Why Your Family and Friends Don’t Want You to Buy a Franchise

Category: Entrepreneur

Why Your Family and Friends Don’t Want You to Buy a Franchise

After years of the corporate rat race, you’re ready to break free and be your own boss. You’re a little nervous, but excited. You’ve got high hopes for your future as the owner of your very own franchise business.

But when you share your plans with people close to you, they seem – distant. They’re not so excited. Some of them go so far as to try and talk you out of it. They pepper you with scary statistics and gloomy stories about small businesses that have failed.

What gives? Isn’t this supposed to be your support system?

If your inner circle doesn’t share your excitement about entrepreneurship, it’s important to remember two things.

One, their hearts are in the right place. They haven’t researched franchising and don’t know how stable franchise businesses really are. They’re trying to keep you from getting hurt.

Two, it doesn’t really matter what they think. Their opinions won’t pay your bills. Opinions of family and friends are often a distraction from what really matters – what you need for your future success.


Why Can’t They Just Be Happy for Me?

Most of the people trying to talk you out of being your own boss aren’t looking at it through an entrepreneurial lens. They don’t have a background in entrepreneurship or an ambition to own their own business, so they don’t understand why you wouldn’t take a more traditional job.

They probably have a limited understanding of the variety of franchises out there and how franchising works. The word “franchise” might conjure up images of an oversaturated local fast-food market when you’re talking about local opportunities in home services.

Here are some common myths and misconceptions your network may have bought into:

“You don’t have any background in running a business!”

Sure, previous business experience can give you a head start. Management experience is a big plus, as is familiarity with finance, customer service, and marketing. But it’s not a prerequisite for success.

One of the best things about the franchise model is its proven system. You don’t have to know how to start a business, find a location, or build a team from scratch. People who have never owned a business before often have the right mindset to trust the operations manual, follow the system, and excel. They may even perform better than people whose experience leads them to second-guess the franchisor’s proven methods.

It's not about what you know; it’s about what you are willing to learn.

“Since when do you care about [insert industry]?”

Your new franchise might be miles away from anything you’ve ever done before, and that’s OK. You don’t need to be a teacher to open a child care franchise or a mechanic to open an oil change franchise. You can own an exterminator franchise without having any interest in bugs.

Once your franchise gets established, you’ll find yourself spending less time on the front lines anyway and more time in the back office running the business.

You should love something about the franchise you choose. But it doesn’t have to be the product. It might be the process, the company mission, or the kind of customers you want to help. As long as there’s something about this business that gets you excited, that’s all that matters.

“You’ll have to work so hard, and for what?”

The first half of that statement is true. You will have to work hard.

Chances are, you also worked hard in your corporate job. You’ve probably worked hard your entire adult life. And the companies that employed you are the ones who got the benefit.

When you’re working in your own business, it’s different. You’re putting in sweat equity for something that is truly yours.

If you’re careful about how you manage your time, your hard work will pay off. You’ll get systems and managers in place to run the business for you so you can ease up and not have to do everything yourself.


Responding to People with Good Intentions (But Bad Information)

Your family and friends mean well when they try to talk you out of your dreams. But that doesn’t mean they’re right. They don’t understand your goals and they haven’t done your research. When it comes to your future, you know best.

Your friends’ criticism may sting, but objectively it has little actual bearing on your likelihood of success. Rather than dwelling on it, thank them for their concern and start building a network of like-minded people who can support you – like other franchise or small business owners.

If they can’t let it go, instead of getting defensive, try drawing them out. Ask them what they fear will happen or where they are getting their information. You may be able to set them straight on misconceptions they have around franchising. With their fears addressed, they might feel better about supporting your decision.

Be intentional about your conversations – the people you turn to for a morale boost might not be the people who can give you business advice. If all else fails, give yourself a pep talk. Reflect on the small milestones you’ve achieved and remind yourself that your path forward is clear – all you have to do is follow it.

A few years down the road, when your business is humming along successfully, don’t be surprised to find those same naysayers knocking on your door to ask you for advice.

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