Buying a franchise is a great way to reinvent your career, find new satisfaction and higher annual earnings.
When shopping for a franchise, too often people tend to sell themselves short. Instead of finding value in skills gained over the course of a career, they focus on the lack of direct experience in a particular business sector, say retail sales or temporary staffing.
But you don’t want to eliminate opportunities before you have even begun to investigate.
The key is to keep your mind open to possibilities you may never before have considered and inventory your skills to get a truly accurate read on your experience.
Think about all the different skills acquired over a lifetime, both on the job and off.
For example, a plant manager increasingly frustrated at work feared his skills managing a large manufacturing plant with a unionized work force would not easily transfer to franchise ownership. But as he began his research, he realized his experience motivating employees sometimes resistant to instructions, meeting deadlines and working on tight budgets would serve him well. He eventually opened five locations of a fitness franchise and has been enjoying his new profitable career for five years.
Likewise, managing a household develops expertise in a range of areas, including leadership training (PTA), party planning, catering, household systems management and scheduling. Many a successful franchisee started as a homemaker.
Remember, when it comes to franchises, the companies provide extensive training and support to help you transfer your skills to a new business. What you want to have are skills compatible with the new business that will enable you to soar.
We recommend you consult a franchise coach to help you winnow down your list of potential franchises, but first consider the following skills as you do a personal inventory.
Six Essential Skills for Business
Written a letter or contributed to a newsletter? Spoken to clients or subcontractors on a regular basis? Unless you’re sitting in a back room, doing the books or programming all day long, chances are you have learned a fair amount about how to communicate. But if you feel this isn’t your strong suit, this is an area you could delegate.
Selling yourself is as important as selling a product or service so if you’ve ever had to talk your way onto a board or into a meeting, you know how to sell. If you don’t like dealing with the public, you may want to choose the type of business that practically sells itself with a good marketing campaign.
Managing a classroom or a household is a lot like managing a company. All require knowing how to get the most out of people while keeping them happy and satisfied in their jobs. Franchises tend to offer good employee training.
While running a business requires good organization skills, a franchise company’s support usually will help you learn what you need to know. If, on the other hand, things are often spinning out of control for you, you may want to think again before going into business for yourself.
If your list of contacts is huge and you’re always collecting friends, you likely excel at building relationships and a clientele. While attracting customers is key, so is keeping them, which is best accomplished by delivering the goods.
Public Speaking/Presentation Skills
Lots of careers require public speaking, from sales to teaching. If you think it’s a snap to run a meeting or can stand up in front of a lot of people to welcome them to a party or event, you’re good to go. A whiz at Powerpoint? Even better.
Don’t worry if you haven’t checked each one, the main skill you need is the willingness to work hard over an extended period of time and do your homework. Of course, you also need perseverance and a little hard-headedness to keep you going. You do yourself credit when you recognize your strengths, as well as your weaknesses. So follow your passion because you’re in it for the long game.