Are You Sure You Want To Marry Your Business?

Starting a franchise may be a tempting proposition.  The promise of secure startup, the ability to make money off of a well known product or service and having everything you need to run your business at your fingertips is enticing.  However, one thing that many franchise sales people will not tell you is that you will be tied to the franchise like you are tied to a spouse.  Of course, this is true for almost any business that you start.  But, many people are so enthusiastic and juiced up about the prospect of making a good living from a franchise that they forget to really think about the time commitment that is involved.  Not only that, but many people forget that they are their own boss, which requires its own particular set of responsibilities.

Imagine that you are opening a shop with a franchise.  You bought into a popular brand, customers are banging on your door and the promise of a bright future is looking good.  Then you realize that you need to handle staffing, order products or supplies, manage the day-to-day affairs of your business, ensure customer quality and deal with mountains of paperwork and reports.  There are licenses to obtain, uniforms to order and signage to display.  You need to work with vendors, deal with employee problems and make sure that you are following the law and paying taxes for yourself as well as your staff.

So, while you may be looking at a fantastic business model and income opportunity, you are also looking at an enormous amount of extra work and responsibility that will be encountered on a daily basis.  Who will handle all of this?  Do you have the money to pay for a manager?  Do you trust them with your business, or are you going to do this on your own?  How will your family be involved in the franchise?  How will you manage your time, delegate authority and set standards and procedures in your shop?  You should be looking at these questions as much as you are looking at your growth and income potential.

Running a franchise is often considered to be much easier than starting your own business from the very beginning.  They usually offer a lot of support along with prescribed procedures and steps that make everything a little more streamlined.  However, they do not replace time.  You will still need to spend an enormous amount of time handling the operation of your business, and you need to consider whether or not you want to spend 12-18 hours a day in some cases tied to a particular brand or company.

That being said, it is a good idea to give serious thought to whether or not you will love your franchise, the product, the company and the model.  You want to give your life and energy to a business that will bring out the best in you and inspire your passions. The last thing you want is to hate your business, feel overwhelmed every day and view it as a burden.  Sure, things are not always going to be easy.  But, if you are not in love with your franchise, then you are opening the door to all kinds of issues, problems and struggles that can be completely avoided if you take the time to think things through before making any commitments.

Think of the research and discovery process that goes with choosing a franchise as dating.  Take time to get to know the company, the model and what you can realistically expect if you sign a contract and open up your business.  You may fall in love or you may want to look elsewhere.  There is no rush to open a franchise, and there are plenty of opportunities that you can dedicate your time and talent to pursuing.  If you are not happy with the prospect of spending every waking moment with your potential business, then you should look elsewhere until you find a good match.  It is much easier to date someone else than it is to get married and then divorced.

The same principle applies to your business, and in all reality, chances are that you will spend more time with your franchise then you will with your family anyway (unless they are involved as well).  Take a long, hard and honest look at what you will be doing and how you will be managing your business before you commit to anything, and you will have an increased chance of being happy and content with your chosen partner.

Talk with other franchisees, take a look at future prospects and thoroughly examine the company to make sure that it is the right one to deal with.  This is your chance to live your dream, to build your own business and to seize on that entrepreneurial spirit that is in your heart and mind.  But, it’s important that you give your best to something that brings out the best in you as well as something that you can wrap your life around for years to come. Never impulse buy into a franchise, and always look and think of the details before deciding anything. Visualize your future with your business prospect and try and imagine how you will feel after the magic wears off and the reality of operating your business every day sinks in.

Make sure that you find the right franchise for you and your personality and overall goals.  Don’t look on the surface, the brand or image or popularity among consumers alone.  Consider how you will be interacting with your franchise for the duration.  Be honest with yourself and don’t be afraid to pursue other opportunities if one company does not match what you want.  Better to take the time now than to have years of regret as you plod through long and unrewarding days until your contract expires. Marry the right franchise and give yourself the joy of doing what you love while making money at the same time.