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Rules: Can You and Will You Follow Them as a Franchise Owner?

Rules: Can You and Will You Follow Them as a Franchise Owner?

By FranchiseKing, Guest Blogger
Published: April 21, 2015 Updated: April 24, 2015

I’ve consulted with a lot of prospective franchise owners over the years. Just about every time I ask the question, “Are you ok with following rules?” the answer has been “yes.” That’s a good thing. Have you answered that question yet?

Rule-Followers vs. Non-Rule Followers

If the people I asked this question to told me they didn’t consider themselves to be rule-followers, I wouldn’t work with them. That’s because, as far as I was concerned, there was no reason to; they would have made really lousy franchise owners.

I usually told these prospective franchise owners that they needed to go the “job” route, or look into starting a business* on their own because they weren’t what I call, “franchise material.” Some of them got a little angry when I told them the bad news, but I was 100% comfortable with my decision to not work with them because I probably saved them a couple hundred thousand dollars and a lot of future headaches.

A Complete Personality Change

I was always tempted to ask these individuals if they thought they could somehow will themselves into a complete personality change.

The way I see it is you’re either a rule-follower or you’re not. And, if you’re seriously considering franchise ownership, you need to make sure you are a rule-follower.      

It’s true that most of us can probably change some of our personality traits when needed. For example, if you’re a real impatient person whose Sunday routine includes grocery shopping at what’s usually a very busy store-with very long check-out lines, you can probably thumb through The National Enquirer, or use your Smartphone to check up on your email while waiting in an especially long line. And, while those two activities may temporarily help you become more patient, you probably wouldn’t call the adjustment in your demeanor a total personality change. You just adjusted to a situation.

Maybe your current job requires you to work a lot of extra hours because your company is short-staffed. You might be sick of working extra hours, and are starting to get pretty burned out. However, looking for a new job is out of the question right now, and you have bills to pay. So you stick it out and adapt as best you can. You know (or hope) that the situation is probably temporary. You’re able, for the most part, to keep your head on straight and your attitude in check. It’s just what you have to do. Again, you have adjusted to a situation.

But if you’re a prospective franchise owner who hasn’t had what can be referred to as a glorious history of rule-following in your professional life, do you really think that it would be wise to invest $200,000+ into a franchise business, which at its core, is a rule-based business model?

Do you really possess enough power, let’s call it a super-power, to do a total personality transformation? 


You’re living in some type of fantasyland if you think you’ll be able to go out and buy a franchise, and just pretend that there are no rules for you to follow, or that maybe they just won’t apply to you.

The franchise business model-for it to be successful, requires rules, and a lot of them.

If you buy a franchise, you’re not going to be able to only follow some of the rules. It just won’t work.

At least, not well.

*Non-U.S. Government link

About the Author:

Joel Libava

Guest Blogger

The Franchise King®, Joel Libava, is the author of Become a Franchise Owner! and recently launched Franchise Business University.