There are two words used in the franchise industry that
can be downright dangerous for some folks that are considering franchise
The words that ;m about to share with you are what I
call,-visual words- Yo'll'see
The two words that 'm referring to are'turn-key'
What was the first picture that came into your mind when
you saw those two words?
For me, I saw a key going into the door of an anonymous
retail or food franchise. Then, thoughts of instant business success soon
followed in my little franchise vision.
Now, 'm going to attempt to snap you out of your own
personal franchise vision that you undoubtedly had when you read the words'turn-key. Snap!
A turn-key business doesn't mean that everything is all
setup for you. It also doesn't guarantee that you'll own an easy business to
When you purchase the rights to a franchise business,
even if the marketing/advertising literature (online or offline) says that
you'll be buying a turn-key business, please remember that it's you that'll be turning the key. (Every
Business.gov contributor, *Caron Beesley,
reminds us, franchisors and franchise associations are very good at persuading
would-be franchisees that franchising is generally a lower business risk, than
independent business ownership. Read what else Caron says about
I happen to feel that buying a franchise can be lower
risk than doing a pure start-up business, in the right situation.
- The would-be franchise owner has the
right personality for a franchise-type business.
- The prospective franchisee's family fully buys into the
- The geographical location is right for the franchise
business that's been chosen.
- The financials of the prospective franchisee are strong.
If you're going to start exploring becoming a franchise
owner, please make sure that you remain grounded. By grounded, I mean that
you need to have realistic expectations of what your franchise life is going
to look like, and feel like.
If you think that all you'll have to do is turn the
key, you will have a rude awakening.
(Rude awakenings in franchising usually come into play around month #6.)
Your life as a franchise owner will have its ups and
downs, along with some twists and turns. It's not going to be easy. You'll be
working harder than you ever have. Your stress level will enter the red zone.
You may doubt your own abilities if the business takes longer to become
profitable than you thought it would. (If you *talk
with existing franchisees before
you sign your franchise contracts, you'll find out when you can expect the
profit to start trickling in.)
On the positive side of the franchise ownership ledger,
you'll be (in most cases) glad you did it. It's a great feeling to finally be
more in control of your own destiny. Working for yourself beats working for
someone else, hands down. There's just a certain power to it, and you won't
know it until you try.
The money part can be good too! Once you become
profitable, thoughts of growth will become your new visual. Maybe you'll become
a multi-unit franchisee. Who knows? You'll have options. Options are nice to have.
As long as your expectations of life as a franchise owner
are realistic, and you can be patient while your new franchise business ramps
up, the decision to be more in control of your life, via franchising, will be
one of the best decisions you've ever made.
*Non-US Government links
The Franchise King®,
Joel Libava, is president of Franchise Selection
Specialists Inc. Joel provides franchise advisory services to
those interested in exploring franchise ownership, by showing them how to
select and research franchise opportunities. He is frequently called on by the
media for his no-spin insights on the world of franchising. You can follow Joel
on his award winning blog-The Franchise King Blog