Advice & Tips Ask an Expert Current Issue July/August 2021

Q: What are some of the most common franchising myths?

A: Some people have preconceived notions when it comes to franchising and how it can be a vehicle for their success. Often, these perceptions are based on inaccurate and erroneous information.

Here, we’ll examine six of the more prevalent myths regarding franchising.

1. I can’t be in that business if I don’t know anything about it

Good news: you don’t have to. One of the greatest advantages of starting a franchise is that you’re provided with training and ongoing support. Essentially, this negates the requirement of having experience in specific industries and systems or past business ownership. Typically, franchisors are looking for candidates with the right transferable skills. You may not have worked in a particular industry before, but if you’re diligent, patient, and willing to learn, you have many of the qualities required to thrive as a franchisee.

If you restrict your options to only things that you’re already good at, you shut down a universe of possibilities.

2. I can’t be creative in a franchise because the franchisor will dictate everything

Franchisors provide the framework but as a franchisee, often you manage, market, and promote your business. You’re in charge, and the flexibility and creativity are achieved by how you choose to run and elevate a proven process.

There’s plenty of room for your ideas. You might be amazed to know how many product and service innovations have come from franchisees, not the parent company.

3. I can’t afford a franchise

Although some people think that investing in a franchise is too expensive, it’s important to point out that there are numerous opportunities available to fit a wide variety of budgets. Generally, the expenses for starting and running a franchise won’t be much different from other business models and the franchise’s fees come with plenty of value and benefits that other start-ups wouldn’t provide. With so many diverse franchise possibilities out there, you have the ability to invest at your comfort level.

Moreover, there are various funding options and programs in place for potential and existing franchise owners to help you get closer to fulfilling your business ownership dreams.

4. Franchisors get rich at my expense through royalties

Franchisors do indeed earn money through partnering with franchisees and vice versa. Each franchisee must assess the value of what they’re receiving in return for paying a percentage of their revenue. Consider what franchisors provide for that royalty: experience, support, technology, branding, marketing, and ongoing training, among much else. Franchisors want their franchisees to thrive because without successful franchisees, there would be no franchise. Unsuccessful franchisees would damage the brand and deter other potential franchisees from seeking opportunities. It’s in the best interest of the franchisor to help their franchisees maintain a profitable business.

It truly is a win-win situation; franchisors don’t ‘win’ unless the franchisees ‘win’ too.

5. The secret to success is finding a career doing something you love

Brace yourself, because businesses founded on the owner’s hobby, background, experience, or knowledge don’t have the greatest chance to succeed. It’s important to differentiate between doing something you love and loving what you’re doing. For example, if you enjoy fishing, finding a business that requires you to fish all day in order to pay the bills may take the joy out of it.

Frequently, the wiser, more fulfilling way to proceed is to build a business that provides you with the work-life balance that will enable you to pursue your hobbies and other interests.

6. It’s best to buy a franchise with a well-known brand name

 Although a big brand name might draw customers in, it doesn’t guarantee success and shouldn’t necessarily be the deciding factor. Perhaps more important than the power of a well-known name are considerations such as what daily tasks will be involved, ramp-up and return on investment timing, how customer acquisition will transpire, the amount of staff required (if any), hours of operation, and so on.

In other words, determining how the franchisor and your business will fit with your income and lifestyle goals, needs, and expectations is generally more important and indicative of success than the brand name.

Exploring franchise ownership can be an exciting and fun, yet unnerving experience. Debunking some of the myths we’ve all heard will hopefully clear up common misconceptions and help you to research franchising with a clear and open mind.

Gary Eisler
Career ownership coach
The Entrepreneur’s Source
geisler@esourcecoach.com

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