You’ve spent your career in a corporate job that gives you an income and predictability. But is that all you want out of your career? Have an idea you want to implement? Ask your boss. Need to take time off? Ask your boss. Want a raise? Ask your boss.
Does your passion lie in working in the corporate world the rest of your life, or do you feel your entrepreneurial spirit at work within you? You’ve always been curious about running your own business. But now you wonder if all the time you’ve spent working for someone else limits your ability to be your own boss.
The years you spent, and the skills you learned, in corporate America weren’t wasted. Things like time management, teamwork, management of staff, communication are just a few many of the key experiences that will directly apply to your time as a business owner. These skills are all transferable and they put you in a great position when you’re ready to run your own business.
Here are just a few of the advantages your corporate experience provided you:
Credibility – Building a successful career in the corporate world gives you instant credibility when you step out to go into business for yourself. Experience matters because it gives a prospective franchisee a better understanding of a standard company structure, provides valuable network resources and gives them perspective on what it’s like to be an “employee”. And be sure to tout your access to a professional network, and explain how your experience looks to potential job candidates and customers, as well as lenders.
Culture – You’ve seen firsthand the importance that cultivating a positive culture with good chemistry plays in maintaining a positive workplace. As the franchise owner, you are responsible for not only creating but fostering your company’s culture. If your corporate experience was empowering and positive you can use many of the same culture-building practices you saw in that environment and put them to work for your business. However, don’t be afraid to change things up and do things differently.
Process – The list of important processes you’ve been exposed to while working for others gives you an enormous advantage in running your own business. This includes skills such as time management, budgeting, sales, collaboration, strategic planning and attention to detail. Additionally, having valuable experience as an employee gives a now franchise owner a unique perspective and an understanding of the thoughts and fears that goes through an employee’s mind. They should rely on that corporate experience to better connect with their employees.
Management – Your experience managing others provides you with valuable practice in hiring the right people, building and supervising a team, setting professional development goals and mentoring. It also taught you how manage and mitigate risk. When much is at stake, as it so often is in the corporate world, you learn how to make tough decisions, consider economic impact, prioritize, etc.
Communication – The ability to communicate is a developed skill, but one that is critical in business management. Your corporate job taught you how to connect with all types of people –colleagues, clients, subordinates, etc. It also taught you how to handle all types of situations – sharing positive news vs. negative news, responding to an unhappy customer, inciting action with your team, negotiating with vendors, etc. Finally, you learned not only what to say and when, but how to share feedback and commentary in a way that is constructive.
In addition to the skills you bring, investing in a franchise also helps make the transition from the corporate world to business ownership a smooth one. A franchise provides you with a proven business plan and a system of support, both from the corporate office and your network of fellow franchisees.
Jeff Brazier joined the Kiddie Academy franchise development team in 2016. In his role as VP of Franchise Development, he works closely with franchise candidates to guide them through our franchise discovery process. Jeff has over 16 years of business development experience. Brazier began his career in the sports industry, with an emphasis on baseball, where he transitioned into business development. Jeff holds a BS from Towson University and MS from California University of PA.