“Is relevant industry experience necessary for a successful franchise?”
That is a question we get asked a lot at Landlord Photography or we hear statements like: “oh, I would love to join you guys but I have no clue with a camera”.
For some franchises, yes, I am sure that previous experience is either useful or even essential. I would like to think that a Brain Surgery franchise would want people with experience! With Landlord Photography, we do not look for Franchisees with previous experience of property photography, we are not even bothered if you have never held a camera before. One of the reasons for this is that we provide full training. Another reason is, we would rather teach you the Landlord Photography way of doing things, rather than letting ground in bad habits prevail.
For a Landlord Photography franchise and I am sure it is true for many other franchises, we are more interested in you as a person. For us, we are more interested in your people skills, drive to succeed and interest in property, than your ability to use a camera. Teaching someone to use a camera is easy. Teaching someone to be a great people person and to be driven to succeed is a lot tougher (if not impossible).
If you are being true to you and doing the things you love, then you are going to have a great time and your chances of success are greatly increased.
Let me explain, if you love nothing more than getting out and about chatting to people all day, do you think that a franchise that has you sat in an office on your own staring at a spreadsheet is right for you? Nah, me neither!
I suggest you consider the following questions when shortlisting potential franchises:
- Decide what are the things you love to do?
- Decide what are the things you hate doing?
- What skills (hard & soft) do you have?
- Which franchises play to your strengths and loves?
- Which franchises do you think you would enjoy running?
- Which franchisees can fulfil you financial needs?
Once you have a shortlist, talk to the franchise and find out more information about the culture and values.
One of the most important parts of selecting a new franchisee for us is deciding whether they would be a good fit with our existing franchisees. As we offer exclusive territories, there is no competition between our franchisees. We all work together to help each other and grow the business collectively.
Our business feels more like a supportive family than a franchise and we want to keep it that way. Therefore, the last thing we want to do is bring someone in who is going to damage our values and culture. When you talk to the franchise about joining them, make sure you get to talk to the people you will be dealing with once you join the business, to see if you ‘click’ with them. Going to work everyday hating the people your working with is no way to live and certainly not the Landlord Photography way.
I believe that finding the right franchise is like arriving home, the physical structure is not important, it is the people inside that count.
This article features in Franchise Entrepreneur, magazine of the Quality Franchise Association. You can read the full magazine here.