The decision to become a franchisee is rarely taken lightly. It’s a decision to change your life, and for many, to become a first time business owner. Spanning well beyond simply being a monetary consideration, the choice to become a franchisee often stems from an emotional place.
I had a chance to speak with Brittany Rodgers, a Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa franchisee in Houston, as well as Lindsay Dellasega, a franchisee with ECOMAIDS in Portland, Oregon, about their experiences and the five decisions every successful franchisee makes.
Becoming a franchisee is not an easy process by any means. There is a lot of work that goes into building a successful business even with the backing of a nationally recognized name. It’s important to realize the time franchisees invest.
“Most first time franchisees may assume that a majority of the hard work has been done, hence the reason they chose a franchise,” said Rodgers. “While there is some truth, your success in any business is only as strong as your dedication and time commitment. We knew this and dove in head first, all in.”
Deciding to scale your business operation and take the leap into multi-unit ownership is not an easy decision but it sounds like a “no brainer,” don’t we all want more? But do you have enough in place to handle that growth?
“My business depends on scaling, the incremental growth reaches a ceiling pretty quickly. Again, an investment that has a current cost and a future payoff, but a certain one,” said Dellasega. “For me, the market was tested and holds enough potential to accommodate the growth. It goes back to the initial investment, it cuts my salary, but for an expected short-term to allow for the necessary next level growth.”
Impacting the Community
Opening a franchise successfully depends on the level of engagement you have in the community. You have to get out there and sell yourself and your business. This isn’t natural for a lot of people, but it can have a great impact on your success.
“Your business has the ability to positively affect so many people; clients, employee's, neighboring business owners and their businesses, charities in the area, schools, and many more. We enjoy being active in our community and supporting all of those around us, it is by far the most rewarding,” said Rodgers
Working with Friends and Family
Friends and family can be a great resource for support as they are often the first people willing to sign up and help you build your business. But working with friends and family isn’t always easy.
“When communication is good, family is a great addition to the business,” said Dellasega. “They are bought-in to the overall business needs and goals and not just employees working for a paycheck.”
“We chose not to hire family and / or friends for many reasons,” said Rodgers. “This was a decision that we made long before purchasing into Hand & Stone. It can be challenging to work with your loving partner every day, let alone a mother, sister, etc. We just knew it was a smart business decision to keep the two relationships separate. However, I would not do it any differently with my husband, we make a great team.”
Are you Ready for the Sacrifice?
Good franchisees aren’t afraid. They are prepared to sacrifice because they know there is a pretty sweet reward on the other side - success.
“My husband and I decided to purchase multiple units based on the fact that we did not have children yet and knowing that we eventually wanted a large family. We knew the commitment it would take to quickly open multiple units (four in four years) and we knew the time was now,” said Rodgers.
“Small business is a life-path to choose and the investment in time and money does mean some sacrifices,” said Dellasega. “Family support also gave me the confidence in my investment and my ability to realize it.”