Why 99% of People Will Never Franchise a Business
Before you sink too much time and energy into researching franchise opportunities, you owe it to yourself to answer the fundamental question- is franchising right for me?
It may come as a shock, but reality is that 99% of people who explore franchise ownership will never invest in a business. So to begin unraveling the question “is franchising right for me”, you must first understand the underlying reason why such an inordinate amount of people balk at the opportunity to chase something different.
Lets begin with the tale of a man named Fred (Truth be told, Fred is not a real person. He is the collective persona of the aforementioned 99%). The story of Fred’s franchise exploration began several years ago. Despite a successful career in Corporate America, Fred had always dreamed of something different. Something more. After a particularly frustrating day at work, he turned to the internet for answers. He familiarized himself with the concept of franchising, researched some well-known brands and even began talking with some franchisors. As the excitement built, his mind continued to wander! Can I really do this!? How great would it be to be my own boss!?
With a newfound swagger in his step, Fred began telling anyone who would listen about his exploration into franchising. He quickly learned that everyone has an opinion about franchising. His wife loved the idea of a more flexible lifestyle. His brother-in-law had thought about franchising in the past but never went forward. His work colleagues were jealous. His neighbor told him not to do it! As his franchise search progressed, Fred felt increasingly overwhelmed by the wealth of available information and varying opinions from his family and friends. By the time decision day came, his exuberance had fully waned and fear and self-doubt had set in. Fred had dreamed of taking over the world, but at the very moment business ownership began to feel real, his inner-critic sprung into action with an onslaught of discouragement:
You can’t afford it, you idiot!
The business model is unproven.
You worked too hard climbing the corporate ladder.
You can never really trust employees.
The competition in your home market is too stiff.
The timing just isn’t right.
How will you sleep at night knowing you forfeited your corporate health benefits and 401(k)?
What will people think?
In the end, Fred’s inner-critic prevailed; he retreated to his corporate job, convinced that most reasonable people armed with the same information would have come to the same conclusion. Fred was not wrong! In a similar situation, 99% of people would make the decision to not move forward.
So that raises the question- what’s the difference between the 99% of people represented by Fred’s story and the remaining 1% of people who actually do make the leap into franchising?
Here’s the short answer: Whether it’s deliberate or buried somewhere in their subconscious, 99% of people explore franchising only to validate their current situation. By dismissing business ownership as a viable path, they feel vindicated. They are rejuvenated to know that the grass isn’t greener on the other side. Humans naturally seek the path of least resistance and there is nothing quite as easy as staying the course. 99% of people are so reluctant to step out of their comfort zone that a lifetime of opportunity passes them by.
What separates the 1% from the 99% has nothing to do with external circumstances. Believe it or not, the 1% and the 99% tend to be cut from the same cloth. They come from the same places and socioeconomic backgrounds. They have the same amount of available capital and begin exploring franchising with the same underlying career complaints, same family challenges and same vision for a better life.
By most conventional measures, franchising does NOT make logical sense. It’s actually a bit of an irrational undertaking. What separates the 1% from the 99% is their refusal to live a rational life. They are willing to challenge the status quo in pursuit of a more fulfilling life. They acknowledge the voice of their inner-critic, but have enough vision and fortitude to see the opportunity buried beneath all the perceived reasons to run for the hills. They take a levelheaded, holistic, approach to evaluating business opportunities. They’ll weigh both the good and the bad and if justifiable questions arise, they’ll immediately ask themselves if they can be overcome. If they can, they’ll jump in without hesitation- considering it a golden opportunity to capitalize on something that 99% of people were unable to see.
Knowing if you’re part of the 99% or the 1% is not easy. It takes a heavy dose of self-awareness, and even then, you may not know the answer until you’re faced with a major life-altering decision. If you’re part of the 99% now, there’s nothing to say you can’t grow into the 1%. Start by educating yourself on franchising! Knowledge is a powerful tool- it has a way of easing fear and uncertainty.