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What Are Your End Goals as a Business Owner, and Can Franchising Help You Reach Them?

Setting Your End Goal Should Actually Be the First Thing You Do

By Sarah Mellema1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSORED 2:14PM 06/06/17

When Dawn Abbamondi and her husband decided to buy a franchise, they wanted to do it as an investment, not as a something to replace their current jobs and incomes right away. Laura Novak Meyer, on the other hand, wanted to go into business for herself in order to make her career and family life work better together.

People decide to start their own business for a number of reasons – some entrepreneurs are tired of working for other people, and others want to fulfill a dream. Some want more control of their work life, while others want an investment they can pass down to their children. With an estimated 3,000 franchise opportunities currently operating in the U.S., according the International Franchise Association, it’s easy for potential business owners to get caught up in all the options and to picture themselves in many different scenarios. Each of those 3,000 opportunities has different business models, investment levels and time commitments necessary to succeed. That’s why, before diving into the process of discovering your next business, it’s important to take a step back and determine what your end goal is.

Goal setting in the workplace can be intimidating at times, whether you’ve been in a position for a while or if you’re starting something fresh. The important thing to understand when setting a goal for your new business is that no goal is “right” or “wrong.” Each entrepreneur is excited to get into business for various reasons, and understanding those reasons is what will really help you figure out what your end goal should be. Paul Pickett, chief development officer for Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc., speaks with franchisee candidates daily and works hard to dig out each individual’s goals in order to figure out if they’d truly be a fit for the Wild Birds Unlimited brand.

“In the franchise development process, one of the very first things you need to understand when working with a candidate is what are the goals,” Pickett explains. “If the end goal is to have a business that doesn’t require their full attention, for example, you need to understand that immediately. If a personal requirement is to depend on an income stream from the business from day one, and your franchise concept requires some time to develop positive cash flow, then you need to know that right away too.”

For a brand like Wild Birds Unlimited, a franchisee must have a love for nature and birds. But even if they have that passion as well as the money to get started, they still might not be a fit. For example, if someone would rather work alone than lead and manage people in the store, they probably wouldn’t be successful with the brand. Candidates should remember that franchises are proven business models, so even if you think a brand is perfect for you, listen carefully to the franchisor and other franchisees in the system, and trust their insight.

“At the same time,” Pickett mentioned, “someone doesn’t need to be a birding expert to succeed with Wild Birds Unlimited. If someone has a love for nature, we can teach them about birds. What we can’t teach is motivation, work ethic and passion.”

When Pickett asks people about their goals, he asks them each question in multiple ways. He finds that asking yourself “how involved do you want to be in the day to day work of your business?” might garner a different answer than “what do you want your day to look like?”

Dawn Abbamondi, who is now a director at SMB Franchise Advisors, consults both franchisors and franchisees in the development process, and is therefore an expert at finding out what type of business is the best fit for an owner’s goals.

“When I was evaluating candidates for one brand I worked with, people thought they could spend more time with their kids by owning that business,” Abbamondi said. “But in reality, most franchisees with this brand had less time with their families in the first few years. If more family time is what someone is looking for, a retail brand might not be ideal, especially around the holidays. Candidates should take the time to really understand their goals versus the model that they’re looking into.”

Franchising is one of the safest routes to business ownership because it’s a proven model, and many of the challenges you’ll face have already been faced by someone else who is available to help you through it. Not only is franchising a safe path in a world where most businesses fail within the first five years, but depending on your goals, you can confidently go into a franchise system knowing that you’ll get what you’re looking for. By talking to the franchisor and other franchisees in a system, you should be able to get a good feel for what your first few years will look like, what your future with the brand will look like, whether you’ll be able to get the work-life balance you’ve been looking for, and so on.

“The biggest thing a franchise company can do for someone is help them with important areas that you might not be so good at,” said Abbamondi. “So if you’re great at customer service and managing a team, but you don’t know how to build a brand or a logo, that’s where the franchise system supports you. However, if you’re more creative and an ideas person, a franchise might not be great for you because you must follow a system. In that case, you might be able to find an emerging brand that is open to ideas from the first few franchisees, but most franchisors don’t want that input.”

The more you understand about who you are and what you want, the better off you’ll be. Once you determine your end goal and seek out a business that will help you get there, however, you’re still not finished. Review your goals every year, every month and every quarter to ensure you’re doing your best and accomplishing the goals you set out to reach. 

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.