The Right Stuff
So you've already decided you want to be a franchisee . but how can you tell whether you'll be a successful franchisee? Franchisees are a unique breed of entrepreneur-a hybrid of business owner and team player. For those who have the right blend of personal characteristics, skills and motivation to succeed, buying a franchise feels like putting on a glove. For those who misunderstand what it means to be a franchisee, unpleasant surprises may await.
Obviously, it's important to know which category you fall under before you sign on any dotted line. Thorough research, including discussions with existing franchisees, is key. But before you even go there, take a moment to complete the following quiz-it's your first step to determining whether you have what it takes.
For questions 1-16, choose the answer that best describes you or that you most agree with.
1. I have generally been regarded as:
a. one who loves to plan vacations.
b. always being willing to work hard.
c. one who seeks benefits and rewards for my work.
d. easy to supervise.
2. Financially, I:
a. am very conservative.
b. am very liberal.
c. have always been able to put money aside.
d. have never been well-off.
3. Taking directions from others is:
a. one of my strong talents.
b. something I don't like.
c. often a must.
d. acceptable if not constantly required.
4. Work-related pressure:
a. can cause physical illness.
b. is something I try to avoid.
c. is a definite problem in business today.
d. seldom causes me any discomfort.
5. I have generally been regarded as having:
a. the ability to sell things.
b. a good grasp of "what makes people tick."
c. physical strength.
d. emotional warmth.
6. To reach one's optimum level of success, one must:
a. have luck on his or her side.
b. be happy in his or her work.
c. be willing to take risks.
d. know the right people.
7. Personally, I:
a. am dissatisfied with my current profession.
b. have had a variety of life experiences.
c. have strong business and sales skills.
d. have not had much business experience.
8. A major factor in business success is:
a. an appetite to learn more about what you do.
b. a happy and stable personal life.
c. physical stamina.
d. extensive business experience.
9. I am best described as:
a. an intelligent person.
b. a highly verbal person.
c. a hard-driving person.
d. a person who relates well to others.
10. A strong desire to learn is:
a. a valuable asset, both personally and professionally.
b. often necessary to advance in business.
c. not very important once you complete school.
d. uncommon in the business world.
11. When a superior tells me what to do, I:
a. wish I had his job so I could give orders.
b. often try to present a new, more efficient way of doing the task.
c. secretly resent being ordered around.
d. learn from the instructions and complete the task.
12. To succeed in business, it is often more important to be hard-working than to be a creative, talented person.
a. I strongly agree.
b. I agree.
c. I disagree.
d. I strongly disagree.
13. I have been best known for:
a. getting involved in my community.
b. having good general business knowledge and skills.
c. being a good parent.
d. my work experience with a large organization.
14. As a business owner, it would be most important to me to:
a. provide jobs to my family.
b. be well-thought-of by my staff.
c. be able to set my own work schedule.
d. be closely aware of and prudent with my finances.
15. Work hours should be:
a. as long as is needed.
b. paid for, especially for the boss.
c. flexible: long only when needed for special projects.
d. equally divided among all employees.
16. A description of someone with a good chance of succeeding in business is someone who:
a. likes to regularly get away to help avoid stress.
b. is always curious to learn more about doing his or her job.
c. works best by himself.
d. has a business degree from a top university.
For questions 17-30, choose the statement that best describes your personality (even though both may apply to some extent).
17. a. I have a strong affinity for sales.
b. I am highly energetic.
18. a. I have moderate experience in the type of business I would like to get into.
b. I am a good direction taker.
19. a. I am a creative person.
b. I am a good listener.
20. a. I am a previous business owner.
b. I am able to fully commit my finances to my business.
21. a. I don't mind working long hours.
b. I have strong corporate skills.
22. a. I am a very careful, organized person.
b. I am a people-oriented person.
23. a. I am a charitable person.
b. I am a diplomatic person.
24. a. I am highly spontaneous.
b. I am highly goal-oriented.
25. a. I am able to take charge of people.
b. I am a quick decision-maker.
26. a. I have some basic financial knowledge.
b. I have previous management experience.
27. a. I need to be in control.
b. I can take directions from others.
28. a. I have extensive business skills.
b. I am always willing to do what it takes to get things done.
29. a. I often use weekends to unwind after the work week.
b. I am very resistant to stress.
30. a. I have money in the bank.
b. I am willing to do without if necessary.
31. For this question, select the five statements that least describe you:
a. I am a slow starter.
b. I am able to sell anything.
c. I prefer to work by myself.
d. I am interested in learning new skills.
e. I would rather live spontaneously than set long-range goals.
f. I thrive on stressful, busy deadline situations.
g. I work best by taking charge and issuing orders.
h. I am rich in people skills.
i. I prefer a large corporate environment.
j. I have a history of working long hours at a favorite activity.
From How To Buy And Manage A Franchise (Fireside/Simon & Schuster) by Joseph R. Mancuso and Donald Boroian. Copyright 1993 by The Center for Entrepreneurial Management Inc. Reprinted by permission of Donald Boroian.
For each answer you've chosen, give yourself the corresponding number of points listed below:
1. a-0, b-4, c-0, d-2
2. a-2, b-0, c-4, d-0
3. a-4, b-0, c-2, d-1
4. a-0, b-0, c-1, d-4
5. a-4, b-2, c-0, d-0
6. a-0, b-2, c-4, d-0
7. a-0, b-2, c-4, d-0
8. a-4, b-1, c-0, d-3
9. a-1, b-0, c-2, d-4
10. a-4, b-2, c-0, d-0
11. a-0, b-2, c-0, d-4
12. a-4, b-3, c-0, d-0
13. a-0, b-4, c-2, d-1
14. a-1, b-0, c-0, d-4
15. a-4, b-0, c-2, d-0
16. a-0, b-4, c-1, d-1
17. a-2, b-1
18. a-1, b-2
19. a-1, b-2
20. a-1, b-2
21. a-2, b-1
22. a-1, b-2
23. a-1, b-2
24. a-1, b-2
25. a-2, b-1
26. a-2, b-1
27. a-1, b-2
28. a-1, b-2
29. a-1, b-2
30. a-2, b-1
31. a-1, b-0, c-1, d-0, e-1, f-0, g-1, h-0, i-1, j-0
TOTAL POSSIBLE POINTS: 97
80-97 points: A prime candidate. Congratulations! If you've answered the quiz questions frankly and received a score in this range, your personality traits, attitude, experience and temperament are good matches with the attributes many franchisors say are found in their most successful franchisees. You likely have a well-defined desire to learn and a willingness to follow directions in the quest for your own success. If you're financially able to do so, we strongly suggest you pursue becoming a franchisee. Good luck!
51-79 points: A potential candidate. Many of your traits are close to those found in top franchisee candidates; however, you may not be completely committed to the concept of running a franchised outlet of someone else's business. Although you may be interested in becoming a franchisee, your quiz answers indicate you might have some differences in opinion as compared with more "traditional" candidates. Perhaps you have a strong streak of independence or are more comfortable giving directions than taking them. If you can ascertain those areas in which you differ from the "model franchisee," you may be able to determine if these are fundamental differences (which may mean that franchising isn't for you) or are merely slight discrepancies. If the latter is true, you, too, could turn out to be a good franchisee candidate.
0-50 points: A questionable candidate. A low score on this test might simply indicate you would be more comfortable and successful as an independent business owner or as an employee of an independent business or large corporation. Becoming a franchisee is not for every personality type; you may be more independent and have a stronger business background than most franchisees. Rather than trying to squeeze your individual talents into a field for which you may not be suited, you should probably seek other opportunities. If you still feel you are strongly committed to becoming a franchisee, examine the choices you made on the test that differ from the suggested answers. Doing this can show you which areas in your personality or background you need to reassess to improve your chances of becoming a successful franchisee.