The Keys to Franchise Business Owner Success
The value of the brand, the location, the support provided by the franchisor, the quality of the product or service, local competition, and the economic climate…they all influence business success. We would expect the potential small franchise business owner to investigate these factors thoroughly as part of the due diligence process.
But the greatest variable of all is the small franchise business owner himself or herself, and his or her skills in managing the business. If you have never run a business before, how do you know that you have what it takes to be successful? It behooves the potential small franchise business buyer to extend the due diligence process to include an objective self assessment, something not usually done in any formal way by the franchise buyer.
Evaluating your Entrepreneurial Aptitude is a great way to measure probable success as a Small Franchise Business Owner.
Entrepreneurial aptitude may not be what you think. The things that make you successful in corporate America are not the necessarily the same as the skills you need to succeed as a small franchise business owner. Graduating with honors, being a great team player in a Fortune 100 firm for a number of years, or having been the captain of your college football team or cheerleading squad has little to do with your entrepreneurial aptitude.
The dictionary defines “aptitude” as the “potential to acquire skill.” When applied to an entrepreneurial environment, it is the potential to acquire the skills to manage the business. Who would want to buy a franchise without knowing that they have good potential to acquire the skills to manage the business?
But can Entrepreneurial Aptitude be measured in any meaningful way?
In fact, entrepreneurial aptitude can be measured. Studies of highly successful entrepreneurs define a profile of fairly common family background, childhood experiences, core values, personalities, and many more characteristics. Testing yourself against that profile of highly successful entrepreneurs is an excellent way to gauge your personal entrepreneurial aptitude. We encourage every potential franchise business buyer to “take the test before you invest.”
The Proof Is In the Results
The most successful entrepreneur that I have ever known matched the ideal test profile almost exactly. Although he would have had limited success working for someone else, his results as a business owner were phenomenal.
He started his software business while in his early twenties. He was an unimpressive looking guy with unimpressive credentials. He did not have a Harvard MBA; in fact, he never finished college. His experience was limited to a few years as a software developer. He had never managed anyone before starting his business. He was neither a charismatic personality nor a dynamic communicator. Clearly he was not the typical corporate executive profile.
I worked with him for eleven years. I was constantly in awe of his invaluable instincts and skills indicative of a natural-born entrepreneur. He had a clear vision of where he was taking his business, and a passionate contagious uncompromising commitment to get there. He was brilliantly creative. He had a strong bias to action rather than debate even if he did not have the consensus of his senior staff.
He had started the business with no outside investors and retained full ownership. When he decided to exit the business, he sold it for an undisclosed amount in excess of $500,000,000 (yes, I do mean half a billion dollars with a “b”). And it was all his!
He had the perfect entrepreneurial aptitude.
Take the test before you invest
Scoring highly on an entrepreneurial aptitude test like the one that we provide to our clients is no guarantee of success in running your franchise business, nor is a low score a guarantee that you will fail. But it is a clear indication of how easy it will be for you to develop the skills necessary to run a small franchise business and whether you have the fortitude to do so. It is a very important step in the franchise business purchase due diligence process that should never be overlooked.
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