What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Before you even start to look at opportunities consider your passions, make sure you don’t just follow a trend as a treant will usually last for a few years and you will be in a franchise for a lot longer than that, think about what you enjoy learning about, talking about and spend time doing. If you really struggle to think about what your passions are, have a look at your bank account, where or what you spend your money on and do? Usually, if you spend a lot of money on it you will love it.

Other people are a great way to discover passions, similarly to where you spend your money usually the people you spend time with are going to be a gateway into passions, you will usually have a bit in common, ask them questions as they might be more aware of it than you are.

There are many personality tests out there ranging from a simple Myers Briggs, DISC profiling to what job should I have tests. When considering a franchise these are all useful, for example is the myers briggs tells you you are an introverted person, who doesn’t like sales it’s probably not beneficial finding a franchise that focuses heavily on sales, there are many out there that you can be a trainer or a supplier instead of a sales agent.

Go out and try new things, most franchisees will let you come and shadow them for a day so you can get an idea of what it’s like to work in that industry, equally most companies will let you shadow them.

The last way to try and identify your strengths is to look at your job, it doesn’t matter what you do you will always have certain elements such as sales and customer service. Even if you are a waiter in a pub or restaurant think about how you leave the clients? Do you deliver such great service that they leave the biggest tip and you go home at the end of the night with more money in your pocket from tips then you are probably good at customer service.

Or, do you upsell more onion rings than anyone else and have to show people how they can upsell more? if so you are probably good at sales.

Looking at the simple things in your life can help you identify where your next step should be.

Similarly to finding your strengths you need to know your weaknesses, have a look around you and be open to identifying what you do, where do you shy away from? Do you shy away because you don’t enjoy it or because you don’t know how to do it? There is a difference.

Speak to everyone you can and ask the question what am I bad at? But be knowledgeable between competence and compliance.

One of our franchisees came from a carer background, she never had to handle budgets and everyone said she shouldn’t go into business as she didn’t know anything about finances. This is a clear example of the difference between competence and compliance. Compliance is where you choose not to do something, she wasn’t choosing to be bad at finances or budgets it’s simply she wasn’t competent in them because no one had ever taught her how to look after budgets, P&L statements and budget sheets, so when she can onboard we shower her how to do this and no she equally teaches new franchises how to do the same thing.

You need to be realistic about what you can afford when buying into a franchise and how realistic the results are that the franchisor tells you you will achieve. Make sure you get an opportunity to speak with other people.

The initial investment of a franchise can range from a few thousand pounds upto a million therefore always have a clear budget of what you not only can afford to invest but what you can afford to lose if it all goes wrong.

Family can be the greatest asset and a curse when it comes to owning and running a business and especially a franchise. It’s very common for them to be concerned that you aren’t making the right decision especially when buying into a franchise as all they see is the negatives especially if you have a family to support but the way around this is to make sure that you have done all the research and planning you have to happily know your numbers and make sure that you can support your family, how much do you need each day, week and in the months until you start to make money in your business and can pull out a salary.

One of the things a good franchisor will be able to help you work out ids where is your break even point, this is the point where you become cash flow positive and start to make money in your business, this is usually about month 3-6 unless you are investing in a franchise with a much higher startup cost.

But what if the franchise goes wrong, what if you spend your life savings in a business then have to close for 6 months because of a global pandemic? Hopefully 2020 isn’t something that we will all experience for a long long time however it’s always worth thinking about what would happen if there was a repeat, how would you make money if you couldn’t trade? How would the franchisee support you? or how much savings would you need just in case?

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