Are You Experienced Enough for Franchising?
What does experience mean? Does your corporate career history matter? What about your years of work in your current job? In short, how does experience play into becoming a franchise owner?
In this article, we will address all of your questions about the significance of experience when it comes to owning a franchise. You might be wondering whether age, industry experience, or your previous successes matter – and we are here to address all of these concerns.
Experience in the Corporate World
Here at FranCoach, the topic of corporate experience is often woven into our discussions about franchise ownership. When our clients compare what they do now to what they used to do, most of the time they don’t seem very similar. How is that possible?
Well, let’s backtrack for a moment to talk about the importance of experience in the corporate world, because that is what most of us are used to.
In the corporate world, industry experience is everything. Imagine you are trying to get a new job. You have been the Vice President of Sales for a manufacturing company, and you are tired of it. Maybe you want to move over to a company in another industry, like automotive or pharmaceuticals.
Get this… You are going to have a miserable time making that transition.
Even if you have been the most amazing VP of Sales for twenty years at your current company, you don’t have sales experience in the industry into which you are transferring. There is going to be an HR person laughing in your face.
It is going to happen even if you have all the skills required to succeed in the new role you want. You will quickly find out that it does not matter that you are a smart person or that you are willing to learn the intricacies of this new industry. You are likely going to face rejection.
That is incredibly frustrating. So you are probably wondering… what is the solution?
Many people who are burned out in the corporate world and tired of that rat race turn to franchise ownership. Our process is often actually refreshing for people, because you are going to talk to franchisors who genuinely do not care about your experience or your industry.
Experience in the Franchising World
Now, it is not that franchisors do not care about you. They truly do. But they do not just sit around looking at the bullet points on your resume, wondering how much of it is fiction… and how much of it is science fiction. They do not care if your sales are up 150% year over year, because the franchisor is not looking for you to be the doer.
Here is what I always say to people: You could be the biggest slob on the planet and own a cleaning franchise. Franchisors are not looking for you to be the cleaner. They don’t care that you are a humongous slob. You do not need to be the cleanest, tidiest person ever to own a cleaning franchise.
The same principle applies in any industry. You are not the person making the fries if you own a McDonald’s, and you do not have to work out every day to own a gym. You are the OWNER – and 95 times out of 100 with a franchise, you are not the doer.
So what it all boils down to is… that industry experience does not matter.
At FranCoach, we often have people come in who have been beaten down in the corporate world for twenty-plus years. They think that since they have always been in a specific industry, they need a franchise in that industry.
But that’s not true. Very rarely does someone begin their franchising journey with that mindset and actually establish a franchise in that industry. In reality, it tends to be a weight off of your shoulders when you begin the Discovery Process and realize it is focused on YOU and what YOU are good at.
You will want to ask yourself what your skill set is. What are your core values? That brings a lot of options into play and opens up a world of possibilities.
Your experience is more about what you have been good at in the past and what you have enjoyed doing.
These are important considerations as we build out your profile and start talking to franchise owners to figure out what a day in the life may be for you. You will quickly see that people don’t talk about the industry they are in, they talk about what they are doing every day: the things they enjoy, the things they like, and the things they do not like. The corporate definition of “experience” just does not factor in.
How Many Years of Experience Do You Need?
The other topic that often comes up is how many years of experience you have. In the corporate world, this is crucial. Say you are 28 years old, and you are a hotshot at your company. You are super smart and rising quickly up the corporate ladder. You are probably going to be CEO one day. Maybe… but that is decades into the future.
You could apply for some VP or C-level job with only three years of experience. But that HR person interviewing you is going to laugh at you, regardless of your skills or abilities. You are not going to have a chance in hell of getting that position. Why? you don’t have enough experience.
But if you want to become a franchise owner, this is going to play out a lot differently. First off, the franchisor is going to take you seriously.
Franchisors are looking for two important qualities: First, are you going to follow the plan? And second, are you going to put forth the effort? That’s it.
A person who is lighter on years of experience might have a chip on their shoulder. They want the opportunity to prove everyone wrong. If this sounds like you, you are in the right place.
Franchisors see that chip on your shoulder and respect it. Why? Because the franchisor had that same chip on their shoulder when they took their small business and grew it into a franchise. People doubted them, but they proved everyone wrong. And now, they respect that same mindset in their franchisee candidates.
A franchisor will give you an opportunity as long as you can follow the plan and put forth the effort. That is why our team at FranCoach is dedicated to helping you find the best fit. Then, the franchisor is going to train you and support you, whether you are 28 or 58.
When it is your first time owning a business, you may think you know how to do it, but you are going to learn even more about the franchise through using their support system. You are going to realize there are mechanisms there you did not even know existed – or that you did not know you needed – along the way to help you succeed.
Franchisors want to look at you and say, “This is somebody who is hungry, who is driven to succeed, and who wants to prove they can do it.”
What Types of Experience Are Franchisors Looking For?
The number one thing the franchisor is going to look for is your ability to follow a plan. They are going to want to know if you can put forth the required effort.
In addition, franchisors are looking for a history of success. If you are a 50-year-old corporate executive, that is a long history. This is the experience we have been talking about. Have you been successful in your corporate career?
Now, imagine once again that you are 28 years old. How many years of corporate success have you had? Have you had five? Have you been successful? At FranCoach, we had someone who started a franchise at 23. What kind of success had he experienced?
We recently recorded a podcast with this client, where we discussed exactly these questions. Click here to listen in…
Over the past few years there have been many younger people, people in their mid-twenties, coming to us lacking years of experience in the corporate world – but they have that drive and dedication. So how do you define a history of success for someone younger?
When you’re that young, the question franchisors may ask is how you did in school. Or you might identify other areas of success. For instance, athletes make great franchise owners. They have that drive and determination. They’re good at following a game plan.
When it comes to franchising, years of experience does not matter. It’s simply showing you can succeed – and that you’re willing to work for it – that opens up numerous possibilities.
Choosing the Right Franchise for You
Don’t think of lack of experience as a deterrent. When it comes to franchising, your options are basically endless – and franchisors do not care about your industry background or how many years of experience you have. It comes down to following the plan, putting forth the effort, and being driven to succeed.
The experience piece is not the years, and it is not the industry – it is your history and your experience of success. We need to find out your experience in terms of what you are good at and what you want to get your butt out of bed and do every day. After that, success is on you.
So what are you waiting for? Let us help you figure this out. We will consider your skills, talents, core values, levels of success, drive, and determination. That will determine your success as a franchise owner. It is time to do something for yourself and take control of your life. That is why our clients come to us in the first place.
From both an age perspective and a number of years perspective, all of this is possible. Franchising is a blank canvas for you to find your “thing” and create your better tomorrow.
Who Are We Anyway?
FranCoach is a national search firm dedicated to working with individuals who are interested in owning a franchise. We've partnered with over 600 of the top franchisors in the country, spanning nearly 70 industries.
Our number one goal with our clients is to help them find the absolute best franchise for them to own. Our goal with our Franchising 101 podcast series and this series of informational articles is to help educate people on all aspects of franchise ownership.
Reach out to us to learn more about potentially becoming a franchise owner. There’s never any fee for our service, so why not take the first step today toward your better tomorrow?