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  • Writer's pictureTim Parmeter

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Franchise Owner?

Open sign in the window of a franchise

Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to be a franchise owner? If so, you are in the right place.

In this article, we will be talking about some different traits that people really need to have to be successful as franchise owners. There are intangible qualities that franchisors are looking for that we want to share with you.

What Are Franchisors Looking For?

Oftentimes, people ask us, “What is the number one thing that franchisors are looking for in a potential franchise owner?” As you start thinking about all of the potential skill sets that you have, you might say, “I am a great leader” or “I am a great manager,” or “I am great at sales or operations or marketing.”

But the number one thing that franchisors are looking for is… none of those.

Instead, the number one thing is that you can follow a plan. The whole point of the franchise is that it is a proven system, or model, with training and support already in place for you.

Let’s break down the traits franchisors are looking for in a little bit more detail.

#1: Following The Plan

If you hear “following a plan” and think that sounds awful, that’s okay. Maybe you want to create your own thing. Awesome – that is how you become a franchise. At some point, all franchises did that exact thing.

But that is scary and daunting. There is a huge failure rate with that. On the other hand, pre-established franchise owners have the opposite of that. They have a strong success rate. Why? Because the franchise has a proven system. So that is the number one thing that franchisors look for: Can you follow a plan?

#2: Working Hard

The number two thing that franchisors look for is whether or not you are able to work hard. Are you going to sit around and binge-watch stuff on Netflix all day? Or are you going to put forth the effort required as an owner? If you are a full-time owner, that means putting in a full-time effort. It does not have to be 80 to 90 hours a week. It may be more like 40 to 50 hours.

If you’re a part-time or semi-absentee owner, it could be anywhere from eight to 20 hours, depending on the franchise. So are you going to put forth that effort?

Really, those two things are the biggest qualities that franchisors will look for.

What About My Resumé?

In the corporate world, your industry background is everything. But the franchises don’t care about your industry background. How is that possible?

Owners are rarely the doers as franchise owners. That is why it is possible. For instance, McDonald’s owners don’t spend all day every day making french fries. It is not their job. You do not need years of experience making french fries on your resume to become an owner of a McDonald’s.

You could be the biggest slob on the planet and own a cleaning franchise. The franchisor does not care. It is not your job to clean – it is your job to run the business.

People always come back to the tangible skills. You may be great at sales or operations. Maybe you are the master leader of all leaders. Whatever your strength is skill-wise, any of them can do the trick.

That part comes down to what each individual franchise is looking for. And that’s where our team at FranCoach comes in. We understand the specifics of what each franchise is prioritizing. Sometimes, in the same industry, one might really want someone sales-focused. Another franchisor might want someone focused on operations. We know all of the behind-the-scenes things like that.

The trick is finding the match for whatever is best for you as an individual and how that aligns with the franchise. It is not about the industry from that standpoint.

Think about it like this: If you are totally averse to anything sales-related or customer-facing, becoming an owner of a franchise that wants its owners to be heavily involved in sales and be the face of the business is a bad match. It does not matter how great all of the other owners in that system are doing. It will not be the right match for you.

So What Else Do You Need to Be a Franchise Owner?

What are some of the other intangible things that go with this? One thing we talk a lot about at FranCoach is the acronym FSO. What is that short for? Figure stuff out.

So why does FSO, the ability to figure stuff out, matter? As a franchise owner, you have a proven system from the franchise and you have all of their support. These are things you will constantly lean on. But part of being a franchise owner is wanting the ball. It is about wanting to make those big decisions.

Let’s go back to the number one reason people become franchise owners. It’s about control. A lot of this tends to be around lifestyle freedom and flexibility, but it is also about controlling one’s professional success.

How many times have you heard someone say they are tired of working their butt off to make someone else money? As a franchise owner, you are working your butt off to make yourself money and build what YOU want.

But of course, it is not all rainbows and unicorns as a business owner, franchise or not…

What Happens When Sh*t Hits the Fan?

What about when something happens? Do you want to be the one in control of the decisions? Do you like to use your ability to FSO, or figure stuff out? Are you the person who is looked at as the problem-solved, or do you just point the problems out?

We don’t want the Monday morning quarterback thing here. Are you that person? Do you want that control? Maybe it is a result of that frustration in the corporate world. You think you can fix the problems – people just need to get out of your way and let you do it.

That intangible skill is going to be your key to success as a franchise owner. Not everyone wants to be the one at the top, and that is okay. In that case, franchise ownership may not be for you.

But if you are the person who wants to have the ball in their hands, ready to take a shot as the clock winds down at the end of a game… then you have that intangible skill that franchisors are looking for.

FSO: Figure Stuff Out

Let us give you a couple of examples of how FSO comes into play when you are dealing with situations that are not outlined in the franchise plan.

Imagine that you have staffing issues at your cleaning franchise and two people call out sick. How are you going to adjust the cleans for that day?

Have you built up your bench? Maybe you have some backup people who can fill in. Do you need to get on the phone with some of our customers and reschedule? You have got to be able to figure out how to do that.

What if you have a food franchise and the shipment of napkins has not come in? What do you do? Are all of the customers just going to have to use their shirt sleeves, or are you going to figure stuff out? Are you going to create a backup plan? What is your Plan B and Plan C?

Even Tim Parmeter, founder and CEO of FranCoach has put FSO into play with a few fitness franchises he and his wife owned in Orlando, Florida. Here is his experience figuring stuff out as a franchise owner:

“Last summer, there was a hurricane that came through. Nowhere in the franchise plan was there an outline for what to do if a hurricane comes in. That is not in there. We had to figure out exactly when the appropriate time was to start canceling class. We had to be able to understand when we could come back, and we had to do some damage assessment on one of the studios when things happened. The franchisor was not there saying, ‘Okay, well, do that 38 hours before the hurricane may or may not hit.’ No, that was something we had to figure out as owners. We had to FSO it and be able to get our team in the right place at the right time.”

Those are the types of situations that you might have to think about as an owner, and those types of are the events where your FSO skills might come into play.

The Importance of Having a History of Success

The other intangible quality that goes along with FSO is having a history of success. It does not matter what you may have had success in. Even if you are younger, you can still show a history of success. At FranCoach, we have worked with people in their twenties – it happens all the time. They can show success, for example, in their school transcripts. If you have been in the workforce for a while, what does your corporate background look like? Franchisors want to see that you have worked hard.

As we unpack this, it is common for people to fear failure. It is understandable – you are betting a lot on a franchise. So no matter how appealing it may seem, you are going to have a pucker moment where you feel anxious about moving forward.

So how do you know you are going to succeed? Do you have a history of success? Or have you been a complete, constant failure in every role you have had?

When you were successful in past roles, ask yourself what made you successful. Did you work hard? Did you have the ability to FSO? Did you have a chip on your shoulder to prove you were the right person for the job?

Also, ask yourself if the roles you had in which you were successful incorporated some of the talents and skill sets that you have. Did they involve things that you enjoy doing on a daily basis? If you have been successful in the past, it is going to be because of all of the factors listed above.

So how does that translate into franchise ownership? Well…

  • Are you going to follow a plan?

  • Are you going to make some effort?

  • Are you going to use your ability to FSO when needed?

  • Do you have a little chip on your shoulder that makes you want to prove yourself?

Those are the general points that will make you a successful franchise owner, but at the end of the day, your success will depend on choosing the right franchise for YOU.

It All Comes Down to the Match

Does the franchise want an owner with your skill set? Do you connect with their people and their culture?

Going back to the sales example earlier, let’s say that a franchise wants a customer-facing owner. Maybe you’ve been successful in everything you have ever done except sales. You hate it and you do not like people. No matter how hard you are going to work and regardless of your FSO talent, you are not going to enjoy doing it. And if that is the case, then that franchise that needs a forward-facing owner is not going to be the right fit.

When you find the business that is the right fit, you will be excited to get out of bed every day and run your business.

When you have all of these intangible skills, it is impossible to fail as an owner. Oftentimes, people ask us if it really is that simple to be successful as a franchise owner. Do they really just need to follow the plan and put forth the effort? Well, the answer is yes – although it is a qualified answer.

It always goes back to the fit. Is the franchise looking for somebody with your skillset and your attributes? Do you fit into their culture? Do you have the ability and desire to FSO when needed? Can you use your history of success to drive you toward that success working for yourself as a franchise owner? Yes.

Ultimately, it depends on finding the right franchise for you.

Now, how do you know which franchise is the right match? At FranCoach, we can help you find your best fit based on everything that you are good at and want. Then, it is up to you to follow the plan, put forth the effort, FSO it, and trust your history of success.


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?

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