Just because you don’t like sales doesn’t mean you can’t own a business. That’s right. Contrary to popular belief, you can be a successful entrepreneur even if your strength doesn’t happen to be cold calling and glad-handing. If you visit a McDonalds the owner probably is not trying to close you on buying a burger. And the same holds true for many other types of businesses.
Are you cruising along in a job that you can do with your eyes closed, maybe even with your hands tied behind your back? Everything is humming, and your industry seems solid. RELATED: Need some career advice? Watch these tutorials! Then, bam! Something happens that shatters all your old assumptions and you start to wonder, what are my options? That’s what happened to Dennis Clouser, of Tampa, Fla., who, as a mechanical engineer, had spent 30 years in the electrical connector industry. His last job with the billion-dollar company ITT Corp. ended abruptly after his division’s largest customer, a military contractor, pulled its business once the federal government imposed massive across-the board cuts as part of “deficit reduction sequestration” in early 2013. At the age of 51, Clouser received a six-month severance package, and the company made classes available to him to help him figure out his next stage. One of those classes introduced him to the option of a franchise. Before long, Clouser lined up another job doing exactly what he had been doing for 30 years. But doubts soon started creeping into his mind. “I thought, is this it?” Clouser recounted. “The hell with it. I’ll take a chance on myself for once instead of doing what I’ve been doing until I die. Maybe I can do something different.” He had a couple of friends with franchises, and he thought, well, if they can do it, maybe he could, too. With the help of a franchise coach, he started doing his research. “101 Mobility really grabbed me,” he said, referring to the franchise that sells mobility equipment, such as stair lifts, auto lifts and ramps to help people with disabilities stay in their homes. “I could help people instead of making bombs to blow them up.” Clousen felt a personal connection to the mission of helping people deal with their mobility issues around the house since two members of his family had suffered amputations that resulted from complications from Diabetes. While Clausen was confident about his mechanical abilities — “I can put anything together” —when it came to the other aspects of running a business, from bookkeeping to managing payroll and benefits, he felt less sure of himself. That’s where the franchise company’s support really came in handy. “101 is fanatical about opening steps,” he said. “There are biweekly meetings with people in corporate” where they discuss everything from finding a location, negotiating a lease to paying taxes. “They manage you every step of the way,” he said. “I wouldn’t have been able to open without learning what I learned from them.” As part of the preparation process, he talked to franchisees, some of whom were more helpful than others, but he finds the idea of sharing one’s experiences one of the most compelling aspects of having a franchise. For example, he particularly likes the franchise’s new program, “Talk to a Franchise,” where he, now as an existing franchisee, talks to three or four potential franchisees on the phone, and they get the opportunity to ask him whatever questions come to mind. “I’m really blunt with them,” he said. For starters, he tells them starting up a franchise is a lot of work. After two years with his new business, while he acknowledged making some mistakes along the way, he would definitely do it again. The difference is now he’s got total control of his life. And while he knows he may be working until 9 p.m. doing an evaluation of someone’s home, if the water sparkles particularly bright one sunny day, and an empty parking space beckons from St. Pete’s beach, he knows he can take an hour for a swim if he feels like it. Not a bad living. Not bad at all. Related Posts Think You’re Ready For A Franchise Discovery Day? Not So Fast Worried About Starting Your Own Business? Try A Franchise The Image Factor In Buying A Business
First, there is no such thing as the perfect franchise for everyone. Since franchises come in all sizes and shapes, as do potential franchisees, the goal is to make the perfect match — choose the perfect franchise for you. And, frankly, a franchise may not be suitable for everyone. RELATED: Need some career advice? Watch these tutorials! So how do you know? You have to do your research. We can help you get started, but it is worth your while to consult as many experts as possible along the way, including a franchise coach, who can help you narrow down your options to those with the best track record. One of the very best things about buying a franchise is you have the ability to know everything you need to know before you sign on any dotted line — unlike a business you start from scratch. With a franchise, you know exactly what it takes to operate profitably, how many employees to hire, how they should be trained, what equipment is necessary, and you get an advertising and marketing campaign, already designed and ready to go. Your upfront research is probably the most important aspect of the process. Not that you don’t have to work hard to get it all going, but if you make a good match, select a franchise that works well for your own skills and interests, the odds of success go way up.
If you’re one of the 90% of Americans employed full-time by someone else, chances are you’re not feeling much satisfaction at work. Some of you are stuck with a boss who makes your lives miserable, while others may be merely bored or vastly under appreciated. Maybe you should become your own boss and start a business. Related: 10 Must-Haves For The Budding Entrepreneur Only 30% of Americans are actively engaged in their jobs, according to a recent Gallup report, State of the American Workplace. Not only does being unhappy at work lead to a whole range of obvious complaints, it can also take a toll on your health, the survey reported. One way to improve your situation is to strike out on your own. So, how do you know if you’ve got what it takes to run your own business? Just like most things in life, what separates the whizzes from the rans is preparation. Do your research, write a realistic business plan, raise sufficient capital, and your odds for success go way up. Even before you pinpoint your business, you’ll need to start by asking yourself key questions to determine whether you’re ready to leave a sure paycheck for the chance to take charge of your career for life.