FIT FOR PROFESSIONALS
As parents we skillfully plan out the life of our children, dutifully centered in academic pursuits at socially acceptable institutions, hoping for a doctor, lawyer or professor to emerge. Around age 14 reality sets in as their minds begin to claim independence and best laid plans are now under the stewardship of young, impressionable minds. Many times they, although circuitously, do pursue those educational milestones so carefully laid during their childhood, however, the vast majority emerge without a career path carved in stone.
Welcome to the “real world” is a chime heard around the world as our offspring venture forth to join the workforce. Sometimes, they land squarely within the confines of their academic studies and more often than we’d like, outside those well drawn lines. And there they tend to remain for a few years, if not decades. But then something happens that upsets the venerable apple cart. It could be disenchantment or unfair treatment by superiors, or a layoff due to downsizing or economic forces. Now what? Where is a good fit for a white collar professional in the new world economy? How about franchising…
MATCHING YOUR TRAITS
Each one of us is unique and the franchise community can provide a good match to almost any personality traits. When considering a franchise this is a great place to start: a personality assessment. Understanding what makes you tick is vital to determining which type of franchise might suit you best. Leaving the corporate sector, either voluntarily or unwillingly, can be an emotional drain, so finding a franchise that you will enjoy is important. And the research is clear in franchising; those franchisees that align their personality to the business perform better. For example, selling a pet services franchise to someone that doesn’t like pets would be a disaster! So, regardless of what your profession was, it is more important to find a franchise that is aligned with your personality.
FINDING THE RIGHT FRANCHISE
According to Fran Data, there are over 3,000 franchise concepts available for professionals to consider, and multiple companies in the over 100 categories to sort through to find the right franchise. Now this is not as easy as it might seem. Franchisors go to great lengths to appeal to a broad spectrum of franchise prospects, given the strong educational accomplishments of many white collar professionals looking into franchising. Also, the experiences gained working in corporate environments is attractive to franchise companies who are increasingly enamored with professional resumes of applicants, so it takes diligence by professionals to dig deep into the culture of the organization. This can only be done by getting behind the scenes, which should include a visit to the corporate headquarters, meeting the founder and key executives, and calls to several franchisees. Going from a “boss” to a franchisor should be a good step towards to independence and personal satisfaction, but a bad choice of franchise company could put you right back into an unproductive relationship. And, not unlike a marriage, franchise agreements are intended to be long term relationships, ten years on average, so finding the right mate can make the difference between a messy divorce and happily ever after.
RISING ABOVE THE ORDINARY
The growth of quality franchise opportunities that are well suited for professionals has grown exponentially over the past few decades, as has the number of white collar workers that have been displaced, left their positions due to dissatisfaction and chosen to seek more independence. The evidence points to a deliberate approach by professional prospects to consider their personality when determining which franchise they might be successful owning. That’s a good start but it’s not enough. Digging deep into the psyche of the franchise company to make sure there is a conducive culture for long- term success is a critical step. This combination will allow white collar professionals to rise above the ordinary and find a path to personal satisfaction and financial independence.
Ben Litalien is founder and principal of Franchise Well, a specialized consulting practice supporting franchise companies, prospective franchisees and nonprofit organizations interested in the franchise sector. Ben is a Certified Franchise Executive as designated by the Institute of Certified Franchise Executives and he teaches the Franchise Management Certification Program at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He has an executive MBA from the University of Houston in Texas and is currently pursuing his Doctor of Management degree at the University of Maryland University College. For more information visit the website at www.franchisewell.com or Ben can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.