A guest post from Rebecca Page, CEO, Concierge Home Services.
Each Friday, social media is cluttered with TGIF posts from people watching the clock count down to the start of the weekend. I cannot relate to what they are feeling. I love Fridays for the same reason that I love Mondays – for the opportunity to grow and develop my franchise.
Many people in that TGIF frame of mind will forever remain there, putting in their hours and saving for retirement. Perhaps you are one of the many who seeks change and is ready to quit their job for the next thing. If only you can figure out what that next thing is.
Business ownership is a common goal, as it was for me when I left my corporate job in 2001 to start my company, Concierge Home Services. We now have six locations in three cities. I speak to many people who are considering the franchise option to attain their goal of business ownership. Some are new grads that look to build experience, and others put 20-odd years into a career before they decide to make a change. This is the first of two posts about what to expect from franchising at these two life stages.
What to Expect from Franchising After Graduation
To choose to start a new franchise is a bold move post-graduation. Many people turn to invest in a business instead of going on job interviews. Here are some factors to consider if you are thinking of the franchise option after graduation.
Judgment from Friends
Your classmates who chose the corporate track may think you are nuts. Their long hours at work pay off quickly with bonuses and promotions. They wonder why you work so hard and don’t earn much. Remember, to build a business takes time. The work you put in will be rewarded when you sell your franchise and walk away with the equity you’ve built. You also gain valuable leadership experience, difficult to get in most jobs.
Signing a franchise agreement is a serious commitment. You are expected to follow the system and meet revenue targets. Developing a new territory takes lots of work. There may be challenges you don’t expect. Unlike a job, you can’t just walk away. You can sell your franchise before the end of your term, but any business sale is a process which takes time.
Adjust your Social Life
When you are the boss in business, there is no calling in sick. If your franchise business operates in the evenings, or on weekends, that means you’ll have to adjust your social life. You may have to skip the cottage getaway with your friends, and leave a party early, to take care of your business.
Credibility with Customers
Some customers may not take you seriously because of your age. Especially if you are in a retail or food system, customers may think you are just another person behind the counter and not the boss. Don’t make things worse by getting defensive. Own your position and move on with managing the situation, and you’ll gain respect as well as experience.
Challenge with Employees
You may hire and manage people who have more experience in your business than you do. Respect the years they put in and be willing to learn from them while you stand strong in your position as their boss. Don’t let yourself get pushed around in your own business. If leadership and engagement were not part of your education, take some workshops or find an experienced advisor to help you get up-to-speed.
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 to build experience and equity.
Check back here next week for part two of this series of blog posts on franchises at two stages of life.
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