3 essential characteristics of a successful franchise owner
As a franchise owner for over 34 years, I’ve often asked myself an important question, “What would my business be, if everyone in my business was just like me?” I realized that if my business was going to be successful, it was up to me to set the right tone and example. Through the years, I have seen these same characteristics modeled by many outstanding franchise owners. In fact, it could be said, they have learned how to turn their success into significance. No doubt other traits could be added to the list however, these three qualities set a solid foundation.
So how do you turn success into significance? You need to be…
Successful franchise owners are passionate
Be passionate! For years I’ve spoken to literally hundreds of people all asking a similar question. “Do I need to be passionate about the business I purchase/own?” My answer quite simply is, “no.” Based on my experience and the experience of others, passion for a particular business or industry is not essential. My first business was a janitorial franchise and I can tell you there was never a day I was passionate about cleaning toilets. I was passionate about being my own boss, having flexibility and freedom, and controlling my own financial destiny. I was passionate about helping people and having a positive impact on their lives. I enjoyed solving my customer’s problems, managing employees with respect, and watching them develop professionally. I was passionate about providing my family with a lifestyle where they had the ability to live happy and healthy lives. Even though I wasn’t passionate about cleaning, owning a janitorial franchise offered my family a freedom I didn’t know existed.
Even though I wasn’t passionate about cleaning, owning a janitorial franchise offered my family a freedom I didn’t know existed.
I remember several years ago meeting with a friend who wanted to start making a career transition. He worked for a large publishing company, enjoyed his job, but knew he had no control over his life and future. He was hoping to find a business in his field of expertise. We looked at several franchise options, then it dawned on him that he could use his skills and experience in a completely different industry. Today, he is the successful owner of 15-plus locations of a hair salon franchise and plans to open another 15 in the next few years. After about three years of part-time franchise ownership, he moved into his business full-time and is living the life he had always dreamed of. He has never been passionate about hair salons, in fact, he admits he doesn’t know the first thing about cutting someone’s hair. However, he’s very passionate about owning a business that has an impact on the lives of his employees, his customers and especially his family.
Successful franchise owners find a need, create a solution, and become passionate about the solution that will change lives for the better. They clearly understand the greater the need, the greater the opportunity.
Successful franchise owners are courageous
Be courageous! Charles R. Swindoll, the great pastor and radio personality said, “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” It takes courage to overcome fear, anxiety, and impossible situations. But what is courage? If you look it up, you’ll find that courage is the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation.
So, what does courage have to do with being a franchise owner? Because of recent events in our country, fear and anxiety seem to be at an all-time high in our culture leaving many to feel uncertain about the future. Change is difficult and inevitable, yet many want their lives to go back to the way “it used to be.” In this environment, it would be easy to shy away from anything risky or challenging that could potentially cause pain.
But there are those who instead of running from impossible situations, run towards them. They evaluate the risk and fear and move cautiously toward the opportunities before them. They know that on the other side of their fear awaits dreams yet to be fulfilled. Our society is full of examples of those who choose to push back the uncertainty and accomplish their true destiny and meaning in life. From athletes to first responders, from our military to business owners, the list of risk-takers in America is extensive.
How do you muster up the courage to take a step in an unfamiliar direction? Reflect on these encouraging ideas.
- Believe in yourself – I can do whatever I set my mind to!
- Dream big – My life is too short to think small.
- Have faith – Faith is the assurance of what you’ve hoped for and the certainty for what you cannot see.
- Embrace hope – See a glimmer of light in the midst of darkness.
- Choose wisdom – Start with the end in mind.
- Reject fear – Courage is the absence of fear.
When it comes to making career changes, many will stop the process of franchise discovery because anxiety grabs ahold of them and tells them that it is way too scary and uncertain. Courageous people work through anxiety with education and research due-diligence.
Courageous people work through anxiety with education and research due-diligence.
I once had a client take nearly two years to decide whether to buy a franchise or not. Although he had a great job, he was not fulfilled. He dreamed of owning a business, but his fear of failing and disappointing himself and his family crippled his decision-making ability. He admits he was paralyzed by the “fear of failure” and the “fear of the unknown.” But together we worked through educating him about franchising and doing significant franchise company research to find the perfect fit franchise opportunity for him. Today, he is an extremely successful owner of a multi-million-dollar window cleaning franchise and his only regret is he waited too long to decide to become a franchise owner.
Successful franchise owners are teachable
Be teachable! During the holidays, I was reminded how important it was to read and follow directions. While putting a toy together for one of my grandkids, I assumed I knew how it would go together. So instead of reading the directions and following the step-by-step instructions, I assembled it on my own. It looked just like the picture on the box, but I soon discovered the toy didn’t work properly. After wasting a bunch of time, I finally went back to the instructions and discovered I had put the battery compartment in wrong. So, I took it apart, retrieved the step-by-step instruction booklet from the trash and assembled the toy just as the manufacturer advised. And the toy began working perfectly. It was another reminder to me that I needed to look to others for advice and help instead of complicating the entire process by simply not being teachable.
This analogy can also be applied to franchising. There is a specific process to follow when investigating a franchise. Getting the correct information, and following the guidance of a qualified franchise consultant will help you avoid making costly mistakes and wasting precious time.
Being teachable, learning from the franchisor’s mistakes and taking their advice will put you on the path to great success.
Once you have purchased your franchise, commit yourself to following the system. The franchise has invested time, money, and resources to ensure your success. Being teachable, learning from the franchisor’s mistakes, and taking their advice will put you on the path to great success. Going it alone and thinking you have all the answers will result in limited success, frustration, and too often, failure. The franchise company has a vested interest in you and your success. They want you to succeed, they want you to be profitable, and they want you to be happy and fulfilled. Give them the opportunity to help you, be teachable.
So, how important is success to you? What kind of an impact do you want to have on the lives of others? If you want to turn your success into significance, be passionate, be courageous and be teachable!
Spend time with a franchise consultant researching franchise opportunities that match your dreams and desires.