Fear Not: Taking the Leap into Franchise Ownership
I’ve seen it before: you’ve done all the due diligence, but at the last minute you are feeling a bit fearful of buying a franchise. Fear not because this is to be expected and in fact a good sign that you are really putting your heart into this business venture.
Identify the fear by asking yourself what is causing it. Not everyone has the same fears when starting a business. Here are a few considerations for those of you feeling spooked:
- Do you have a fear of success? This might sound silly, but it’s not uncommon for people to fear their own success. When they get right down to it what they really fear is maybe losing time with family if their success makes them very busy or they might fear the added responsibility of success. Once this fear is identified, find the right person to talk to about it. Maybe talk to your family about your concerns about time together or plan for a special vacation together. Or find a mentor who has already achieved the kinds of goals you hope to and get his or her advice. A good franchisor will put you in touch with some of their successful franchisees before you sign on the bottom line and these individuals may be able to help out.
- Are you afraid of going for broke literally? It is understandable that you might be afraid of spending money before you are making a lot of money. Ask if this franchisor offers support at no cost to you, therefore reassuring you that help might be a phone call or email away year round. It is also important to make sure you are willing to invest the amount that the franchisor outlines as the estimated initial investment in the FDD.
- Do you fear a lack of expertise? No one starts a business—whether as a franchisee or not—as an expert marketer/accountant/human resources manager/salesperson/IT specialist all rolled into one. Does this franchisor have systems in place to help you hire right? And are you willing and able to hire staff to work IN the business so that you can work ON the business? While there are certain aspects to any business that you can learn from the ground up—whether it’s scooping ice cream or providing companionship care in the home—the truth is you cannot do it all.
Remember that it is natural to feel fear when making a major life decision like buying a business. Keep asking questions and facing those fears.