Forbes Coaches Council

Top business and career coaches from Forbes Coaches Council offer firsthand insights on leadership

It’s hard to come up with a great business idea. Even if you’ve dreamed up an excellent business model, it can take a long time to get it off the ground and start gaining traction, and many would-be entrepreneurs get discouraged and give up long before they see success.

Fortunately, you can invest in a franchise to achieve your dreams of business ownership with an established, proven concept. A franchiser hands you all the tools you need to run the business, as long as you’re willing to put in the work.

While some people are happy to play by someone else’s rulebook, the franchise path isn’t right for every aspiring entrepreneur. Ask yourself these eight questions suggested by members of Forbes Coaches Council before you become a franchisee.

Eight members of Forbes Coaches Council share questions to ask before you become a franchisee.PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.

1. Do I Feel Aligned With The Franchise’s Culture?

Culture fit is critical to succeeding in any venture, and part of that is how success is measured. The franchiser has already identified and enacted the criteria it considers relevant, and there usually isn’t a lot of room to change that. Aligning with that methodology will be crucial to one’s ability to be good, profitable community partners and enjoy personal satisfaction in the business. –

2. Am I Prepared To Put In The Work To Grow A Business?

The allure of franchising is that you have a ready-made system for success. In reality, it’s still up to you to sell and make it work. New businesses are about cash flow and customers. Franchises help you shortcut the business framework, and you pay for that expertise with your franchise fees, but don’t be lulled into the sales pitch. You still have to grow it. – Jodie CharlopExceleration Partners

Opening a franchise means that there’s a formula by which the business operates. Branding, operating procedures and training for employees are often included, which provides you with an established baseline by which to run your business. On the other hand, you’re limited with regard to creativity, may have on-going franchise fees and often have less flexibility with regard to location and expansion. – India Gary-MartinLeadership For Life

4. What Does A Typical Franchisee’s Lifestyle Look Like?

Visit with other franchise owners in the same chain you’re considering. Shadow them for a day. Find out what their typical day looks like, what challenges they face and what their family life consists of while managing their business. Does that lifestyle fit your outlook for the next three to five years? If not, look at a different business. – John HittlerEvoking Genius

5. What Kind Of Corporate Support Do Franchisees Receive?

The right franchise can lead to success. The wrong franchise can lead to suffering. Franchises can be helpful in providing resources, marketing and support. The biggest determining factor to consider is if the home office has the heart to help the franchisees succeed. – Ken GosnellCEO Experience

6. Can I Stay Motivated Executing Someone Else’s Idea?

Not all entrepreneurs are good at running the play that someone else calls. In the franchise model, much of the ideation and strategy work has already been done, which is a huge benefit. Look back over your career to determine if you struggle to stay engaged and motivated when you’re executing someone else’s idea. The successful franchisee has to be okay coloring inside the lines to some degree. – Trellis UsherT.R. Ellis Group LLC

7. What Am I Willing To Give Up As An Entrepreneur?

Franchises can be one of the most rewarding types of businesses to own. If you want to be the ultimate decision maker on all things related to your business, then a franchise is probably not your best choice. Strategize about what you’re willing to give up in exchange for what the franchise offers before you decide. – Lillian GregoryThe Institute for Human and Leadership Excellence

8. Do The Franchise’s Guidelines Fit With My Vision For How To Run A Business?

Franchising, in general, comes with strings attached that include corporate guidelines on pretty much everything you’re allowed to do or not do. Ask yourself if you’re going to be able to run the business the way you think it should be run. If the answer is no, then franchising is probably not for you. – Kamyar ShahWorld Consulting Group

Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only, fee-based organization comprised of leading business coaches and career coaches. Members are hand-selected by the Council’s selection committee.