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6 Franchise Coach Myths, Debunked

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It's no secret that some franchise coaches are better than others. While many offer an honest and valuable service, many myths still persist in the business world about what franchise coaches do -- or don't do. Here, I'm revealing the six most common myths about franchise coaches.

Monica Dipres

Don't let these misperceptions steer you away from engaging a franchise coach. Rather, let these debunked myths guide you to the right coach who can help you with your franchise exploration. Now, those myths:

1. Franchise coaches believe all franchises are good.

An experienced franchise coach understands that some franchises are good and others are not. You can't generalize because franchising is not an industry; it's a way of doing business. It is the franchise coach's job to make sure you are looking only at high-quality franchise systems. It is your responsibility to make sure you do your due diligence and determine good from bad. A franchise coach can help you in that process.

2. A franchise coach will prey on your emotions.

Emotions can cloud your vision, making you vulnerable to seeing what you want to see -- or what someone else wants you to see. When you are emotionally attached to an idea, you tend to listen to the information that supports your idea, and dismiss the information that does not support it. An experienced franchise coach will convince you to look at the facts and gather information for a sound business decision. Above all, good franchise coaches understand that emotion should not come into play until you have laid a foundation built on facts.

3. Franchise coaches will always tell you to "Do what you love."

We've all heard the advice, "Do what you love." But an experienced coach will help you sort out vocation versus avocation. He or she will help you decide if your love of golf will translate into a successful business or not. You'll be advised to carefully analyze your options, to ensure a good match between your interests/lifestyle goals and your skills/abilities.

4. Franchise coaches always claim to be experts.

It is probably true that franchise coaches will tell you that they are experts in franchising and business ownership in general. However, an honest consultant will tell you if he or she can provide relevant advice and consult based on your particular needs. Regardless, it is your responsibility to make sure you work with a proven coach. Want to be sure you're getting an expert? Follow this three-part litmus test:

  • Is the franchise coach truly an expert in his or her area of self-proclaimed expertise? A minimum of ten years in the world of franchising is necessary. Ideally this will include experience on both the franchisor and franchisee side of the equation. Additional experience owning nonfranchised businesses would be helpful, as well.
  • Does the franchise coach add value to your process? Franchising is about systems. Does the franchise coach have a system to help you make a better decision? Does the system make sense to you and will it help you make a better decision?
  • Does the franchise coach have your best interests in mind? The coach should always focus on making sure that you feel protected and safe. You should never feel pressured during any part of the process.

5. Franchise coaches will monopolize the conversation.

It's easy to think that your coach will try to control the conversation. But a quality franchise coach should do more listening than talking, guiding you in the process so you can make the best decision. That's why a quality franchise coach will actually steer you to have meaningful dialogue with both the franchisor and franchisees. As part of my coaching practice, I provide a downloadable list of questions to ask franchisors and a second list to ask franchisees. You can find these questions in the "Download" section of my website. These questions will allow you to pay attention to detail during the process so you will have a solid understanding of what it takes to be successful in the franchise.

6. Franchise coaches care only about the signature.

Possibly the No. 1 misperception is that signing the franchise agreement is the end. That goes for you as the new franchisee, and for the franchise coach. In fact, signing the franchise agreement is only the beginning. Yes, the investigation and preparation stages seem long and arduous. But once you've signed the franchise agreement, the real work begins. Part III of The Educated Franchisee shares advice on reaching your full potential as an owner. Read this section carefully and know that the future is in your hands.

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