Starting a franchise business – any business for that matter – is filled with pressure. Are you prepared for the pressure you’re going to be feeling? Can you handle it?
Once you’ve written the check and made a commitment, you’re an owner, plain and simple. The franchise business is yours. You own it. There’s no going back.
But you still feel nervous. There’s a lot of pressure on you...from two very different places.
You’re going to be putting a ton of pressure on yourself. If you didn’t, I’d question your commitment to being the owner of a business. But, is it possible that the pressure you’re going to put yourself under when you start your business is just plain, old, fear-based pressure?
Read this quote from Tommy Lasorda, to see what I mean:
“'Pressure' is a word that is misused in our vocabulary. When you start thinking of pressure, it's because you've started to think of failure.”
As you get closer to the day your franchise business is going to open, try to uncover where some of the pressure you’re feeling may be coming from.
How much did you involve family members (particularly your spouse or significant other) in the franchise discovery process? Did you get their input along the way? Did someone accompany you when you visited franchise headquarters for Discovery Day? I hope so.
Because if you purchased your franchise without much input from your family, the word, “pressure” won’t really do justice to what you’ll be feeling when you open for business.
If you didn’t involve your family, especially your spouse/significant other, in the franchise purchasing process, the most common question you’ll be asked (at least monthly) is this one: “Are you making money yet?”
And, if your answer is “not yet” for a significant period of time, look out. That’s pressure.
How to Avoid Pressure When Starting a Franchise
You can’t. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but there’s really no way to avoid pressure when starting a franchise business. It’s just part of the game. Being an owner is a lot different than being an employee.
Even if you were a first-rate employee, and your work ethic was such that you felt like it was your business, in reality it still wasn’t. Someone else took the financial risk to start the business, and they employed you. In the end, you were part of, but not responsible for, the success or failure of the business.
When it’s your business, you don’t feel personally responsible – you are responsible. For everything. Successes and failures.
Read what Steve Chou, the person behind MyWifeQuitHerJob.com, wrote about feeling responsible when you own a business:
“When you own your own business though, you’ll stress out over everything, even the things that are beyond your control. Your livelihood depends on the proper execution of your business plan so there are no excuses. Every little thing becomes your problem and you have to suck it up and deal with it.”
Yes, there's pressure. But you can do it!
While it’s true that being the owner of a franchise affords you a lot of great things that independent small business owners don’t get (like formal training, support, proven technology, etc.), you’re still the face of the business.
You still have to deal with customers or clients face-to-face, on a daily basis. You won’t be able to run to your franchisor for every little problem or crisis. You’ll have to deal with a lot of the stuff yourself. And, you will. You’ll have to.
I know you can do it. No pressure.
The Franchise King®, Joel Libava, is a franchise ownership advisor. He’s the author of Become a Franchise Owner! (Wiley Publishing) and owns and operates Franchise Business University. Joel contributes a blog post to Franchise Direct monthly.