If you have painstakingly saved money or raised capital to pursue the dream of operating your own business, buying a franchise is an attractive prospect. Becoming a franchisee gives you access to brands and products with a proven track record.
However, your business’s success likely depends upon the qualities you bring to the venture, and the ability to utilize the franchisor’s trademark, training and support. While having a popular franchise can be crucial for success, some franchisees outshine their peers and even franchisor expectations.
Make sure to cover your legal bases
We will discuss more about some of the intangible characteristics of outstanding franchisees in a moment, but first, we must examine one of the most critical decisions for any franchisee. Hiring a lawyer who focuses on franchise law is vital for navigating complex state and federal laws and regulations.
In addition to understanding how these rules can impact your venture, franchise attorneys meticulously review franchise agreements working, on your behalf to ensure fairness, protect your interests and help you avoid potentially costly legal issues that could arise later on.
The franchise law attorneys at Lanard and Associates ensure that the trademark is valid, live and federally registered. They also perform sophisticated reviews of all crucial franchise-related documents, including the franchise disclosure document (FDD), franchise agreement (the contract you will sign with the franchisor), development agreements, non-disclosure agreements, and other required contracts.
Traits of top-performing franchisees
Last year, Entrepreneur Media made a list of the top traits of successful franchisees. We have evaluated them and would like to go into more detail about these characteristics and why they are important:
People who buy a franchise usually do extensive research to find the best fit for investing their hard-earned capital. Most franchisees not only look for the opportunity to make money but also offer a service or product that they are excited about. Passion and sound business judgment are always a good combination for successful franchisees.
Some brands offer immediate earning opportunities, but the upfront investment is usually more significant. Regardless of the brand you select, it is essential to understand that most businesses take time to get up to speed. Those who succeed spend the early days, weeks and months gathering a cohesive team of employees, building a positive marketing presence and establishing a customer base.
Every business has its ups and downs, and many factors are beyond your control. Despite investing in a reliable brand, you will likely have many challenges, such as employee turnover, recessions, inflation and even extreme situations, like the pandemic. Franchisees should be prepared for occasional bumps in the road.
In contrast to owning a one-of-a-kind business, franchises have a built-in network of business owners to turn to for advice. Fellow franchisees face the same issues, and most are willing to share their insight. You can gain valuable information by talking to a veteran franchisee. In some systems, franchisees hold regular meetings to discuss what has worked and what has not. Some franchise systems even have franchisee associations where the franchisees meet on a regular basis to share ideas.
Just as some franchisees hold regular meetings to share their expertise, most franchisors provide ongoing learning opportunities for their franchisees. Many hold annual conferences and other regular events where franchisees from across the region or country participate. Those who attend often find practical information to make the most of their franchise opportunity.
One of the great benefits of owning a franchise is having the ability to follow a system with proven results. Established franchises have spent enormous resources and gone through numerous periods of trial and error to find a successful model. Franchisees who follow the plan usually set themselves up for success. Those who stray, thinking they have a better idea, are often disappointed with the results.
Just because you are buying into a franchise does not mean that you do not have to work just as hard as you would have if you had started a business from scratch. You may have to work to spread the word about your business by doing community events or through other types of outreach and marketing efforts. You may also be in an area where the labor force is tapped, requiring creativity on your part to attract and retain the best workers.
The most successful franchisees have a mindset of growing their current business or expanding to multiple locations. Franchisors often assist high-performing franchisees who create a strategy for growth as well as those who have the know-how to see it through.
Social skills are vital for any business owner who depends upon their customers for success. Many franchisees engage with their customers, workers and vendors on a regular basis. For example, a SubwayÒ franchisee might schedule themself for regular shifts behind the counter making sandwiches. That shows a high level of dedication to the employees and to customers. It can also establish a good rapport with employees.
Confidence (not cockiness) is important. We often see the results from successful athletes who rise above others of similar abilities because they are dedicated to doing what is necessary to win. That includes planning, training and learning from their successes as well as their mistakes. Similarly, franchisees should be confident in their investment, the brand they choose and their ability to motivate employees and run a successful business.
Which ingredient likely determines the level of success? You!
Owning a franchise can be a gratifying and profitable endeavor, but franchisors cannot and will not guarantee success. Once the legal issues are addressed and the franchise agreement is signed, your success often depends upon you.
Before you invest, it is crucial to consult with a franchise law attorney at Lanard and Associates so you understand how to validate the opportunity and the legal implications of the documents you will be signing. Once you decide upon a brand that is a good fit for your interests and investment level, knowing that you are signing a franchise agreement that has been clearly explained to you allows you to focus on these so-called “intangibles” that may ultimately decide your success as a franchisee.