At first glance, you might think that the profile of a good franchisee is that of a dynamic business owner or extroverted entrepreneur. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
In some franchise systems, particularly the large global brands such as McDonalds and Domino’s Pizza where the expectations from their network is high, the role of the franchisee can be a strange mix between employment and self-employment; you’re your own boss but you’re working to the strict standards and procedures that are set out by the franchisor.
This is clearly a vast contrast to the day-to-day life of a start-up business owner, who is free to do things how they wish (in fact, they have the opposite problem of too much freedom and not knowing what to do).
The very nature of franchising is that you’re following a proven system that’s set out by the franchisor. The franchisees that are most successful have one thing in common; they follow the system!
You would be surprised at just how many franchisees join a franchise system and try to start changing things or taking a different approach. They fail to realise that what they have invested in is a proven business model that’s been tested over and over again and is a short cut to their success.
Former Corporate Employees Can Make Outstanding Franchisees
Having spent the majority of your career in corporate life, you will have acquired the skill, willingness and discipline to follow established systems and processes. You have the have the experience and know-how of bringing processes to life. In many cases, you also have the desire to remain as part of a community of like minded peers who you can learn and grow from.
This directly conflicts with the profile of a typical entrepreneur, who would feel like a caged lion if bound by a daily operations manual and franchise agreement.
Below is a list of characteristics that highlight why corporate employees make excellent and, in many cases, highly successful franchisees:
Even if you’ve not been in a formal sales role, the fact that you’ve had a corporate career shows that you know how to sell yourself and your skills… after all, not only have you secured your various corporate positions, you have had the skills to keep them and, in many cases, get promoted up the corporate ladder. This is a fundamental skill of going into business – you simply must know how to sell.
Many of you will have developed adapt leadership skills throughout your career, including the ability to inspire, motivate and channel people towards a common goal. This is a skill that can be harder to develop outside a corporate setting and will give you an immediate head start when launching your franchise business.
It’s likely that you will have managed several different teams over the course of your career, with a range of personalities and personas to match! This will have given you the skills to work with a variety of people and the knowledge on how to motivate and get the best out of them.
One of the first skills that is developed in a corporate environment are communication skills. These skills have been further refined and built upon over the course of your career to make you excellent communicators, with the ability to manage both up and down the corporate ladder.
Business is about people and, if you’re unable to communicate effectively with people, then you’re probably going to struggle.
Corporate professionals are excellent at complying to systems and processes, following the procedures set out by the company and ensuring that others are doing the same too. This is the essence of franchising – following the systems of the franchisor. The better you can do this, the more successful you will be.
Believe it or not, a large majority of business owners are highly risk averse. They are not looking to take big risks and if they are to take a risk, then it’s highly calculated and the potential downside has been defined and capped. Many of the corporate professionals that we’ve worked with are highly risk averse too and are not willing to risk all they’ve built over the course of their careers.
Like communication skills, corporate professionals tend to have excellent people skills. They can build rapport, establish relationships, strengthen communications and fundamentally be ‘liked’ by others. This puts them in good standing when it comes to launching a business, as they are able to build immediate rapport and set the foundations to long term relationships.
Corporate professionals, particularly senior corporate professionals, tend to be highly self-motivated and inner directed. They do not need an external stimulus to motivate and drive performance (although external rewards can incentivise performance). A self-starter and ‘can-do’ mentality is essential when launching any business, franchises or not.
Again, many corporate professionals tend to be ambitious and wish to succeed. Franchising gives them plenty of opportunity to grow and expand, on both a personal and professional level. As a franchise owner, the only glass ceilings are the ones you create in your own mind – you can go as far as you wish to go and franchisors tend to be highly supportive of this.
Corporate professionals tend to have a developed a good sense of commercial acumen… they can identify opportunities, measure risk, negotiate, close deals and execute a given business plan. All of these skills are critical in business and are only truly developed from exposure and experience.
We all have times where we need to persevere, but corporate professionals seem to be exceptionally good at it. This is largely because they usually have no choice – they either persevere with current circumstances, or they move jobs (and there’s only so much moving that you can realistically do before it starts to negatively impact your career).