10 Traits of the Most Successful Franchise Owners
A look at the innate qualities that lead to successful franchise ownership.
Investing in a franchise comes with access to a proven system, training and support, but the ultimate level of success is up to the individual franchise owner. As they say, what you put in is what you get out.
In any franchise system, there are standout franchisees who surpass the brand’s expectations. What makes them perform so well? Here are 10 traits that top performers have in common.
People who go all in and believe in their franchise’s concept do well. After all, why would you invest in a business that didn’t excite you? Think about it. Would you rather buy a product or service from someone who is excited about their business or from a business owner who doesn’t seem to care? Confucius said it best with his simple phrase that still resonates today, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Passion is powerful in business.
Every business, even a franchised one, takes time and patience to get off the ground. Depending on the brand and the business model, franchise owners need to spend time building a client base, bringing in reliable employees and creating a local marketing presence. Brick-and-mortar franchises might require the most time and patience, with lots to do and plan before the doors even open.
Resilience helps franchise owners weather the ups and downs of business ownership. Even with a proven system and support, franchise owners are not immune to problems. Employees quit, there are recessions and downturns, and, as we recently discovered, an unexpected crisis can bring business to a screeching halt. Franchise owners must be prepared to weather any kind of storm.
One of the most unique and attractive aspects about franchise ownership is that you can call on fellow franchisees for help, advice and insights. After all, franchisees in the same brand are running the exact same business as each other. In many franchise systems, franchisees have regular meetings and mastermind groups to collaborate and share best practices. Franchisees who don't take advantage are missing out.
Most franchise systems continually engage franchisees with opportunities to participate beyond the boundaries of their local territory. Many hold regular events, host annual get-togethers and provide ongoing learning opportunities. The ones who participate are making the most of franchise ownership.
Franchising is all about following a proven system. The franchisor has gone through the trials and tribulations of perfecting the business model and has laid out a path for success. The franchisee is obligated to follow the system, but not everyone does. Some try to change the company’s logo, or go against the franchisor’s social media strategy. A noncompliant franchisee may think he has a better idea, but going against the system just doesn’t make sense. Walking into a proven system is the main benefit of franchise ownership. Franchisees who follow the system are setting themselves up for success.
Just because you are buying into a proven system doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels ... there is still work to be done. The success of some franchises — especially home-based and B2B brands — relies on the hustle and initiative of the franchise owner. For example, if your business is not in a retail location, you can’t expect customers to come to you. You have to get out and about to introduce your concept through networking groups, community events, marketing initiatives and trade shows. Your franchisor will offer suggested methods and, just as described above in number 6, you should follow them.
The most successful franchise owners are growth-driven. They start out with a strategy for growth and implement it. The franchisor often helps with the planning and will suggest proven methods for scaling. Depending on the franchise, growth might mean investing in additional locations, or it could be a matter of hiring a larger sales force or adding more service vehicles.
Soft skills go a long way in business. Franchise owners engage with people on a daily basis. Being personable and friendly are key factors for success. Positive interactions with customers, employees, vendors and the community are essential in developing those all-important relationships.
We know that a confident mindset is vital for entrepreneurs, athletes and actors, but it’s also key for franchisees. Potential franchise owners should feel confident about their investment, the brand, and their ability to manage and run the business. Being confident is not only motivating but also can instill trust, facilitate respect and lead to success. Conversely, having doubt in the strength and success of the franchise could lead to an unfortunate self-fulfilling prophecy.
Franchise ownership can be extremely rewarding and lucrative, but success is not a given. Before you invest in a franchise, ask yourself if you possess the traits of a successful franchise owner.Related: Why the Franchise Industry Will Boom in 2021
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer