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Am I a Good Franchise Candidate? Not everyone is franchise material.

By Rick Grossmann Edited by Carl Stoffers

Key Takeaways

  • Before diving into franchising, it’s essential to thoroughly evaluate your personal interests, capabilities, and lifestyle.
  • Contrary to common myths, a franchise is not a guaranteed path to easy money.
  • The most successful franchisees are those who work the hardest and are prepared for both financial and emotional challenges.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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The following is an excerpt from Franchise Bible: How to Buy a Franchise or Franchise Your Own Business, Ninth Edition, available now via Entrepreneur Press. Order now.

Not everyone is franchise material. This is no less true in franchising than it is in medicine, teaching or gardening. Thus, to help you make this determination, you must ask yourself some questions:

Related: Considering franchise ownership? Get started now to find your personalized list of franchises that match your lifestyle, interests and budget.

What do I really enjoy doing?

This does not have to be the work that you are doing at the moment. Instead it could be a hobby that you are passionate about. Indeed, one of the most important factors that may determine your success or failure is the level of enjoyment and satisfaction you can hope to experience in operating the franchise from day to day. You must be involved with the daily operation of your business at some level regardless of the model you choose. So it is critical for you to "inventory yourself" to make sure you are indeed a good franchise candidate.

Do I like working with the public?

If the answer is no, there may still be "business-to-business" franchise opportunities that require you to work with other business people, but the truth is that you are still working with the public.

Do I like the idea of being the boss?

It was President Truman who said, "The buck stops here" and the burden of being the boss cannot be more succinctly stated. You are responsible for the daily grind that is business: bookkeeping, employment issues, inventory control and the like. Though you may delegate these duties to an employee, ultimately it will be your job to ensure that it is all done in the manner that the franchisor requires.

Am I willing to have employees?

Though it is not exactly working with the public, the ability to work with employees in a positive manner is no less important than your ability to work with your customers. If hiring, directing and firing employees is not your thing, then you may look for a business that does not require employees.

Am I willing to take the direction of the franchisor when setting up and then operating the business?

As strange as it may sound, entrepreneurs are not the best franchisees. A franchisor does not want someone who will learn the system and then take off on tangents that are not within the confines of system. Time and again it has been confirmed that it is the franchisee who can follow the system who is successful. Deviating from it is counterproductive, in violation of your franchise contract and, more often than not, results in a failed franchise.

Is my family enthusiastic about the idea of buying a franchise?

Will you enjoy working with them if they are going to work in the business?

Do I have the necessary capital resources?

Can you make the financial sacrifices?

Am I emotionally prepared for what's required to succeed?

Don't be afraid to ask friends and acquaintances for their opinions on your abilities along these lines. While it is true that franchising gives you a greater chance to succeed in business, we also need to dispel the most persistent myth about franchising: That the franchisee can make a lot of money from the franchised business minimal effort. This has never been the case, and is a serious misconception. As is true in most things in life, the franchisee who works the hardest profits the most from a franchise business. Initially at least, you must be able to make sacrifices, such as:

  • Be prepared to put in long hours of hard work.
  • Be prepared to understand and be able to carry out all of the jobs required to operate the business from janitor, to cook, to CEO. If an employee fails to show up for work, at least in the beginning, it is often the owner that must fill in the gap.
  • Be prepared to be the most organized person in the business.
  • Be financially and emotionally prepared for setbacks. Every business that has ever existed has had to overcome difficulties. Business cycle ups and downs, difficulty with inventory control, the hardship of finding competent help are par for the course.

Support is critical

Growing a successful business takes a lot of commitment and it is critical that you have the support of your closest family members. Once you have completed the above, you must select a particular field of business you like or better, that you have a passion for (like working with cars, or working with numbers) and then decide whether or not that endeavor is suitable given your past experience and talents.

For example, if you are an individual that loves working with food, then looking into the restaurant industry may be an interesting exercise. Although finding a line of work that you can enjoy is important, you want to make sure that the business is a solid model with an existing market of potential customers. Choose the business in which you can excel, so you can have the freedom to enjoy the fun things in life.

When it comes to the best franchise concepts by category, Entrepreneur has you covered. We have business opportunities to share from over a dozen industries. Everything from automotive, home services and childcare to food, health and beauty, and everything in between.

Rick Grossmann

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Founder, Author, and Head Coach

Rick has been involved in the franchise industry since 1994. He franchised his first company and grew it to 49 locations in 19 states during the mid to late 1990s. He served as the Chief Executive Officer and primary trainer focusing on franchise owner relations and creating tools and technologies to increase franchisee success.

Rick developed and launched his second franchise organization in 2003. He led this company as the CEO and CMO growing to over 150 locations in less than three years. He developed the high-tech/high-touch franchise recruiting and sales system.

Both companies achieved rankings on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list. During this period, Rick served as a business and marketing consultant to small businesses and multimillion-dollar enterprises. He also consulted with franchise owners and prospective franchisees, franchisors, and companies seeking to franchise around the world.  Franchise Bible Coach has been voted a top franchise development firm in Entrepreneur's 2023 Top Franchise Suppliers ranking.

Rick is the author of Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise Bible series, and his 9th Edition was released worldwide in April of 2021. He is also a contributing author to Entrepreneur magazine and other industry publications on franchising and business.

He currently heads up the Entrepreneur Franchise Advisors program, serves as an executive coach and strategist for multiple franchise clients, has been voted as one of the Top Global Franchise Influencers consecutively since 2021, and is the co-host of the Franchise Bible Coach Radio Podcast.



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