Women Entrepreneurs 2023-08-09

Embrace the New

When I think back to how I got started in franchising, and the challenges I faced as a female in what at the time was mostly a male-dominated industry, a lot has changed. Let’s start with the Why:why do you want to own your own business?  

Embrace the New

When I think back to how I got started in franchising, and the challenges I faced as a female in what at the time was mostly a male-dominated industry, a lot has changed. Let’s start with the Why:why do you want to own your own business?


If you ask twenty women thisquestion, you mayget twentydifferent answers.But the common reason each of them will give for wanting to own their own business is that they want to be in charge of their life, their career and their success.  The whyis the first question you should ask yourself before you take the steps necessary to own your own business by investing in a franchise.


In speaking with women franchise owners, they express to me not only their desire to be in control of their business and money, but also to inspire and mentor others along the way; and most importantly, to achieve a satisfying balance between their personal and professional lives.


Next would be the What:what type of business do you want to be in?


Today, there are many franchise concepts that are owned by women and geared toward inspiring and supporting women.  Do you want to be in food, retail, services, education, or something else? This is important to be clear about before you make any investment.  Remember that you are going to be in this for at least five years if not longer, depending on the franchise agreement. 


While we all agree that the money you earn is important, if you begin to dislike the work the money will not matter, andyour business may be unsuccessful because you are not passionateabout working hard to make it grow.  Your first step is to identify what inspires you to wake up every day and tackle any task at hand.


The How is important, and can often be the main challenge women face when looking at investing in a franchise.


Unless you possess sufficient liquid capital to invest in a new business, consider what outsideinvestment you will need to secure, including initial franchisor fees, ongoing operational fees, and the funds it will take to open your doors: rent, furniture, technology, inventory and so on.


Does the franchisor offer any type of funding assistance if you do not have your own money to invest, or can you be sure of securing a bank loan? Will you be doing this on your own, or with partners?It can help to share costs with other investors.


Make a list of franchises you are interested in.  Visit franchise trade expositions and read about your target franchises in business publications likeFranchise India. Do your research, gather all of the information you need, and lay out a business plan.  If you are unsure of how to do this, seek the advice of an independent consultantto help you.


If the franchise requires a location, canvass the area in which you want to open and see what properties are available. Leasing a space for your business is an important step in the process: be sure you not only qualify for but also understand all the terms of your lease. 


Every step of the way, speak to a consultant, an attorney, an accountant, and other professionals with knowledge of and experience in franchising who can help you with your business plan, the review of your franchise agreement, your lease, and other regulatory considerations.


Investing in a franchise eliminates the need to create the systems of the business yourself.  The franchisor should have an establishedprotocol for training, hiring, selling, and customer service; most importantly, the franchisor should have a clearly articulatedbusiness culture.


Owning and running a franchise entails a substantial investment of your time, energy and money; but if you choose your franchisor wisely and commit to following the system the franchisor has developed, the rewards will be commensurate.


Having done all due diligence, sometimes you have to take a leap of faith, even when you are most uncertain of the outcome: intelligent and well-informed risk-taking can lead to a more successful and fulfillingcareer as an entrepreneur and business owner.


Lastly, be physically, mentally and emotionallyprepared to maintain a balance between your personal and professional lives: make choices that work for you and support your well-being as much as your business success.

Inputs by Shery Christopher.

Shery Christopher, CFE is a Business/Franchise strategist with 30+ years of hands-on experience as an employee, director, COO, Exec VP, owner, paralegal, and coach/consultant.  





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