In my last post, I confessed that I don’t relate to the TGIF mentality. I love Fridays for the same reason I love Mondays because I love to work on my business. My company Concierge Home Services has six locations in three cities. I speak with people in every stage of life who are interested in opening a franchise. Last time I wrote about what to expect from franchising after graduation. If you are mid-career and think that perhaps now is the time to quit your job and get into a business, then read on for what to expect from franchising in mid-life.
Not all your career experience is relatable to your franchise business. Your new world has lingo, acronyms, policies, and procedures you know nothing about. Be open to all the training and coaching your franchisor provides, even when it comes from people younger than you, with less life experience. Accept that they are an expert in the system you’ve joined, and be ready to learn.
Change is Minimal
One of the many benefits of investing in a franchise is that you have invested in a proven business model. If you want the freedom to change and modify things as you see fit, then start your own business from scratch. In a franchise, the operating manual isn’t a suggestion – it’s what you are bound to follow. In smaller systems, there may be room for making suggestions, but change is minimal.
Adjust your Level
Your corporate credentials don’t count for much when you are a new franchisee. You won’t make any friends among your franchisee peers if you brag about what title you had in your old life. Recognize that part of your fresh start in life means you are the newbie again.
If you are starting a franchise in a new territory, the change in your income will mean adjusting your household spending. Businesses take time to grow. Income may not be an issue if you’ve taken over an established franchise with a healthy revenue stream, but you may have drained your savings and maxed your line of credit to make the investment. If you’ve joined a food or retail franchise, your work hours may be very different than what you had in your corporate life. In any case, expect a routine and lifestyle shift for yourself and your family.
Friends you forgot you had may be eager to share their feelings about your decision to become a franchise. Expect to hear some horror stories and warnings. Remember that they may be projecting their own fears about taking such a bold step, and may envy your new life as a franchisee.
Franchising is just one option to fulfill your entrepreneurial dreams, and it’s worth considering. Franchised businesses account for $68 billion in annual revenue in Canada. I recommend starting with this Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) article to see if franchising is the best fit for your goals.
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