Ready to become your own boss? The transition from a corporate routine to owning your own business with a proven franchise is exhilarating. No one is breathing down your neck to get that project done which you know is not going to add value anyways. You don’t have to clock in on a 9-to-5 grind. You’re the captain of your ship, and you’re finally taking the steering wheel of your career. Cheers to that!
However, the transition process isn’t always a bed of roses but the ultimate rewards can be very satisfying with business ownership, particularly if that ownership comes along with a robust support from a franchise system. Owning a business comes with responsibilities and fear can be such a limiting factor. But if you want to stack the odds in your favor, here are ways to make that transition as smooth as possible.
Start with the Right Mindset
If there’s one thing you need to take with you on your franchise journey, it’s the right mindset. Your mindset will be the lens through which you interpret and respond to different situations. Mental fortitude is what separates wannabes from successful business owners. Mindsets that will come handy as you go through this next venture are:
Business Mindset. You’re no longer an employee; you’re now at the helm of a ship—albeit, one with a proven navigation system built by a reputed franchise. That means you’re no longer responsible for “doing your part”, you need to see the bigger picture and recognize opportunities as they come. As captain, you’re also responsible for ensuring that your franchise sticks to the business system that the franchisor laid out for you.
Optimism. Things will not always work in your favor or at the time or place you expected. Plans change. And you will commit some mistakes as you learn tricks of the trade. Optimism in face of any adversity you may face is what will make you wake up every morning, determined to keep going even if things weren’t good yesterday. That compelling belief that there’s always a way through difficult times will help you soldier on to success.
Creativity. A huge benefit you will have when starting your franchise business is the franchisor’s proven system and methods. However, sometimes, unique problems can arise and you’ll have to don your creative hat to come up with out-of-the-box solutions. And remember, a solid franchisor will help you in coming up with creative solutions, you are not on your own.
Decide What Success Looks Like for You
Think of your endgame. Surely, you didn’t leave your corporate grind just for an incremental change. What do you wish to accomplish by owning a franchise? What kind of lifestyle do you wish to design for you and your family? While success is usually measured in terms of profit in the business world, you don’t have to go along only with this paradigm.
Sure, you go into business to make money but the beauty of owning a franchise is that you can always decide if you’re striving to build your own empire or you just want to manage a small team. Perhaps it’s not just about profits but it’s about being free from the 9-to-5 grind so you can spend more time with your family.
Work on Your Personal Finance
When purchasing a franchise, the franchisor will usually assess your financial details to make sure aspiring franchisees have the capacity to purchase and operate the franchise. But even with this arrangement, you still have the responsibility of working out your personal finance to make sure you have funds to live on while you’re still building the business. It also helps to take on a lean and mean attitude especially since cash flow is limited when you’re starting out.
Focus on Learning
The beauty of owning a franchise is you are in business for yourself but you don’t have to go at it by yourself. From the get-go, the franchisor will provide you with experts and mentors who will train you to operate the business correctly. Then, there are also other franchise owners from whom you can ask for insights.
Unlike your corporate job, you no longer have a predictable or repetitive responsibilities. Everything automatically requires your involvement when you’re starting out. In order to step up to the plate, you will have to do a lot of learning. And learning doesn’t just happen during training either.
The day-to-day operation is where you will learn a lot as you navigate through this new world of business ownership. And while you will not get it perfectly the first time around, recognize that everything—especially mistakes—is an opportunity for learning and improvement. This is how you develop as a business person.
Hone that Networking Skill
By honing your networking skills, you don’t just create a community of experts from whom you can gain wisdom from, but you also get to forge one essential business skill that could set you for success—social skills.
In operating a franchise, you’ll always have to work with other people—trainers, other franchise owners, suppliers, clients, and people who could refer you to potential clients. The sooner you can master the art of winning friends and influencing other people, the easier it will be for you to overcome hurdles in business.
Write Down Short- and Long-Term Goals
Owning a business means there will be a variety of things to tick in your to-do list, which keeps it exciting and eliminate the boredom that was one of many reasons why you decided to own your franchise business in the first place. If you’re learning and operating a business, it’s easy to get caught up with the busyness of day-to-day operations that you’ll take your eyes off the goal. Writing down short- and long-term goals help you keep your eyes on why you started the business in the first place.
Goals keep you focused and motivated. Short-term goals allow you to celebrate small wins and give you a sense of progress while long-term goals compel you to achieve more and they remind you why you made the transition from being an employer to becoming a franchise owner. And when you have a clear sense of your why, day-to-day decision-making becomes simpler.
Learn to Roll with the Cha(lle)nges
Owning your business brings exhilaration, satisfaction and fulfillment. It also requires tenacity to deal with challenges of the starting a business and going through the learning curve. You’ll have to work on issues that you ordinarily wouldn’t have to deal with as an employee of someone else—stuff like lease issues, market changes, and cash flow.
Plus, you’ll have to contend with the rollercoaster that is your emotion especially in the initial part of this exciting journey of business ownership. Thus, the wise thing to do is to mitigate risk and fear. This is where your franchisor and network of other franchise owners and mentors can help you. They can help you design strategic plans that produce proven results. These plans should walk through worst-case scenarios so that you’re better equipped to handle challenges. Having these plans in place will not just help you sleep better at night, these will also make you confront your fear head-on and you’ll soon realize that those hurdles aren’t as threatening as you initially perceived them to be.
Leaving your corporate job to own and operate a franchise can be a very rewarding experience but also nerve-wracking initially. The journey wouldn’t be easy, and it is not meant to be if you are looking for fulfillment that only comes through determination and hard work. But you can be sure that the payoff is worth the pain. And the challenges are really just steps that’ll bring you closer to your dreams.