3 Tips on Choosing the Franchise that is Right for You
By Daniel Kosir | September 1, 2011
Buying a franchise is a big decision. You need to commit a large amount of time and capital in order to get things up and running, yet even that does not necessarily guarantee financial success. These are things that you have already considered while weighing your options.
But have you given enough thought to how the franchise you are planning to buy aligns with who you are as an entrepreneur?
Buying a franchise with a low cost of entry or a big name will only get you so far. Just as important is taking on an enterprise that your repertoire of talents and attributes are well-suited for. These three tips can help you pursue the option that is most likely to succeed with you at the helm.
1. Choose a franchise that matches your skill set
Purchasing a franchise that is part of a long-running, well-established system does hold a certain allure. The foundations are already firmly grounded, the name is well recognized and the ability to market is unmatched. Yet despite these advantages, it is unwise to leap out of your comfort zone and take on something that is completely out of sync with your particular skill set.
Before making a decision, perform an honest self-assessment of your skills. Would you excel if you owned a particular type of franchise over others? How much do you know about the industry you are thinking of entering? Do you have the background experience necessary to qualify you for the particular type of franchise you want to buy?
Think of it this way: if you were an experienced marketer, you wouldn't apply for an engineering job. You simply wouldn't have the necessary skills. Similarly, if you don't enjoy managing people, a franchise that requires a lot of hands-on management of entry level staff probably isn't for you.
Buying the right franchise is similar to looking for the right job. You need to play on your specific strengths, talents and abilities.
2. Choose a franchise that matches your lifestyle
Factoring in your lifestyle when choosing a franchise is important for both your mental and emotional health. Many look to purchase a franchise because they want a new challenge that allows them the freedom to manage their own enterprise. But if you enter an industry that is completely at odds with your lifestyle, chances are that owning the franchise will become a chore and make you miserable.
Are you an early riser who likes to be in bed by ten so you can get an early start the next day? If so, many restaurant franchises probably aren't your best options. Similarly, if you are great at math and accounting, but hate the idea of wearing a suit to work every day, you may find a math tutoring franchise more suitable than, say, becoming a personal investment advisor.
Ask yourself what your interests are and what kind of lifestyle you lead, and compare it to the lifestyle you could potentially be leading if you owned a particular franchise.
3. Choose a franchise that matches your personality
Another thing to consider when purchasing a franchise is whether or not that franchise suits your personality.
Are you an extrovert or introvert? Would you rather be on the front lines or behind the scenes? Do you have a strong personality that will allow you to lead and manage employees? Do you love interacting with people? Are you fun, eccentric and quirky or more serious and staid?
Remember, the capacity in which you will be working is partially defined by the type of franchise you purchase. In much the same way that people align themselves with brands that fit their personality, you should try and find a franchise that matches your personality.
Tools for self-assessment
Performing an honest self-assessment of skills, strengths and weaknesses sounds simple enough in theory, but in practice can get a bit complicated
Fortunately, there are many systems designed to help us better understand our inner drivers.
The better you are able to assess yourself, the better equipped you are to find the franchise that is right for your particular skills, lifestyle and personality. If you doubt your ability to assess yourself accurately, the following are some other options you may want to explore:
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
One of the most well known personality tests, the MBTI asks a series of questions to determine where you fall in each of four categories:
- Introverted / Extroverted: Are you inwardly or outwardly focused? This aspect of the MBTI reveals how you like to interact with others.
- Sensing / Intuition: Are you an intense observer of the world, or someone who likes to interpret and add meaning to what you see around you? This aspect of the MBTI reveals how you like to collect information and learn about the world.
- Thinking / Feeling: When making decisions, does logic or emotions have a greater influence? This aspect of the MBTI reveals the way you make decisions.
- Judging / Perceiving: Are you structured and task oriented, or more flexible and adaptive? This aspect of the MBTI reveals the way that others view how you like to live your life.
The MBTI is often done through a certified professional. Psychometrics is the authorized agent for this testing in Canada, but there are also many websites where you can take this test online.
Keirsey Personality Sorter
Similar to the MBTI, the Keirsey Personality Sorter claims to be the most widely used personality instrument in the world. The test uses the same four categories of personality attributes that is used by the MBTI, but places different emphasis on how it interprets the importance of each category.
It then sorts people into four temperament groups, each of which has four sub-groups:
- Artisans: Hands-on, optimistic yet realistic and focused on the here-and-now, artisans excel in not only in the traditional arts like such painting and performing, but also in athletic, military, political, mechanical, and industrial arts. Artisans can also excel at the "art of the deal" in business.
- Guardians: Dependable, loyal and hard-working, guardians are natural managers who are described as the cornerstone of society. Guardians excel at serving and preserving important social institutions in the community like schools, churches, hospitals, businesses and governments.
- Rationals: Strong-willed thinkers who are independent and self-contained, rationals excel at solving problems and improving complex systems. They are the architects who strive to solve problems to improve the systems around them, whether concrete (like computers) or abstract (like governments or social networks).
- Idealists: Intuitive people who prize relationships, idealists who are driven by self-discovery and improvement. They are drawn to working with people, whether in government, social work, journalism or spiritual endeavours.
The basic assessment can be done online for free at www.keirsey.com, while more detailed reports and information are available for a fee.
Strong Interest Inventory (STI)
The STI assessment is more career-oriented and is often used for career development. Unlike the tests above, which sort personalities into general categories, the STI sorts people into a basic interests scale that helps determine specific occupations that are likely to interest the participant.
The STI takes into account each person's work style, preferred learning environment, leadership style, risk taking and team orientation.
Assessments can be done online at https://www.cpp.com/products/strong/index.aspx; some options let you combine a Strong Interest Inventory and Myers-Brigg Type Indicator report for as low as $12.99.
Work-related values assessment
Offered by the Arizona State University, the Work-related values assessment is a simple self-assessment that can be done online. It does not provide a score or sort people into categories, but can help you determine the things you value most in life to help you match your franchise selection to your intrinsic work values.
iPersonic Career Test
The iPersonic Career Test. is a simple, free test you can take online. The process takes about five minutes, with the participant selecting between one of two groups of personal preferences to quickly evaluate their personality.