Does A Franchise Meet Your Needs?
When you think of becoming a business owner by transitioning from employee to Franchisee, you don’t generally think in terms of emotional fulfillment when you control your destiny. However, in reality, the evaluation of emotional factors should play a significant role in making that final decision to join the world of the capitalist or remain in the realm of employee.
Of course, every analysis should include comparing risk to reward. It should consist of income projections and cash flows. It should include the analysis of financing avenues, site selection alternatives, and many other objective criteria to lead to a final decision about becoming an entrepreneur. A systematic approach to each item should drive your course of due diligence.
However, in the end, assuming the objective criteria have been ticked off your list satisfactorily, it should boil down to emotional fulfillment. After all, we all have a right to be happy. That particular statement – “we all have a right to be happy” – has changed the course of my life on several occasions. It was one of those statements passed casually by an acquaintance over dinner one evening and ignored by everyone at the table, except it hit me right in the heart. It stuck to me like red on a stop sign. As a result, I have made many important life decisions based on emotional criteria in addition to objective criteria. If it doesn’t pass muster on both fronts, I will look for a better course.
Many employment situations can meet your emotional needs, wants, and desires.
But, of course, many do not and cannot. Therefore, a complete examination of emotional criteria should include the analysis of several items, with the ultimate goal of determining whether a job can meet your needs or whether it is more likely your own business can meet them.
Control Your Destiny
The degree of priority this particular criterion holds for an individual is probably the most crucial factor to consider before deciding to strike out on your own. How important is it that you control day-to-day decisions about what you do and where you do it? How important is it to know that you have ultimate control over whether you stay or go at some point?
The reality is that it’s not possible to control your own destiny with a job. Even the most important CEOs must answer to the Board of Directors. In more traditional circumstances, when and where you travel, when you get promoted, how much you earn, and how long you keep your job are simply not in your control. The boss, his boss, and her boss control those things. But, as we have seen, bosses change, as do boards, and the status quo is sent for a topsy-turvy spin. When and if those things happen are generally not in the control of an employee.
As we have seen in recent years, decades really, rightsizing, downsizing, outsourcing, and severance packages are the norm of the employment world. The importance of these items, including the degree of control you require over them, should help guide you to your own comfort zone. Therefore, in addition to a systematic approach to the objective items in deciding to become an entrepreneur on your own or a Franchisee in a sound system, these emotional factors should also be ticked off the list. Are you satisfied with where you are? Can you achieve your goals and dreams in your current situation? Are you more likely to satisfy the need to control your results with your own business? How vital is each criterion to you?
Did you have to travel over your son’s birthday? Did you have an expense disallowed unfairly? Is the likelihood high or low of the bronze (as opposed to golden) parachute at age 53, with a low chance of a comparable position in the job market? Did you get passed over for a promotion? Did you have to work overtime through the Christmas holidays? Did you miss your daughter’s volleyball tournament because you couldn’t get off early on Friday? If these things eat at you, perhaps a course change is due. But, on the other hand, if you accept that these things go with the territory of employment, then change may not be necessary.
Of course, as you progress up the corporate ladder of promotion, you gain some additional autonomy for these types of issues. However, you must also try to determine if that next rung also carries an additional risk of termination at some point.
On the other hand, will being in the business you are evaluating help solve the problems that are important to you? Will your business cause the same travel issues? Will the time demands, or strange hours of being a businessperson, be an advantage or disadvantage? Evaluate these items honestly and with as much empirical evidence as you can gather, along with the other control issues that matter to you. Then determine which situation meets your goals more appropriately. And determine how important that is to you. Then it’s time to move on to the next evaluation criteria.
Do I Deserve to Be Happy?
If you always use the ‘I deserve to be happy’ test with each criterion and try to determine which scenario is most likely to get you closest to that goal, then you will know which column to tick. Furthermore, if you systematically execute this exercise and systematically evaluate the objective criteria, it will help clarify you in the decision-making process.
The exercise should then be repeated for a whole host of other emotional factors such as financial independence, day-to-day motivation, building an asset of value, appreciation for efforts, fair remuneration for results generated, free time for family and friends, community respect, recognition of achievements, and several others.
The bottom line is you’ve got to look at ROI, cash flow, the system of support, the value of building a brand, the marketplace, and all other objective criteria needed to make a proper decision. However, you also need to examine what you want out of life and whether a Franchise will help you get there.
(Guest poster Dennis Schooley is the Founder of Schooley Mitchell Consultants, www.schooleymitchell.com/)