Are you about to buy a franchise? Fantastic! What follows is a franchise buyer warning: the What If’s are coming! For you. But first, a little reminder…
This “buying a franchise” thing you’re about to do is for all the marbles.
It’s what you’ve been working towards the past couple of months. Including:
- The money you invested to work with an unbiased franchise adviser
- All of the calls you made to franchisees to get answers to your most burning questions.
- The trip to franchise headquarters to attend the Discovery Day you were formally invited to
- The thorough (and totally needed) franchise business plan you wrote
- The small business loan application you submitted
- The effort you took to get your immediate family on-board and behind you in this venture
It’s finally here. As a matter of fact, it’s sitting on your desk at home.
The Franchise Agreement
“It,” being the franchise agreement. The contract. 38 pages of fairly complicated lawyer-speak that legally and completely locks you in as a franchisee for 10 years…for an entire decade.
That’s right; you, the 49-year-old former telecom executive who’s finally ready to be his own boss. (Turns out you’re kinda ready all of a sudden)
You’re in awe because your staring at what could be your new life.
- A life free of dysfunctional bosses.
- A life that’s free of looking over your shoulder wondering if you’re next on the chopping block.
- A life where “going to work” will mean way more than punching a tired old time clock-grinding it out. Again. And, again.
- A life where you’re actually going to be the boss. Where you’re in control. Finally!
Sounds nice, right?
Well, it is. I’ve been my own boss since 2001.
And, I’ve never looked back.
Before You Get Too Excited…
I need to tell you something that’s going to frighten you…something that may kill your dream.
- It doesn’t matter if your net worth is $500,000 or $3.5 million.
- It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a franchise that you feel is a sure thing.
- It doesn’t matter how old you are or how young you are.
- It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man.
You’re going to be scared. Because they’re coming.
I’m referring to…
The What If’s
The “What If’s” are fast. They’ll start inundating your brain one second after you tear open the FedEx envelope that contains your franchise contract and you start looking through it. And, here’s the thing; you’ll have absolutely no defense against them.
Pretty much out of nowhere, the What If’s will start sending millions of tiny impulses to your Frontal Lobe-the part of your brain in charge of things like concentration, planning, problem solving and emotional reactions. The thing that happens next is the scary part. It’s happening to that guy below.
You Start Hearing A Voice Inside Your Head
The voice you hear is actually yours. It’s a questioning voice.
What if I chose the wrong franchise?
What if the franchise sales rep didn’t tell me something I really needed to know?
What if I can’t make any money owning this franchise?
What if I want out after a couple of years?
What if the product I’ll be selling turns out to be a 6-month fad?
What if the location turns out to be terrible?
What if a competitor opens up a few doors down from my franchise business?
What if the landlord is actually an evil warlock?
Franchise Buyers: Here Are A Few More…
What if I don’t start making any money until year #3?
What if my employees steal from me?
What if I can’t make payroll?
What if I can’t find any good employees?
What if my store gets hit with a flood or a tornado?
What if the franchisor sells too many franchises in my area?
What if a customer slips and hurts himself in the fitness franchise I’m buying, and I get sued?
(Which is never funny)
How To Totally Obliterate The What If’s
As a franchise buyer, you can obliterate all of those nasty What If’s by doing the following:
Let them go.
What Franchise King?
That’s right. You have to let them go. In one ear and out the other.
You see, they thrive when you think too much about them. They get obliterated when you let them go. Here’s how.
Anytime a What If makes itself know, take a deep breath, and run through the scenario. Here’s an example of how to do it.
The What If:
“What if I want out after a couple of years?”
Take a deep breath. Then…
Remember what the franchise attorney you hired told you about getting out of your agreement. If you forgot what she told you, pick up the phone-or send an email and ask. When you get the answer, digest it, and move on.
No Matter What The Answer Is
FYI: Here’s the answer that particular What If. It’s not legal advice, it’s just the answer:
In most cases, you can get of your franchise agreement by selling your franchise business. There may be a few stipulations-one of them definitely being that the franchisor must approve the buyer. So, no big deal. If after 3 years, you want out, you can usually* get out by selling your franchise business.
*Make sure you talk with a franchise attorney about getting out, as each franchise agreement (contract) is worded differently.
That answer just obliterated The What if in question.
Here Are My Top 10 Tips For Buying A Franchise
To Summarize My Warning To Franchise Buyers About The What If’s
10-20…or more-What Ifs are going to appear on the scene immediately after you tear open the FedEx Package containing your franchise agreement. Be ready for them!
When they appear, let them go. You do that by going over the thing the What If brought up, getting the facts on it, accepting those facts, and letting it go. It’s the only way to obliterate A What If.
Unless you don’t want to obliterate them. Unless you succumb to their attacks. Which means you’d be letting Mr. Doubt creep in.
He may be even worse.
Warlock image courtesy of Flickr-https://www.flickr.com/photos/goosemouse/4807896715