The Franchise King®

Will Owning A Franchise Make You Unhappy?

face of an unhappy franchise owner

I doubt very much if you think you’ll be an unhappy franchise owner. It’s probably not in your wheelhouse. Whatever that means.

in your wheelhouse

But is it possible?

Is there a chance you’ll be an unhappy franchise owner?

Let’s find out.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy).

A Perfect World

Franchising is a good business model. Great even. Mostly.

And in a perfect world, you’ll find the franchise of your dreams.

In this dream of yours, you’ll quickly break-even, make lots of money, and be an incredibly happy franchisee. Except…

We don’t live in a perfect world. Sh*t happens.

Would you like to know what kind of stuff can happen?

Things That Can Make You An Unhappy Franchise Owner

You probably know what they are, but I’m going to tell you anyway.

The first thing that can make you unhappy is that you choose the wrong franchise opportunity for you. This happens a lot. Seriously.

For instance, there’s the person who loves restaurants and can easily see himself owning one (let’s call him Robert).

Robert, 55, always wanted to own a food-service establishment, and thinks now is the time. Especially since the company he worked for recently laid him off. So he goes after his dream.

In this particular case, he uses a portion of his retirement investments to buy a well-known pizza franchise. It’s all good.

No. It’s not. Would you like to guess why?

I’ll give you one guess.

Now remember your guess, because I’m going to give you the reason why in a couple of minutes.

Owning A Franchise Made Her Quite Unhappy

Here’s an example of how an educated, well-meaning aspiring franchise owner quickly became pretty damn unhappy.

franchise owner of a senior care business

 (Renee…immediately after she signed her franchise agreement)

As the story goes, her franchise broker told her (let’s call this franchisee, Renee) she’d be a great fit for a franchise business in the senior care space.

Thing is, he kinda, sorta, failed to tell Renee that senior care franchise businesses don’t have walk-in customers. So?


So when customers aren’t physically visiting your place of business for services (like senior care), it means that said customers (clients, actually) will need to be located.



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By aggressively engaging in business development.

Which is a nice way of saying franchisees need to make lots of cold calls. Sales calls.

That’s right. If you buy a franchise in the senior care space, you’ll need to pound the pavement so you can start building relationships. The kind of relationships that need to become referral relationships.

With that in mind, would you care to guess why Renee, who (until she was let go) was a successful marketing executive, is now the unhappy owner of a senior care franchise?

And why the smile in her picture above isn’t there anymore?

The Reason Why They’re Unhappy Franchise Owners

Let’s see if you guessed right. But first, let’s go back to Robert.

In a nutshell, Robert is an unhappy restaurant franchisee because he had no idea how hard…and how many hours he’d need to work as an owner.

And as an added bonus, he didn’t have a clue about the employee turnover nightmare that’s a huge part of the restaurant business, including his business.

So now what?

Wait. Is Robert even making any money? Enough money?

Regardless, Robert can remain unhappy, or he can possibly get some help managing the operation. That, or he can try to sell his restaurant franchise.

What About Renee? Why Is She Unhappy?

Renee is unhappy because she had no desire to sell. She didn’t want that to be her role in her business.

No desire enter and exit her SUV 6-7 times a day calling on prospective referrers. Nonetheless, that’s what she needs to do if she wants any chance at success.

That said, she could hire a tiger.

sales tiger needed

Someone who loves cold calling and can make things happen.

Doing that would require an investment on her part-on top of her initial investment in the franchise and her always in-play ongoing expenses.

But if she doesn’t want to lose the money she invested to buy her senior care franchise, she just needs to do it. Unless she wants to try to sell her franchise. Then the question becomes does she have something to sell?

The bottom line?

Renee should have never purchased a senior care franchise.

Instead, she should have bought a franchise that doesn’t require outside selling to make money.

It’s Fairly Common

What happened to Renee happens to a lot of today’s franchise buyers.

They get excited about a franchise opportunity but fail to find out what the franchisee’s role is in the business.

In Renee’s case, it’s partly the fault of the franchise broker.

The broker, if she did her job right, should have done a deeper dig into Renee’s core skills. Specifically, her sales skills. She didn’t.

But the broker got paid $20,000 anyway. And Renee?

She’s got an expensive problem.

It Doesn’t Need To Be This Way

If you don’t want to become an unhappy franchise owner, you need to do the following:

1. Only look into franchise opportunities in which you can easily utilize your top skills.

2. Do your research. That includes reaching out to existing franchise owners and asking them what their working days consist of.

3. If you decide to work with a franchise broker, do a background check. And talk to people who worked with the broker.

If you buy a franchise, be realistic about earnings.

In most cases, your first year or so in business is what I call a “non-profit year.” As in, you shouldn’t expect to make money. That means you’ll need to be patient.

If you play your cards right, which includes making a good choice in a franchise to own and doing great research, you have a good shot at being a happy, money-making, fulfilled franchise owner.

Not an unhappy one.

I’m rooting for you!

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franchise article written by joel libava
Note: When you buy through links on this website, we may earn an affiliate commission. In addition, I've started to use AI to help me craft better article titles and headings.
joel libava

I'm The Franchise King®, Joel Libava. I help prospective franchise owners avoid bank account emptying mistakes.
For 23 years, I’ve been showing people how to make smart, informed decisions on franchises to buy, and I can help you, too!
P.S. I'm not a franchise consultant/broker.

Joel Wrote The Book
Joel literally wrote the book on becoming a franchise owner. He is very knowledgeable (and very forthcoming) about the ins and outs of buying into a franchise system. I recommend Joel for concrete advice on evaluating the business end of franchise opportunities ."
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