We all like to dream about our future; it’s this vision that drives us to go the extra mile when we feel bogged down by the tedium of daily life. If you’re considering being a franchisee, you can first imagine what it’s like to be a franchisee. It’s always exciting to visualize your future. Planning is everything in life and in the franchise business. Let’s explore what it’s really like being a franchise owner.
The Life of a Franchisee
Once you pay franchise fees and finish training, you need to get your business going. If you are a first time entrepreneur, the franchisor will tell you that your most important task is to find the right location of your business.
Finding an ideal location
If the franchisor requires you to find commercial space, then there is a lot to do before you are ready for business. To secure a space, you will need to meet with landlords, real estate brokers and lawyers. You don’t need a franchise consultant to tell you that there are some tough negotiations coming ahead. Negotiating leases can be difficult and some landlords can make it tougher for you than is necessary. You will need a lawyer that is well-versed with real estate contracts.
Build your franchise as you see fit
You finally have a space to do business from. Now is the time to build out and customize your franchise to the needs pertinent to your business. There will be a lot of foot traffic, with all types of workers coming and going. Your physical presence at the business is just as important now as when everything is finally set up. You are the only one that can ensure that all your workers stick to the scheduling plans you have laid out. Aside from the oversight responsibilities you may have, there is a lot of paperwork to go through as well.
Finally, it’s time for the grand opening
What started out as an idea is about to become a reality and you are about to be tossed into the world of running a business. You have potential customers walking around and taking in the environment, and some are already making purchases. The cash register makes an inviting “ding” that lets you know that things are just starting to take off.
At this time, you should expect to be running around all over the place like you are losing it. One employee needs some help with pricing and measurement, another in an aisle close by is trying to explain to a client what sizes they can get a packet of this or the other thing in. Your son, who is manning the cashier’s box, is out of receipt paper. You hurriedly rush to replenish the cash register with receipt paper, noticing the line growing longer and with irate customers. Before you know it, the day is over, and what a day it has been!
Days go by
Count on the first few days to be some of the hardest you will have to face while running the business. Aside from the advice you are getting from your franchise coach, this whole experience is new to you. During this time, you will notice that despite their best efforts, your franchise consultant didn’t really prepare you for what you are having to deal with on the ground. The truth is there is nothing that can prepare you for the real experience of franchising, things take their own course and you will become better at being a business owner the more you do it.
As the days turn into weeks, you realize that this thing we know as franchising is not the insurmountable mountain we make it out to be. Things come to you naturally and everything has fallen into a routine.
First, you break even
You are still putting in 14-hour days and finally are breaking even. Profitability is right at the corner. Now is the time to listen out for that cashier’s “ding” and thank your stars that your appetite for risk has brought you so far. It is also time to think about new locations.