Whenever I meet someone in person, or via phone/Skype, that tells me that they’re “shopping for a franchise,” I stiffen up, and immediately enter the stress-zone. My blood pressure rises, the vein in the middle of my forehead starts to throb, and I know that it’s time to hold my tongue.
Please, please, please, don’t enter the franchise shopping zone. There’s no such thing….
It’s not like you’re out shopping and then buying a new car at your local car dealership.
It’s so different.
And, it’s really different than the type of shopping that my friend Chris Brogan did over the summer.
Chris Brogan, and his new Chevrolet Camaro SS
Let’s look at the word itself; shopping.
To me, “shopping” means going to Target, or to my local grocery store.
If I take things up a notch, it may mean going to Sears, or Best Buy, and “shopping” for a new washing machine.
If you’ve been a follower of this blog for awhile, you may remember my post that compared shopping for a brand new washing machine to shopping for a franchise business.
In the post I wrote that “buying a franchise isn’t really like going out to buy a washing machine. If you make a mistake on your choice in washing machines, if you really have to, you can just go out and buy another one.”
( I’m not saying that buying a new washing machine right after buying a new washing machine would be very pleasurable.)
But, I did say this;
“Investing $200,000 of your own money in a franchise business is an entirely different ballgame. If you make an error or two in your research, you could lose your entire investment.”
The rest of the post is worth the read, especially if you’re familiar with the Maytag brand. Read it.
Are you picking up what I’m putting down?
In my usual gentle way, I’m trying to teach you something here, if you haven’t figured that out already.
I’m trying to make sure that you know the difference between shopping, and then investing, $200,000 of your own money into a franchise business of your own, and shopping, and then investing, $400-$500 in a quality washing machine.
Now, I know that you “know” the difference in your head, but do you “know it” in your gut, too?
How much fear is really involved when you’re shopping for a new washing machine? How much are you really going to research one? I’ll go a little farther into this. Even if you’re really, really anal, how much time and energy are you really going to spend on this little exercise? How much stress are you really going to be feeling?
If you’re not already getting your undies in a bunch thinking about going out and “shopping,” or, I’m taking a big risk here…even buying a brand new washing machine, then you’re ok in my book.
The point is this;
When you start exploring opportunities in franchise ownership, it’s not a shopping expedition. It’s confusing. It’s a little aggravating at times. But, it’s exciting, too! There are just lots of choices.
There are also lots of different entry points.
- There are new concepts.
- There are hot concepts.
- There are old and tired franchise concepts.
- There are franchise concepts that are embroiled in lawsuits.
- There are franchises that have great salespeople.
- There are franchises that have aggressive salespeople.
- There are franchises that are ripe for the taking.
- There are franchises that should be taken out.
The point I’m still trying to make is this;
Looking for a franchise opportunity that fits what you say you’d like to have in a business of your own is serious stuff. It’s not casual shopping. This is your professional life we’re talking about here.
Not there yet?
Now, you may not be all the way there yet. In your mind, you may be “shopping around.” I understand. So….
- Find out if you’re suited to the sometimes rigid business model of franchising.
- Go to some great franchise websites.
- Look around. Learn about franchising.
Remain in casual mode, for a while. Then, when you’re ready to really dig in, dig deep.
Dig a deep trench, and surround yourself with folks that know franchising. And franchise law. And small business accounting.
But, don’t shop.