Get your “act together” before you buy the franchise

March 27, 2017 8:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

“To get a driver’s license, you have to pass the driving test. To get into college, you have to take the SAT. To get a small business loan, what test are you taking?” asks Marcus Lemonis, star of CNBC’s “The Profit.”

Lemonis continues, “There are no tests. It’s the most ludicrous thing. We make people take tests to be a doctor or a lawyer, but we don’t make them take tests to borrow money? We’re not putting any resources behind teaching people and giving them an education around the process.”

Fortunately for prospective franchisees, puts its resources behind teaching people the process of investing in a franchise.

While Lemonis makes a valid point about the necessity of testing people before they can borrow money, repeatedly makes a similar point: Test people before they buy franchises!

Are you a good fit for a franchise?

Even though good franchisors put their resources behind simplifying their business concepts – making it easy for people to learn how to operate the business in a matter of days or weeks – not everyone is cut out to be a franchisee. And even people who are a fit for franchising will not be a fit for every franchise opportunity.

Skills, values, and belief systems have much to do with determining a prospective franchisee’s success in business. You may love the franchise concept, and you might even be able to afford it, but if your values clash with the franchisor’s values, or you don’t have the skills needed to succeed as a franchisee in that concept, you’re making a mistake to buy that franchise.

Why take the risk of buying a franchise that doesn’t meet your skills and values? With 3,000 to 4,000 different franchise opportunities in North America, there’s bound to be a few that will meet your needs. And there are at least several hundred – probably thousands – that won’t!

Find out upfront if you’re a match

Once you sign the franchise agreement and pay your money it’s too late to discover that you’re not a fit for a franchise brand. So find out if you’re a match upfront.

Many good franchisors insist on testing prospective franchisees before selling a franchise. Franchisors frequently administer personality profiles during Discovery Day visits to eliminate candidates that don’t match the profiles of top producing franchisees.

Avoid becoming the “needy” franchisee

Keep in mind that franchisors aren’t using personality profiles to eliminate good candidates. They use the profiles to avoid mishaps. If they sell a franchise to a prospect who isn’t a good fit, that prospect becomes a “needy” franchisee.

While other franchisees learn how to operate the business in a matter of days, the “needy” franchisee needs additional training. And additional support. Bottom line: the “needy” franchisee is never going to “get it.”

A “needy” franchisee becomes a costly franchisee. Instead of producing results that position the franchisee among the network’s most productive franchisees, the “needy” franchisee lingers at the bottom of the network.

You never want to be among the least productive franchisees in a network.

You can’t tell by talking

Franchisors can’t always assess a franchisee’s skills, values and beliefs just by talking. Similarly, talking isn’t the best way for you to pinpoint what a franchisor, or a franchise concept, requires of you as a franchisee.

It may be easy to see that sales people perform well in a particular franchise, but behind the scenes, managing people is just as important as selling. If you can sell, but not manage, you’ve got a problem.

Compatibility leads to comfort

And the issue goes much deeper than just your ability to sell or manage. Before Lemonis invests in a business, he says he has to be comfortable with the people. He has to “believe in their work ethic. I don’t want to be doing business with people who like selling widgets but have no idea how to use them.”

You, too, need to know if you’re comfortable with the franchisor and the network of franchisees. Sure, you can get a “gut feel” by spending time with the franchisor and existing franchisees, but you won’t really know if you’re a match until you find out if your skills, values and belief systems are compatible.

Free personality profile

Why wait for a franchisor, or a franchise sales executive, to tell you that you’re not a fit? Find out for yourself. You can begin the process with a free DISC Profile.

“Running a business is a serious thing,” concludes Lemonis. “You’ve got to have your act together.”

Getting your act together as a franchisee begins with understanding why you’re a fit (or not) for a specific franchise opportunity.

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This post was written by Dr. John Hayes

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