Table of Contents
The Wealthy Franchisee

Daily Habits of the Most Successful Franchisees Wealthy franchisees run their business. Business doesn't run them.

By Scott Greenberg Edited by Dan Bova

Key Takeaways

  • Anyone can embrace the high-performance habits of wealthy franchisees and get the same results.
  • Success brings you money, but more importantly, it brings you time for your passions outside of work.
  • Wealth is nothing but a byproduct of choices.

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This is part 1 / 6 of The Wealthy Franchisee: Section 1: Getting Wealthy Through Franchising series.

Wealthy franchisees have money, but equally important, they have time. They don't always have to be at work. They run their business. It doesn't run them.

When researching franchise companies that have brought me in to speak over the years, I always ask them to interview their superstars. And by that, I don't mean the franchisor's favorites. I'm talking about the ones with the highest profits and the best lifestyles. They are the wealthy franchisees. Being a wealthy franchisee is a question of personality. Anyone can take on this personality. Anyone can embrace these high-performance habits and get the same results. Wealth is nothing but a byproduct of choices. You don't need talent, education, or brilliance. You don't even need an idea—you've already paid your franchisor for one. Now you just need to execute.

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That concept is simple to understand, but often hard in practice. Most people don't execute as well as they should. They don't appreciate their role as a franchisee. They think they've bought a recipe for success. In a way, they have. Their franchisor tells them what ingredients to get and what to do with them. But the franchisor can't control how well they measure, slice, stir, or bake. Your franchisor can't control how warmly you greet customers. They can't force you to inspire your employees. They can't shift your focus from minutia to the big picture. So many elements of the business are on you. You are the biggest variable, and your impact on your operation can't be overstated.

But that's great news.

It means you're betting on yourself. You're in control. When you work for someone else, you're betting on them. There's a perception of stability when you have a job. Don't believe it. In that situation, you can do everything right and still get burned. Most businesses in your industry are underperforming. That works to your advantage. You're competing against mediocrity. Lead with excellence, and you win. Excellence comes naturally for some franchisees. Others need to be more conscientious. But everyone has the potential to build franchise wealth.

A Day in the Life of a Wealthy Franchisee

Imagine you're having a good day as the owner of a successful retail franchise operation. You start early. Coffee tastes best before the sun comes up. While the rest of the world sleeps, you read a business book and make some notes. Then you close your eyes and take a few final moments to envision your day until you hear footsteps. Time to parent. After getting the kids out the door for school, you open an app on your smartphone that shows what's happening in your store. The lights are already on, and your employees are scurrying around, prepping for the day. You'll check in there later. First, you'll go to the gym. After exercising and getting cleaned up, you stop at a discount warehouse to pick up some supplies and throw them in the back of your Lexus. (You really do use it for business.)

When you get to your store, you decide to leave the supplies in the car for the moment. Today you want to enter through the front door, as a customer would. The place feels pleasant and clean. You notice a balled-up gum wrapper on the floor and reach down to grab it. You straighten a few display items. The display looks great, but you want it perfect. A team member is helping customers. He gives you a warm nod as you head to the back. Your manager greets you as you make your way to the office. She's busy but in good spirits. She mentions over her shoulder that she'd like to go over a few things when you have a moment. You enter the office and sit at the desk. Next to the keyboard is a note from an employee asking for a day off to take her mom to a medical appointment. You leave that for your manager to handle. There's also an envelope with your name on the outside. It's a note from last night's shift leader. She apologizes that she can't explain why the register closed out with an extra $20, which she's clipped to the note (unaware you asked your manager to slip the extra money in the till yesterday to see what she'd do). You're proud of her and look forward to announcing her promotion to assistant manager. Your manager was right about her. She's a keeper.

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You run some reports on the computer. This week's sales are slightly down but month-to-date you're up 14 percent. You run a "how heard" report to see if your recent marketing initiatives are bringing in customers. There's also lots of email to deal with, mostly invoices and shipping notices from vendors. Your corporate office has sent their weekly update. You read about upcoming franchises they're opening and a new promotion rolling out next month. And there's a notice from Yelp that someone has left you a review. They gave you five stars and mentioned one of your employees by name. You remind yourself to get her a gift card. You pay a few bills and then do your walk around. There are always adjustments to be made and work to be corrected, but you also acknowledge everything your team is doing right. You hand your car keys to one of your employees and ask him to unload the supplies. Then you make your way to the front to greet a few customers. Later you sit down with your manager. There are a few repairs she needs you to approve. She updates you on employee performance. She herself would like to take a few days off to attend a friend's wedding. You discuss how sales have been this week and brainstorm ideas to raise ticket averages. Finally, you tell her how grateful you are for her hard work. She thanks you and rushes out to help with a flurry of customers who just walked in.

Realizing you're probably in the way at this point, you remove yesterday's cash from the safe and exit through the back door. You make a quick drop at the bank and then head to a weekly meeting with your networking group. You're eager to speak with one of your colleagues who's had a lot of success with some new digital marketing initiatives. She actually seeks you out first to see if you'd like to donate a prize and say a few words at a charity auction she's chairing. Four hundred people will be there. Yeah, you'll help her out. You now have just enough time to get to the high school for your daughter's volleyball game. On the way, you call your manager to tell her about the auction. She suggests donating three items and requiring the winners to come into the store to claim them. You like her thinking.

You're greeted in the gymnasium by the school athletic director, who knows you well. So do all the parents. Every game they see your sponsorship banner hanging on the wall beneath the scoreboard. Many come to chat with you after the game. Your daughter grows impatient. "C'mon—I have homework!" You smile at the other parents. "Her majesty beckons!" No one feels like cooking tonight, so the family stops for Italian. You all debate about whether you should hit another national park this summer or go back to Maui. Better enjoy these kids while you can.

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For a moment, your mind drifts back to those stressful corporate days reporting to that miserable vice president. The money was good, but it was costing you your soul. Did you really spend 15 years there? On the drive home, you pass a busy strip mall and notice a "For Lease" sign on an end cap. The location would be perfect for another store.

The life of a wealthy franchisee isn't without stress. You're going to have some rough days plagued with problems. Sales will slump. Stuff will break. Employees will quit. Things happen. Still, it's a pretty good gig. And it's probably a lot better than your jobs in the past. You get to do things on your own terms. You're the boss. You no longer have to worry about how you're treated. As a wealthy franchisee, you live your life by your own design. Wealthy franchisees get to do what they want, as much or as little as they want. And they make plenty of money. That doesn't mean trillions of dollars, but relative to what they've invested, they're getting a great return. Wealthy franchisees live well.

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