I once had a client who was miserable in his career, well capitalized and had dual incomes as both he and his wife were employed. There was one problem…
He was miserable in what he was doing…
The hours were too long, his boss was overbearing and there was no fulfillment in his career. This is where franchise brokerage will differ from franchise consulting. A lot of people think franchise consulting is nothing more than sales, and while that certainly is a BIG part of the equation, the role is more geared towards coaching and mentorship…. And here’s why….
There is a common saying in the franchise industry. You don’t sell franchises… you help people buy them. The reason for the phrase is simple. Buying a franchise is a significant commitment both financially, as well as a lifestyle adjustment. Gone is the certainty of a regular paycheck. The owner must invest a large portion of their savings, and head into the uncertain world of business ownership.
This is where the franchise consulting, or “coaching” aspect comes in. It’s very common for people to become afraid. It’s fear that stops people, and in some cases, it can be a good thing. Owning a franchise or independent business is NOT for everyone. It’s very important for people to understand the risks associated with the investment. While not everyone in the franchise industry follows the best business practices (this is no different from any other industry for that matter), the fact is there are people who can help their clients and coach them through the process.
In the case of the client above, the issue was clear.
He was unhappy.
He had the financial resources to cover the purchase of the business.
He had the experience and ability to be successful.
He had adequate income from his spouse to cover living expenses.
The question that kept driving the client was “certainty”. He wanted to make sure the investment would be successful. What I told him was simple. There is no way to know, as there is risk in EVERY investment. It’s really up to you to be comfortable with the concept of making the change.
This is where most of the discussions go in my franchise consulting practice. While we spend a lot of time talking about business planning, researching the franchise and discussing goals and objectives, it almost always comes down to assessing the risks and overcoming fears.
In my experience, this is something that has to be addressed by the client. It’s up to them to determine if they are comfortable with the risks and believe in both the franchise model and their ability to operate the business successfully. If you find yourself frozen and unable to move forward, take some time to assess your fears.
Are they reasonable and warranted?
Is this something you really want?
If you are not successful… can you handle the impact?
These are difficult questions and one of the reasons the business of franchise consulting is more coaching than sales oriented. In my experience, it’s always advisable to seek counsel from your CPA, financial advisor and a franchise attorney. They can provide helpful guidance to help you make the RIGHT decision for you!