10 things they don’t tell you about opening a franchise
Opening a franchise can be a smart business move if you’re willing to work within the company’s business model and have a flair for management and independence. However, if you’re not careful, it’s easy to have a negative experience. Franchisees and franchise experts weigh in on the things they don’t tell you about opening a franchise and offer industry advice that’s humorous, cautionary, informative and inspiring.
1. “Don’t take things personally, and remember employees and customers have their own problems. When dealing with others, be kind, compassionate and patient.” – Joni Garcia, The Maids of Wichita
2. “Well, I had a really crazy Friday. I got home around 5:00 p.m. and received an email from one of my customers that just made my day and my whole weekend! They told me I ran a top-notch business with excellent communication to ensure satisfaction. I must have read the email at least 10 times over the
weekend! It makes you feel good knowing that you’re helping out somebody else and making their life a little easier.” – Dustin Guessfield, MaidPro Owner
3. “Potential franchisees need to understand and ask questions about their investment beyond the ‘initial’ investment. The initial investment gets you to day one. But you also need to ask questions about the additional money you need, to ensure you have the working capital to build your business and pay the bills until the point where you are profitable.” –– Renée Illyse Israel, Doc Popcorn
4. “When you are looking at franchise concepts, it’s important to understand that you are buying a lifestyle. Do you want to work in and on your business every day, or do you want to be on the golf course? Are you looking to replace an income or supplement one? Make sure the franchise you get involved with is the right fit to help you achieve your lifestyle goals.” –– Renée Illyse Israel, Doc Popcorn
5. “Regardless of whom you hire, no one will run the business with the same passion as you. So whatever a franchisor says about having an ‘absentee’ owner model, it’s critical to participate in the training program offered and work in and on your business, at least initially, so you can step in should you ever need.” – Renée Illyse Israel, Doc Popcorn
6. “One of the nicest surprises that I have realized [about] being a franchisee is that I am a job creator. I mean, I really am creating jobs! If it weren’t for me purchasing this franchise and opening this business, 14 people would be out of a job. Never having owned a business before, I had no idea how satisfying the simple act of handing out a paycheck to a hard-working American was going to be. The feeling is truly wonderful!” – Nichole Kambesis, MaidPro Owner
7. “Start with the proper resources to ramp up your business, and hire to your weakness. If you add good people to your business, it will grow faster.” – Mike Mangano, The Maids of Torrance, Calif.
8. “It is important to speak to as many existing franchisees as possible as you will likely receive a range of feedback. Discount extreme opinions unless they are consistent across many discussions.” – David Miller, Brightway Insurance
9. “Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Stick to the script.” – Wayne Phillips, The Maids of Maryland
10. “Nobody told me how important it was to get involved in the community and become a resource, even if you don’t get immediate business. While my Assisting Hands franchise is in health care, there are some common lessons that all franchises should explore. It is important to be seen as a contributor to the community, not just a business. Try to bring value to the community through your products and services. Good will is really an asset, especially in my business, where a healthy senior can become home
bound almost overnight. Having a local presence has helped me become the ‘go to’ resource when residents need care. That’s why I lead free workshops and continuing education seminars for local health workers. Just putting out a ‘shingle’ to tell people you are here isn’t enough. It’s the sweat
equity that brings real equity to a franchise.” – Richard Ueberfluss, Assisting Hands
Susan Ricker is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder . She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.
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