When I first started in franchising, most of the candidates I saw were in the twilight of their corporate careers and were looking to add a cash flow to support them in retirement. There were far fewer franchise brands then, mostly concepts that would appeal to the candidates that were in the market at the time.
Over the coming 20 years a couple big changes happened. First, large companies became very comfortable laying off employees. Early in my career, if a company laid off a thousand employees that news would be on the front page of every major newspaper nationwide. The public now had 401Ks and were much more tuned into how the stock market was performing, they knew it was directly related to how their retirement was performing. CFOs and their companies knew that the stock market would often reward them with higher stock prices for laying off staff, investors likely thinking that would increase profits.
The net effect is that the social contract between employee and employer has largely evaporated.
The candidates we now see still include those looking for a little extra income during retirement, but the tsunami we have seen in the best and brightest in corporate America was unexpected and has changed the franchise industry forever.
Today there are thousands more franchise brands, in every category you can imagine and some that would probably surprise you. Many were built specifically for the wave of very talented people we see coming in looking for proven brands and the ability to have a full corporate team standing behind them like they were used to in corporate America.
Why do I mention all of that in reference to building your empire?
Because the franchisors have already figured out you want to build an empire and are capable of delivering on your part of the equation.
Franchisors are building robust brands, great systems, hiring very talented teams to do all of those corporate functions. They have built models that can be run by you acting as a CEO, not standing behind a counter all day. You can dive in right away as a multi-unit or multi-territory owner or build that portfolio over time. Additionally, you can own multiple brands within the same franchise family, more and more franchisors are launching multiple brands, or with different franchisors.
The machines are built, more are coming, you just need to figure out which ones fit you and put them to work.
So, if we were talking about your plan there are a number of things we would go over. But for those of you that remember those book summaries we used in school if we procrastinated, here is a short summary.
Building an empire in 10 easy steps:
Pick your First Target: Find a franchise that fulfills their roles amazingly well and make sure it fits you (not what you buy but your skills, strengths and goals).
Use Experts (Industry professionals like me): Do a full evaluation of that brand and make sure the fit is what you wanted it to be, have expert advisors help along the way.
Funding: Make sure you are properly funded for the franchise and number of units or territories.
Move Forward: Don’t get stuck in Analysis Paralysis, you have an empire to build!
Become a Model Franchisee: Approach the training like your business depends on it because it does! Follow the systems, save your suggestions for changes for one year.
Promote yourself: Keep replacing yourself in every job you do as you grow. Build a world class team to run your business.
Grow: Always be growing, more territory or units. Stick to the franchisors systems, it will make your life easier.
Diversify: Things always change, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. Build yourself security by diversifying.
Masterminds: To be successful you have to surround yourself with successful people. These can be people within your brand but don’t forget to find successful people outside your brand to challenge you and give you new ideas.
Lifestyle: I would bet your “Why” for working hard and pursuing greater success includes doing the things you want to do, seeing your family more, never missing the important events as your kids or grandkids grow. As you build your empire, don’t forget that your “Why” is just as important a part of the plan as growing the number of units.
Okay, just like those book summaries in school, there is a lot more to the story. I spend countless hours with my candidates during a franchise investigation and that conversation continues through the coming years as they build their Empires. But now you know what is on the horizon if you want to go down this path.
The ball is in your court. Have you finished your corporate apprenticeship and are ready to build your own empire using the very same skills you have used to build theirs?
What will your success story be?
Let’s go find it!
George Knauf is a highly sought after, trusted advisor to many of the top franchise ownership groups in the world. With over 25 years of experience in both start-up and mature business franchise operations he is uniquely qualified to advise individuals that have dreamed of Building their own empires. Whether you have an existing portfolio or searching for your first franchise, he can help you to pursue your dreams. Contact the Franchising USA Expert, George’s Hotline: 703-424-2980.
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