Every workday I am struck by the number of people who fight against the system (franchise) they bought. It’s like balling up all the money you worked so hard to earn and rolling it down the street. If you did roll it down the street, you’d at least be able to know you weren’t on the hook for thousands more because of all the contracts you sign when you buy a franchise. On second thought, forget rolling your money down the street. Tie it to fireworks and blow it up. It’s more spectacular and your crummy neighbors won’t be bothering you for more money.
The ability to lose common sense when it comes to making money is amazingly fast. From the time you sign the Franchise Agreement to the time when you want to change things breaks the sound barrier. Why buy something you want to tear apart and not use correctly? It’s like buying a car and then taking it apart to make a skateboard. Just following the system that made you want to buy in the first place.
Here are is my top 10 myths of franchising that I have seen in my years as a consultant. If the guy selling you a franchise mentions more than one of these, even in passing, he is probably an OK guy to buy from. The best franchises try to discourage you a little from buying.
Top 10 Myths about Franchising
- I can buy a franchise and let it make me money.
- Hiring a manager will take care of most of the work.
- I manage people in my day job. I can handle a few hourly/contract workers.
- I have a Masters/ PHD/ Doctorate in Accounting, Marketing, Management, etc. This will be easy.
- I can teach the franchisor a thing or two with all my knowledge and skills.
- I can buy a poorly run store and turn it around for a profit.
- I can jump in and sell out fast.
- I can buy a franchise for my wife, son, daughter, etc to give them a career.
- No one can teach me anything I don’t already know about business.
- I like the product so I will be the best marketing person for my franchise.
Do any of these myths sound familiar? We all want to see the best in the things we do. It is human nature. It is also human nature not to want to fail, but we seem to set that fear aside in the “knuckle-headed view” that you can buy a franchise, open the doors, and make huge amounts of money without doing any heavy lifting. You have to work at whatever business you buy.
Hard work, building on success, building a business for yourself first, and many more lessons are hard learned when you get in business the right way. Why start out on the wrong path?
I ask the classes that I guest lecture what kind of businesses they want to buy. Not one, so far, has said they want to buy into an existing franchise. Some of them have mentioned wanting to start a franchise but none want to buy a business with a track record and a reputation. Absolutely none of them have mentioned the work that goes into being a business owner.
Ask anyone how much money they think they will earn in the first year in business and they will gush with profit margins that would make Bill Gates blush. The misunderstanding about the cost of doing business – more than money – is where most people fail to be honest in business.
Take my list my happy franchise friends! Pass it around to anyone interested and especially those who are blind with new business bliss. Don’t follow the myths.
Bob Griffin – CEO