Saturday, October 13, 2007

What makes a successful franchise owner

MarketWatch published Five keys to becoming a successful franchise owner and I would say it is worth reading in full. I admit the following has the best points:
Performance under stress, willingness to lead at first by following -- these are some of the best indicators of future success. Some of the other 'biggies' in franchising, and elsewhere for that matter, according to Thompson:
  1. Commitment. You have to make the time to invest, learn and apply the system and how to interface with customers. Don't just learn what works, learn what works best.
  2. Learning attitude. Franchisees -- and ultimately, leaders -- must be willing to "go back to school." They should be willing to solicit advice, not just take it.
  3. Willingness to work with others. Many franchisees -- and frustrated leaders -- can't or don't want to work with others. Success means working with the franchisor, other franchisees and even key customers as a team.
  4. Patience and perseverance. Sounds elementary, but many new franchisees look for quick success. But national research conducted for my book, "The Millionaire Zone," found that, according to millionaires, "perseverance" was the No. 1 key to success. In fact, it ranked far above education. The fact is you need perseverance to overcome the many challenges that will surely arise as you grow your business.
  5. Willingness to assume responsibility. This might be the hardest. In franchising, and many other areas of business, there's a tendency to blame others for failure. Be honest and, above all, be honest with yourself.
"If you don't have these qualities, we'll find out in six to nine months after you start your franchise," predicts Thompson. The good news: 70% to 80% of his trainees turn out to have most of these qualities.
I agree with the preceding paragraphs even though my experience has been with on the franchisor side of things. Franchisors need to be as cautious about their franchisees as franchisees need to be about their franchisors. Franchise systems can fail due to weak franchisees. Franchisees lose money from choosing the wrong path. Franchisees who fail lead to litigation by one or both parties to the relationship. While I like to litigate these kind of cases, I do not think that either party is as well served by litigation as they would have been served by exerting a minimum of caution and precaution.