time is right to leave a corporate job and buy a franchise?
If you have the appetite to be an entrepreneur, but you do not want to take on the full risk of starting from scratch, then the franchise model is an excellent way to go. Franchisors already have the platform, the idea, the branding and the marketing campaign and are potentially your easiest path to freedom, both financially and personally.
With their proven models, franchises can almost be viewed like ‘entrepreneurship in a box.’ Just as a packaged cake mix still requires water, oil and eggs, the franchise model demands you do the hard work, recruit top talent and operate the business, but the franchisor—having already made mistakes and learned what works—can share the path to accelerated success. When determining the location for your business, for example, the franchisor can help choose the proper site to attract your ideal clients.
Acquiring a franchise requires a significant initial and ongoing commitment of time and money, but could be the ideal solution for entrepreneurs who want to take on some, but not all, of the risk of starting a business.
Q: What business coaching is needed when making the transition from employee to franchisee?
With franchising, the first stage of business coaching is to change your work mindset, shifting from instant to delayed gratification. When you are an employee, your paycheque and vacation time are predictable. When you launch a franchise, on the other hand, you will need to be comfortable with the concept of short-term pain for long-term gain. Your earnings may be smaller to start with, but their potential for growth will be enormous.
You will also need to create a highly measurable business plan with very specific details. I recommend starting with a three-year plan, then reverse-engineering it to come up with your annual, quarterly and monthly plans.
Once you have set out your goals, you can hire the employees needed to reach them. The more specific the goals, the sooner you will hit your stride and build your franchise.
Q: How can a franchisee be sure to hire the right people?
Hiring the right people and matching them to the right positions is the most important thing you can do for your franchise. My motto is ABR: Always Be Recruiting. You want the best if you are going to grow the business fast. If you have the wrong people, you can never reach your potential.
With this in mind, be sure to hire slow and fire fast. Have a very clear understanding of the various roles and responsibilities, so everyone knows what they are being hired to do. Make sure there is an organizational chart, so everyone knows who reports to whom. This will cut down on confusion and bring clarity for you, your employees and the entire franchise.
Jon Dwoskin is a business consultant and author of The Think Big Movement, a guide for entrepreneurs and other business professionals. For more information, visit www.jondwoskin.com.