Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Looking Beyond the Hype and the Documentation

Tips for Matching Your Franchise to Your Personality, Skills & Interests

Before you invest in a franchise, evaluate yourself: What job experiences have you enjoyed? Disliked?

Are you experienced in sales? Customer Service? Employee Hiring & Management? Can you manage money? What is your energy level? How do you handle stress? How do you define a long day? How competitive are you? What are your persuasive abilities? Level of Creativity? How decisive are you? What are your feelings toward these functions?

What is the demand for these functions within the franchise system you are evaluating? Can you confirm this?

Have you evaluated the people at the franchisor with whom you are dealing? Are they "your kind of people?" Are they knowledgeable about the industry and the system, or just "hustlers." Have you talked to the Regional Operations Manager who will visit your unit? What about the head of training? How do you evaluate the other franchisees? Are they similar to you in background, experience & philosophy?

What can you learn reviewing the "tone" of the franchise offering circular? Any legal problems of concern? What is the background of the principals? Can you verify their philosophy in industry trade associations? Are fees reasonable and competitive? (Any reductions as you grow?) What about the ad fund? Do you understand how its used? (Are most franchisees satisfied?) Does the tone indicate a "partnership" mentality or "parent/child?" Any onerous provisions?

You should plan to obtain several Offering Circulars so that you'll have something to compare to. All franchise systems are NOT created equal--you need to discover how you'll fit in before you invest.

The Franchise Doctor's FranchiseFit Entrepreneurial Survey is a great tool to help you learn what personal job descriptions will be the best match for your personality.

Another great tool to help you wade through the hype is The Franchise Doctor's book "Insiders' Secrets to Buying a Franchise."