Do You Have What it Takes to Start a Business?
Owning a business or starting a franchise is like crafting the perfect souffle’; both are delicate and difficult to build, but if done correctly they can be beautiful and satisfying. That’s why it’s important to have the right ingredients and the desire to make the perfect product. It’s easy to break some eggs or throw some money at a business, but a true chef/entrepreneur knows that it takes the right skill set and mindset to truly be profitable. You are probably asking yourself, “What does it take?” We’re glad you asked!
- Work Ethic
Hard work can be derived from many different places. We often think of a strong work ethic as someone who goes to work every day and finishes tasks on time. But there is more to a strong work ethic than just putting your nose to the grind stone. Work ethic is a standard you must hold to as a business owner. Responsibility, quality, discipline, and teamwork are all important aspects of a good work ethic. If you are in charge of your own business, you have a responsibility to your customers and employees to provide a quality product. Rik Nonelle, the CEO of Window Genie said, “We look for leaders who can successfully manage their crew and set them up for success. Motivating employees to do their best and be proud of their work is essential.” Caring about quality is really what matters. Anyone can churn out subpar projects on time. Being disciplined goes along with quality. Having the discipline to stick to a franchisor’s plan and always expecting the same from your employees is a genuine staple of work ethic. The unheralded aspect of having a great work ethic is teamwork. Working side by side with corporate as well as your employees is an effective way to establish teamwork. Taking criticism constructively and applying that to your business is just as important as showing up on time or meeting deadlines.
There is something that is very important to understand when buying a franchise. You will not be successful overnight. Buying a franchise is no different than starting your own business from scratch. The advantage you have is an infrastructure that has been proven, but that doesn’t mean you can turn on a spigot and money will come out. Rik told us, “We look for someone with the ability to follow the system we’ve developed but take it to a new level adding their own ‘flair’ to create their own success above and beyond what we have to offer as guidance.” Come into the purchase with the understanding that it will take time and effort to build a customer base as well as a reputation. Patience is a strong determining factor in the success of a franchise. If you don’t have a long-term plan you will likely struggle to succeed.
- Business Ethics
“Your reputation precedes you.” That is a blanket statement that can have a good or bad connotation. Business reputation is no different. It is highly important to your customers and employees that your honesty is extended beyond your personage to your business. Meet obligations regardless of circumstances and always do your best to complete tasks as you promise. “Being an honest decent human being is another quality that is difficult to teach. We look for men and women with integrity, who are willing to do the right thing, not the easy thing. A franchisee who truly cares about improving each home and business he enters will be successful,” said Rik. Choosing a franchise that is involved in the community is a great start to reaching out to your customer base. Let your customer know that you care about more than money.
- The Right Choice
There are literally hundreds of franchise opportunities. So how do you know which one is right for you? The first step is to look inward. Ask yourself if you have the work ethic, mind-set, and business ethics to be an owner and operator of your own franchise. There are a few things to put into the equation before you make your decision on which franchise to purchase. Are there multiple revenue streams? Being locked in to a single revenue stream can severely hinder your profitability. What are your overhead costs? Do you need a large building where location is a key to success? Rent might be expensive. A mobile franchise can limit overhead cost and prevent expensive rental agreements. How about the initial cost? A low-cost franchise is a real thing!
Choosing a franchise is not something to take lightly. Arm yourself with the facts and do a self-evaluation. Be honest with yourself. How do you line up with the four categories above? Vet prospective franchises with the same checklist, and never compromise your values. Owning a franchise and being your own boss can be one of the most rewarding career choices you can make.