You’ve decided to take a closer look at franchising and the different types of franchise opportunities available. Great! However, what are the best franchise opportunities for professionals transitioning out of corporate employment, if any at all?
When researching and assessing franchise opportunities, it is common for people to first think about the product or service that they will be offering customers, then see how that type of business fits in to their preferred lifestyle and financial goals.
For example, you have recently had encounters with several local senior care providers after searching for in-home help for an elderly parent. You like the level of service that the senior care operator provided and can see how this type of business could be both personally rewarding and fit into your desired lifestyle and financial goals. It’s looking good.
However, what you probably won’t see is that this type of business is a management franchise and revolves around specialist care providers, who can be hard to recruit and retain. Distraught family members can be challenging to manage and your elderly patients, well their lives and well-being are in your hands.
Another common approach to take when viewing potential franchise businesses is to first look at unmet needs in the market and then match the opportunities that could meet those needs.
For example, you may live in a small, local town that doesn’t have a Domino’s Pizza (hard to believe but there are still places like this). Therefore, this leads you to believe that a high profile pizza brand, such as Domino’s pizza, would be the perfect choice.
However, you may fail to acknowledge that Domino’s Pizza is practically a 24/7 business and that, to run one successfully, you must be prepared to work evenings, weekends and public holidays, which is prime time for the business.
You may not fully understand how such a franchise business would impact your desired lifestyle, after all, you’ve left corporate employment to get more balance at home and to free up time to pursue other activities.
These are both logical approaches to identifying franchises, but unless you want your life to revolve around your business, they are not necessarily the right ones. It’s important to remember that many of you are looking to make a career change away from the politics and lifestyle of corporate life. You don’t want to be swapping one beast for another.
Taking An Inside-Out Approach
The only way to truly answer this question it is to take an inside-out approach. This starts with your personal analysis and a careful look at your skills, your experience, what you’ve enjoyed throughout your career, what you’ve not enjoyed, what type of lifestyle you’re looking to create, what level of income you’re looking to generate and so forth.
The answer is not the same for any two persons; what’s good for you may not be good for another, and that’s perfectly OK. In our opinion, the greatest thing about starting your own business is that you can structure your business and your lifestyle according to your own preferences; not someone else’s.
This gets even better when you look at franchises because you essentially have a catalogue of franchise opportunities to choose from, allowing you to focus on the opportunities that most closely align with your financial expectations and your desired lifestyle.
When you go into a franchise the goal is not to look for the hottest brand, the next wave of trends or to find the next ‘McDonald’s’ of franchising. The goal is to join the brand that most closely aligns with your values, skills and experience and which can make you the most successful in your area.
Success, by the way, is not defined purely by financial success. It is also defined by lifestyle changes, more engaging work, a business that contributes back and so forth. If you’re assessing brands purely on current trends, then you will find yourself at a tricky situation down the road when the trends have moved on and your stuck with a business that’s unexciting to you personally and barely scraping by.
A few years ago in North America, frozen yogurt stores were the hottest craze at the time and frozen yogurt franchises were selling hand over foot. Now the trend has passed, many franchisees are finding that their territories are saturated and, due to a decrease in consumer demand, many are being forced to close shop. It goes without saying that this is something you must avoid at all costs.
To find the franchise brands most suited to you need to figure out what your goals are and then match opportunities according to that criteria.
For instance, based on your personal analysis you decide that you are best suited to a management franchise that operates Monday to Friday and that has a product or service that doesn’t require specialist skills (such as senior care). From this insight you are immediately able to discount options such as senior care (which requires specialist skills) and food and beverage (which is usually a seven days a week business).
Instead, you can immediately focus on management franchise opportunities in sectors such as domestic cleaning, commercial cleaning, home improvement services, staffing and recruitment, accounting and tax and more.
In conclusion, once you are clear on the business model that can meet your financial and lifestyle needs, then you can start looking at aspects such as the product and/or services and see how those factors influence your decision-making process.