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Does Background Matter for Potential Franchisees?

by Doug Schadle

For people looking to start their own business and become their own boss, itís important not to limit your options. If a potential entrepreneur has no specific experience in a given industry, that doesnít mean thereís not an opportunity for success.

When people get serious about buying a franchise or venturing out on their own, they often think they can only get into an industry where theyíve already had success Ė and that is simply not the case. Just because you make a mean sandwich, the ideal business for you to get into is not necessarily a sandwich shop. It takes an evaluation of the total skill set of an individual as a whole to determine what makes sense and what opportunities have the most potential for success and ultimately will be profitable.

If a given individual has a background in sales in the medical industry, that doesnít mean those skills wonít translate and be a valuable asset in something completely different. A background in retail or equipment sales doesnít mean a future in a service-based industry isnít an ideal fit. Itís really more a function of finding an opportunity where the demand and the potential for profit are there and adapting your given skill set to meet the situation rather than the other way around.

Far too often, people think they canít succeed as the owner of an in-home care, medical or industrial cleaning franchise because they might come from a technology or software development background. The vast majority of people that get into a franchise industry have never worked in that industry before - not one day. Franchise systems are set up so the franchisor, not the franchisee, brings the industry expertise and the model for success. The franchisees just have to adopt it, personalize it, and apply themselves to make it work.

Finding a system where your personal skill set will thrive is obviously the main ingredient for success. Skills can translate across industries very easily. Finding the right fit within a system is the bigger challenge for most aspiring entrepreneurs looking into a franchise option. This is where franchise consultants and brokers can help. Itís dangerous to get locked into one idea and set your mind that this is absolutely the right fit. You need to examine the situation, the skills involved, the franchise system, the opportunity, and most importantly the location thoroughly before making any sort of a decision.

Success in the franchise business is about making the most of whatís available. Evaluating your skill set within a given system is a much better indicator of success than just picking a franchise based on an industry where you have specific experience.

Doug Schadle is the CEO of Rhino 7, a national franchise developer working with both franchisors and franchisees. He has a new series of online videos, For more information, visit www.r7fdc.com, follow him on Twitter (@dougschadle), or call him at (919) 303-3121.

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