The Merriam-Webster Definition Of Perfect:
The Franchise King’s Definition Of Perfect (a perfect franchise opportunity)
A franchise business opportunity that fits someone perfectly at all levels.
At all levels?
Yes. At. All. Levels.
What do you mean, Franchise King?
I’ll show you.
How To Know If You’ve Found The Perfect Franchise
In order to find
a the perfect franchise to own, you need to first define what perfect means to you-in your specific situation. Does that make sense?
All of us have different ideas of what perfect means. For example, this would be the perfect car for me:
It’s red. (My brand’s color)
It’s beautiful. I love great design.
It’s fast. It can go from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds. I love fast cars.
The Porsche Panamera Turbo would be the perfect car for me.
Would it be the perfect car for you?
Why or why not?
My mom’s perfect car would look like this:
It’s a Toyota-she loves them.
It’s a 4-door-she needs a 4-door for lots of reasons.
It’s kind of cute. She likes cute.
The Toyota Corolla (pictured) gets good gas mileage-which she needs to have because she drives a lot.
It’s easy to maneuver around. Size-wise, it’s not too big/not too small.
It’s the perfect car for her.
Would it be the perfect car for you?
Why or why not?
I think you know what I’m getting at here.
Your idea of “perfect” is going to be different than my idea of perfect.
And, your idea of a perfect franchise opportunity?
If you’ve defined it already, it’s going to way different than any of the thousands of people who are looking to do what you’re thinking of doing this year.
If you haven’t defined what a perfect franchise would look like, keep reading.
A Strong Foundation
In order for you to define what a perfect franchise looks like-so you can improve your chances of actually finding it, you need to have a strong foundation. You need to have a complete understanding of franchising-so you can leverage it…so you can use what’s been called “The greatest business model ever invented,” to your advantage. To make money!
If you’re in agreement with me-if you feel that learning all you can about something you may end up investing a lot of money in is an important to do, grab my free online franchise course by typing in your email address below. (You’ll be taking the course at Franchise Business University. I own the website.)
All the things I teach in the course will help you build a good foundation.
Determining What A Perfect Franchise Is
In “A Proper Introduction To Franchising,” my free franchise course, one of the many things you learned had to do with finding out if you were a good candidate for franchise ownership or not.
Royal Tip: It’s pretty tough to find a perfect franchise opportunity if you’re not a good fit for owning a franchise.
So, make sure you are a good fit for franchise ownership. It’s a rigid business system. It’s not for a true entrepreneur.
Skills And Such
What are you really, really good at?
What are your top-shelf professional skills. What sets you apart? It’s time to brag. (To yourself)
Once you determine your top skills, start thinking about the types of franchise opportunities you’d best be able to utilize them.
Maybe if I gave you a specific example of how this works…
Sheryl Fields* was recently downsized from her senior-level sales position at a Fortune 500 company. Sheryl held that position for the past 7 years. Prior to that job, she served as the VP of sales for a well-known tech company based in the San Francisco area-it’s also the place she calls home.
Sheryl made the decision to not job-hunt this time around. She was sick of all the corporate B.S. she constantly had to deal with. All the layers of management. Etc. That’s why she started pursuing career alternatives, with business ownership at the top of her list. (She also wanted more freedom!)
She searched for opportunities strategically. No shotgun approach for this lady. She went all-in, but in a smart way.
She learned about entrepreneurship and small business. She read up on the trends. She kept up on the news-especially, business news.
One day, Sheryl landed on a story about a woman who became a seriously successful franchise business owner. This woman was also a corporate refugee-the victim of a company-wide layoff, and she was determined to not let that (getting downsized) ever happen again.
Sheryl was able to relate to the woman in the story, as she, too, didn’t want to go through a corporate downsizing ever again. Sheryl started investigating franchise opportunities…something she really hadn’t thought of all that much until she read the story about that very successful female franchise owner. To her, franchising involved flipping burgers-something she definitely wasn’t interested in doing.
Royal Tip: My friend, Rick Eggleton, used to say that “There’s more to franchising than burgers, donuts, and mufflers.” It’s true. Have an open mind. There may be a franchise opportunity that’s perfect for you out there.
How She Did It
Sheryl started reading lots of franchise articles. She considered attending a franchise expo. She visited a few local franchise business establishments. She even purchased an online franchise course. She made a commitment (to herself) to learn all she could about owning a franchise-and how to find the right one. Sheryl absorbed as much as she could, and began her search for
a the perfect franchise.
She started off by only exploring franchises that would allow her to do what she did best; selling. (Sheryl was also a wonderful public speaker-she absolutely loved doing speeches.)
One of the franchise opportunities that came across her radar screen was a coaching franchise. After a discussion with the franchise sales representative, she found out that her role as a franchisee in this particular franchise would involve coaching small business owners and executives. It sounded like it was right up her alley. The only thing she didn’t like about it was that she’d be alone. The coaching franchise opportunity she looked into was pretty much a one-person business. She’d have to do almost everything by herself; there were no employees. (Unless she wanted to grow her business in a serious way by adding more coaches and an additional territory.) So, she continued to look around-mostly on franchise portals.
Then she found it.
A Google search of “sales franchises” led her to Sandler Training®, a franchise opportunity in the sales training space. Sandler Training franchisees offer training programs for individual salespeople, small business owners, and sales teams. And of course, franchisees have to go out and sell their programs. No big deal for someone as strong as Sheryl, who is a strong salesperson. Plus, as she would later find out, she would be able to do lots of public speaking.
In addition to being attracted to what in her mind was a true sales franchise opportunity, Sheryl was drawn into a couple specific words she read on the Sandler website: Lifestyle business. That’s because she was sick of traveling; Sheryl had been on planes and had stayed in hotels on an almost-weekly basis for the last 6 years or so. She was burned-out of the whole travel scene. Being able to be close to home all-year long sounded nice. So, she contacted Sandler Training.
The Back And Forth
Ron** was the guy who followed up with Sheryl. He’s the V.P. of franchise development for Sandler Training, and has been for 15+ years.
Ron sent out a series of emails after their first call together, which by the way, went very well. Sheryl didn’t feel pressured…she asked a few basic questions about the opportunity, and Ron generously answered them. He then told her what to expect in the next few weeks. She’d be learning about all the different aspects of the Sandler franchise opportunity, and she would also get to participate in group conference calls and webinars.
She talked to Ron once a week. He always called when he said he would-which Sheryl took to be a good sign. Smart cookie.
Ron had sent over the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) after their 2nd call together. Sheryl glanced at it, but didn’t delve into to it too much until she started feeling that Sandler Training could turn out to be The One.
Week 5 was the turning point for Sheryl.
She had done what was asked of her. She submitted her financials early on in the process, and submitted enough personal information for Sandler to do a background check on her.
(Today’s franchisors almost always do background checks on prospective franchisees. It’s nothing personal-so don’t get offended by it.)
She had participated in two conference calls with other prospective franchisees, and had attended the webinar.
Week 5 was when Sheryl dug a bit deeper into the FDD. It was also when she started calling Sander Training franchisees. She wanted to ask them lots of questions. Like these. And, of course, this important question that needs to be asked of every single franchisee called.
Sheryl was getting a lot of great information from the franchisees she called. That’s what happens when you know what questions to ask and how to ask them. It’s part of what I teach.
The answers she was getting with regards to income were pretty good, and more importantly, they were consistent. She ended up talking with 13 different Sandler Training franchisees, and all except one was making good money. 9 out of 13 were really, really happy about their decision to buy the franchise. One of the franchisees she talked with was way under what he thought he would be making after 3 years in business-he was not a happy camper. The other two were making good money, but they just didn’t sound that enthused about the business.
Royal tip: If 80% (or more) of the existing franchisees you call are happy and they’re making good money, you may have found yourself a winner.
Sheryl also took my advice (which she got from my book, or one of my online courses) and made a few friends. That’s right: She befriended two of the franchisees she called-enough for them to invite her to see their businesses in action. And better yet, both franchisees told Sheryl that they’d be there for her if she purchased a Sandler Training franchise.
Sheryl Gets Invited To A Discovery Day
Ron felt that Sheryl was a fit for the Sandler system. He wanted her to become a franchisee.
Sheryl received an official invite to attend a Discovery Day at Sandler headquarters in Owings Mills, Maryland.
Read this article to find out what a Discovery Day is, and what to expect if you get invited to one.
Sheryl felt right at home a mere 5 minutes after walking through the door at headquarters.
Everything felt right to her…perfect, even. Ron was even more impressive in person. The executives were sharp and non-salesy-which totally surprised her. (Being that Sandler was a sales training franchise business)
Sheryl learned a lot during her day at headquarters. But, it wasn’t all about Sheryl getting to know the staff. They were checking her out too. The executive team needed to feel right about Sheryl, too. And, they were a picky bunch.
Sheryl left with a new franchise agreement in hand-unsigned, but it was an agreement nevertheless. She was approved for a franchise on the spot. The yes or no decision was on her.
A Banker, An Attorney, And An Office Space
The day after Sheryl got back in town, she phoned a franchise attorney. (Sheryl had interviewed two different franchise attorneys before she left for Discovery Day, and had known which one she would use if everything went well at headquarters.) The attorney had Sheryl send the FDD and the agreement over, and set up a time to meet with her.
Sheryl had enough money to write a check for the entire upfront investment needed to start and open a Sandler Training franchise business in San Francisco. But, she wanted to meet with a lender anyway. She was thinking about getting a business line of credit set up, and also wanted to hear any ideas the lender had, financing-wise. She arranged a meeting with the lender for the end of the week.
She would need to lease some office space. The space would have to have a good-sized training room, along with a couple of offices.
Royal tip: A good number of franchisors have a real estate department-or at least a good network of local real estate people to help secure locations for new franchisees. You won’t have to find a space on your own. But, both you and the franchisor will have to agree on the space.
Sheryl contacted a couple commercial real estate brokers and arranged some walk-throughs of the spaces they recommended.
Did I mention that Sheryl had made her decision?
A Done Deal
2 weeks after her return from Owings Mills, Sheryl sent a check to Sandler Training for $73,000, along with her signed franchise agreement. She knew she had found the perfect franchise.
Like most first-time franchise buyers Sheryl was nervous. Her palms weren’t too sweaty as she was writing out the check for the franchise fee, but they were a little moist.
A few hours later, as she drifted off to sleep, something happened. She felt something she hadn’t felt in a long time-although she couldn’t quite put her finger on what it was until a few days later.
Freedom. That’s what she felt that night. Sheryl, for the first time in several years, felt free. Freedom from the shackles of the corporate life. Freedom from bosses. From hectic travel schedules. It’s what being your own boss gives you. And, it does feel good.
*Sheryl Fields is not a real person. But, her persona and her situation isn’t too different from a lot of people I’ve worked with over the years.
**Ron is real. Ron Taylor has been with Sandler Training for a long time. Not only is Ron a skilled franchise professional-he’s a gentleman. And, he has great pipes. The dude can sing.
I’m not being compensated by Sandler Training. They just happen to be the first franchise opportunity I thought of when I came up with the idea for this post.
“2014 Toyota Corolla 1.8 LE (ZRE172), front left” by Mr.choppers – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.
Important! If You're About To Buy A Franchise, Click Here
(Before You Send In Your Money & Sign Your Contract)
"I was pretty focused on a particular franchise opportunity when I reached out to Joel Libava. In the course of a 1-hour conversation, Joel was able to ask questions and provide direct advice to help clarify the process for me and help guide me through the next steps in my vetting process. He even put me in contact with other professionals who were able to help educate me further in my particular industry. The time and money were well spent."
-Brian Grayson, Cincinnati