Frank Facts and Figures for Future Franchisees
Monday, December 18th, 2017
If interested in becoming a franchisee, the best next step may be to contact a franchise consultant, such as Leslie Kuban of FranNet.
On top of several personal, intangible, key decisions and issues a potential franchise owner has to make, Kuban maintains a consultant can be an invaluable resource in conjunction with CPAs, attorneys, bankers and others who refer interested franchising parties to her.
For example, utilizing someone like Kuban can immediately help to narrow the prospective search from nearly 4,000 potential franchise opportunities in 100 industries. Recent statistics show franchises generate $891 billion in revenue and are responsible for 8.8 million jobs.
Kuban noted, “What someone like myself offers is a methodical, strategic way to quickly pinpoint the specific franchises suitable to an individual’s unique mix of needs, criteria and budget.” Having a filtering system for all those possible companies, knowing what’s currently available in the marketplace, and realistically matching budgets and funding alternatives, leads to a realistic starting point.
“We use a skills inventory assessment, looking at an individual through an entrepreneurial lens. Combined with one-on-one consulting, we dial into the span of franchises that leverage an individual's skills and talents, maximizing their opportunity for success,” added Kuban. For example, a person with a sales and marketing background is a likely candidate to succeed in a business-to-business enterprise whereas a franchise requiring a large number of employees needs an owner with prior management or operations experience.
That said, franchisees come in all shapes and sizes: Kuban has consulted not only for senior level corporate executives with strong financial resources. “I’ve helped a paralegal who is thriving in an educational franchise; a gentleman from retail management for Starbucks is off to a great start owning a hair salon concept; and a stay-at-home mom returning to the workforce now owns a hospitality recruiting franchise.” FranNet has seen a 71 per cent increase in women-owned franchises over the last five years.
Kuban’s process looks at a person’s career options first, and together they decide if exploring business ownership is the right path. She lists six important traits for anyone wanting to invest in franchising, regardless of level of experience:
1. A competitive spirit is a must in today's competitive business environment.
2. While self-confidence is important, a new franchisee learning a new business must also be coachable and willing to follow direction from the franchisor.
3. Launching a new franchise or taking over an already up and running franchise is not a "passive" endeavor. Having a willingness to participate semi-passively (15 -20 hours per week) is possible in some franchise models where technology allows the franchise holder to remotely monitor day-to-day business via point-of-sale equipment, cameras, etc.
4. Owning a franchise requires a long-term view and a willingness to make some short-term tradeoffs.
5. Regardless of size of operation, a franchisee must have communication and people skills.
6. Would-be franchise owners need capital—no way around it. Having a good CPA is also recommended.