As you probably know, the process of becoming a Right at Home franchise owner has several important steps. Toward the end of that process you will validate that the business model works by talking with current Right at Home franchisees, which I wrote about in a previous post on the Validation Checklist.
When leading into this step, while it’s important to consider the Validation Checklist, it’s even more important to have the right mindset before getting on the phone with franchisees. Too many prospective franchise owners go into this stage without a definitive plan or direction. They call franchisees of a given concept hoping to either get talked into or out of the business as a result of those conversations. They start making those calls just because it happens to be the next step, without doing the “work” of thinking about whether or not the business really is a viable option for them.
The reality is that those who eventually become franchisees go into the Validation process with a much different mindset. First, they’ve already decided that they are likely going to be business owners. Second, they have a clear direction and purpose for Validation of the business model. They’ve done their research and, while they may not have all of the details of day to day operations (that comes later in the two week training class), they already understand at a high level how and why the business works. By calling current franchisees, they only need to know that the model does indeed work. All of the other extraneous topics that sometimes come up during those conversations should be connected back to that central theme: does the business model actually work?
Another common trait of those who eventually become franchise owners is that they see Validation as a final step in their research. They’ve already spent hours on the phone with representatives at the corporate office who have interviewed them about their goals and background, explained the business, and answered their questions. They have a solid understanding of the challenges the business presents, as well as the rewards – short and long term. They’ve talked to their spouse, their family, and others whose opinion they value for input. They’ve done the necessary soul searching and asked themselves the tough questions about whether this is a viable option for them to achieve their goals. In short, they’ve done the work and they know they like the business. Now, it’s just a matter of verifying that the business the business model matches the description and expectations set by the corporate office
For those folks, this Validation stage is a pass/fail scenario. The business model either works, or it doesn’t. There aren’t really shades of gray for them during this part of the process.
By educating yourself about the business prior to calling franchisees, you can streamline your research and focus on the task at hand. You will also remove a lot of the guesswork that goes into interpreting what the franchisees say. Within any franchise system you are going to find people of varying degrees of performance with very diverse communications styles, personalities, work ethic, and motivations for getting into the business. And, on the day you call that business owner is going to be having either a good day or a bad day, but you likely won’t know which if you haven’t had previous contact with them.
When you normalize this process and take the emotion out of it – treating it more like a pass/fail, instead an A-F grading system – you are more likely to get the Intel you need to determine if this is a good business, not if this a good business for you. If you’ve followed the process to this point, you’ve already determined that it’s likely a good business for you.