I have a low tolerance for excuses. Yes, there can be reasons why things don’t always work out, but those who succeed push past those barriers. When I talk to struggling franchisees and I hear things like; “There is no way I can hit numbers like the top guys because I got hosed by corporate on my territory,” or “They just don’t get it. My area is different,” or “I need more support and they refuse to help me,” then I question that person’s drive. So, I ask questions like: What are you doing to market in your area? What do your customer service scores look like? How many hours are you putting into the business? What are you doing about the lack of results? If you are looking for someone to be your mom and tell you what to do every moment of the day, then buying a franchise, whether it is a youth sports franchise or another concept is a mistake.
This brings me to the key traits that make for successful franchise owners. I will cover these traits over my next entries. I will start with drive. If you have drive you are independent, assertive, self-confident, and a self-starter. You are a person who needs independence, control of your activities or work, opportunities to solve problems your own way, and you thrive on challenges. Drive tends to be something you either have or you do not. If you have it, you can overcome a lot of limitations because you will always be focused on the solution and you won’t dwell on the problem. Looking at the excuses above, take the one about territories. No two territories or markets were ever equal. Yes, when buying a franchise others may have innately better territories than you. Does that matter? The fact is, you own your territory and they own theirs. Which one is better is irrelevant. What matters is what you make of your territory. Those with drive get this and waste no time lamenting what they don’t have.
So, you need to ask yourself some tough questions: Are you really a self-starter? Can you get yourself out of bed every day and get after it without someone hounding you to do so? Are you naturally independent, or do you crave team oriented environments? Do you thrive on challenge, or do you prefer a more sedate working environment? Make sure you answer these questions BEFORE buying a franchise because even the best franchise cannot be your alarm clock.