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Do You Know This Person?

Written by : John McGavin
He or she is looking to buy a franchise. He or she is serious, they have made up their mind to escape the corporate rat race and find something better for themselves, their family, and their future. And they are serious!

That's what sets them apart from other people who want to check their options and see what's available: these people are serious! They might not know where to find a good business, or what a good business for them might be, or how much they cost, or how to find the answers to these questions, but they are serious about learning and moving ahead with their lives. They have a goal and a timeframe to accomplish it in. And they can get help answering the questions that they have if the know where to look.

I'm a consultant in the franchise industry, and I work with people to help identify their skills, interests, and financial comfort level for investing to find the right franchise for them. I then provide a format to coach them through the necessary research steps so they can make the right yes or no decisions on various business opportunities that might be a fit. We wade through the multitude of types and offerings to provide businesses that can offer safety for our clients, and we offer only those that fit!

Over time, I've found that there are qualities that the successful candidates utilize to push ahead with what can be tough, emotional decisions. They are able to take the emotion out of the equation as much as possible and make decisions based on the facts that they've learned. There's still a "leap of faith” involved, but through their own research they've minimized that 800 lb guerilla we call risk to a livable level and have brought fear, doubt, and worry under control so that they aren't overwhelmed with the task at hand.

How? They have an ultimate goal, but they know that it is large. By breaking it down into smaller bite-sized pieces they prioritize what needs to be done and follow a research plan that will allow them to answer their questions and be able to make smaller yes or no decisions. It's a "STOP" or "GO" plan that tells them throughout the process how the business will fit their needs, goals, and long term plans. In other words, they are able to take direction on a format that works, and follow it through to a successful outcome. And isn't that exactly what a franchisor is looking for? Franchisors are looking for someone who can follow a proven format (the franchisors' system) to a successful outcome. In this way, both the franchisor and the franchisee win.

OK, so what have we got so far?

  1. The candidate is serious. They have stopped waffling, and have analyzed their current circumstance to know that they want something better. A decision has been made to seriously research the industry, and if the right business can be found, the candidate will move ahead.

  2. The candidate has set a goal and a timeframe within which to accomplish this goal. The timeframe can be flexible, but the goal is set in concrete. A decision has been made to follow through with the necessary due diligence: reading material, making franchisee telephone calls, speaking with the franchisor, and getting professional help on their team, and making a decision within a 30 to 90 day timeframe.

  3. They know that before they can identify a business that will fit them they must take a hard, introspective, and honest look at themselves first. This can be tough, but a business that matches the individual's self-image is the easiest to fit into with the shortest learning curve.

  4. They have analyzed their finances to know what they can afford, and what they are comfortable investing. They know that they may have to finance over and above their personal assets, but they have an investment range to work within, and know that they will need to look for businesses in that range. And they haven't forgotten that they will need cash flow for both ongoing business and personal expenses while they build the business to a break even and profit position.

  5. They know that they can help to identify these opportunities within their budget, and they know that they need to be focused on their research format.

  6. Have other family members been involved in the process? A decision of this magnitude will impact all areas of your home life, too. The candidate has sat down with the people in his/her life who will be most affected by their decision, talked things through, and made sure that there will be understanding and support for their decision to proceed, as well as through the trials of starting the business, before they begin the investigation process with consultants or franchisors.
  7. And they take action. They have identified their needs. They have formulated a plan and commit to following it through. They have the support of their family members. They don't let outside influences sidetrack them from meeting their commitments.
The above overview provides a general description of a potential franchisee candidate. Nothing else matters. Ages can range from early 20's to late 60's. Gender? Male and female. In fact, more females are entering the world of franchising today than ever before. Religion? Race or ethnicity? Your skills, comfort level for investing, long term goals, and commitment to following a plan and then taking the necessary action make the difference. Is there more that the successful candidates do that the others don't? Sure, there are lots of little things as part of the above process, but they are by and large a function of the individual's personal style or personality type.
Nothing else matters.
But the question is, "Do you know this person?' Is it You?

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