Investigating Franchises Over the Holidays

Boots, scarves, jacket and sweaters.  We have moved on to Fall with Winter looming and holidays right around the corner. Grab your Pumpkin Spiced Lattes and let’s talk about how to navigate franchise investigations while spending time with family and friends.

First, your family and friends love you… And because of that they may try to crush your dreams (no, not intentionally).

What they are doing is trying to protect you from things they fear or don’t understand. They are not investigating franchises with you so it is not their job to understand the answers to their fears, only to offer you a few minutes of sage (?) advice on how to avoid the dangers they perceive.

Your Uncle Bob may bring up to you about how businesses are risky and how you have never owned one before. He may be ever so slightly right, and that is why you want to use your well-honed management, sales or other skills that you learned in corporate America to partner with a proven National brand that has a well-developed system, training and support.

You have already considered that you would benefit from having a system that is time tested and people that know how to execute it. Additionally, you will be surrounded by like-minded franchise owners who are overcoming the same challenges as you and pursuing similar goals.  The track record and team work between you and the franchisor, as well as you and your fellow franchisees will largely answer Uncle Bob’s concerns about risky businesses and your experience running one.

When Uncle Bob holds forth, hand him another of your Aunt Suzy’s Thanksgiving punch and assure him that you are doing an in depth investigation of proven National brands that will teach you what you need to know to be successful in that business.

Aunt Suzy, on the other hand may talk about how some businesses are just fads. Aunt Suzy is also onto something, sort of. Businesses are cyclical, as consumer trends can be. The word “Fad” tends to describe a particularly short cycle. We do want to try to identify and avoid particularly short cycles. With that definition, not all businesses are fads. They are simply on longer cycles. This is where you may want to find peace of mind in necessity services like disaster recovery and haircuts, to name just a couple.

So, for Aunt Suzy you can let her know that you are paying particular attention to the trends around the businesses that you are considering.  That you are looking for solid need based businesses that have the secondary benefit of being recession resistant.

Okay, you have safely navigated Uncle Bob and Aunt Suzy, so you go hang out with your Dad by the grill. Not talking football today, is he?  Apparently the whole family was talking before you arrived and they are all trying to protect you from the things they fear!

You Dad takes a deep breath and asks how are you going to possibly fund this venture.

In return you take a deep breath and respond with a run down of the myriad of funding resources available from top franchise funding companies: SBA and conventional loans, equipment leasing, 401K rollovers, etc. You let him know that you have experts finding the best scenarios for you and making sure that your applications and paperwork have all the I’s dotted and t’s crossed.

Okay, survived Dad, now… Mom!

Mom may be wondering what happens when you give up that great career that you worked so hard on and she told all of their friends about, often.

Take a sip of punch, then tell Mom how that great sounding career isn’t like jobs in her youth.  That there is no job security or loyalty. That the pay is good, but you are much better than what you are paid. Tell her about how your role is becoming more and more of a road warrior and how that feels when you miss your kids.

Let her know that you have worked hard, built a great skill set and are now ready to use it to build your own independence and create a personal security for your family that may now be impossible to create in a job.

Let her know that you are ready, it is your time and you will give her something to brag to her friends about.

They mean well, they really do. Their goal is to protect you. What they don’t understand is how ready you are and how beneficial a franchise system can be.

Now, if it was me, I might wait to tell my family I was looking at a franchise until after I had completed the investigation(s), sorted out my funding options and done some deep soul searching. 

What is your success story? 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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