While there’s truly a no more empowering way to reinvent your career than by starting a new business venture, it’s a huge transition, especially if you’ve never been in a position of leadership or management. Relax, though, and remember that you probably already have skills — many of which can apply in this new chapter.
When people want to become their own boss, franchising is a great choice because it is a safer bet with higher success rates.
Running a franchise isn’t easy, but it’s easier than starting from scratch. When you buy a franchise, you’re buying a system that already exists, which is extremely appealing. I tell my clients that while it’s not a “get rich quick” scheme, with many franchising concepts you are able to get rich slowly, and with lower risk.
Are You Ready to Become Your Own Boss?
- If you’re debating whether or not you want to pursue business ownership, ask yourself a few vital questions:
- Do you want to go to work every day with a positive attitude and passion for what you do?
- Are you a quick problem solver?
- Do you have determination and a willingness to work harder than you’ve ever worked, with your eye on the prize?
- Do you have the patience to nurture your business through the first year or two of little income and a steep learning curve?
If you can answer yes to most of these questions, then consider the benefits:
- You get to choose the clients and coworkers you surround yourself with.
- You will be building an income stream, and simultaneously creating an asset that is growing in value for yourself.
- You are doing your part to help the economy by creating jobs and opportunities for you and others.
- You will have the freedom to create your own schedule. You will never again be at risk of being fired or laid off.
These are just some of the satisfactions you’ll receive when you own your own business.
Once you can identify what your talents and strengths are, it’s much easier to apply them to a new venture. Here are some important skills you will be using in this new chapter in your life.
1. Problem Solving
When you’re the employee and not the employer, there are so many situations where it’s crucial to be able to problem solve. Situations like meeting an unexpected and urgent deadline, handling an unhappy client, and making an executive decision when a supervisor is absent are all examples of times you may have had to use your problem-solving skills in the past.
Problem solving is something you will inevitably do over and over when you’re the boss, especially in the early stages of starting your franchise. One of the positives of being the boss is that you’ll be the first to see these problems coming, and will be able to act accordingly and be resourceful.
Problem solving is a necessary skill set when it comes to managing your budget, hiring and working with a team, and dealing with all the new situations that come your way.
2. Time Management
Time management is necessary for you to function well in both your personal life and your career. This doesn’t change when you’re the boss; it only gets more hectic, with the stakes even higher.
The early stages of starting your business will be grueling. There is so much time spent planning, hiring, meeting with clients and vendors, marketing, managing your budget, and doing everything in between. Your stress level will be lower if you are good at this essential skill.
Simply put, there’s no way for a business to prosper if there’s no leadership. Even if you’ve never been a boss or had someone working under you, there are other situations where you probably demonstrated leadership.
For example, if you’ve ever had to train someone filling a role similar to yours, take charge on a task or project, lead a meeting, or motivate and initiate others to get work done, then you’ve had experience as a leader. Sometimes just being a mom demands that you be a leader.
These experiences will benefit you as a business owner, where you are in charge — of everything! You have to lead by example and be able to communicate your expectations to your employees. Your business will be a reflection of your values, your work ethic, and your ability to go the extra mile for your employees and your customers.
There’s really no way to succeed without strong communication skills. From correspondence with clients and upper management to working as a team with your coworkers, there is rarely a situation where you don’t have to communicate well with others.
All of these skills will be utilized daily in your role as a business owner. They’re even more important than they were before because you’re now the boss. When you’re in charge, you need to make sure everyone is on the same page. You can accomplish this by having individual check-ins, team meetings, and so much more. You will find that communication is something that you will be working on every single day.
When you’re the boss, whether it’s at a startup or franchise, this core competency goes from a good quality to a necessity. Getting your business off the ground can be challenging and incredibly overwhelming, so it’s crucial to be able to motivate yourself to get things done and stay the course. The payoff will come, but the groundwork of a few years of hard work has to be laid.
6. Being Able to Follow a Process
As an employee, there are so many protocols to follow. Whether it’s the way you enter your time in retail, book a job in an advertising or marketing agency, send information to a certain distribution list, or follow a list of rules your role requires, it’s always necessary to be able to follow a process.
This is also important as a boss, especially in franchising. When you become a franchise owner, you are buying an existing system. This means you are purchasing years of experience and knowledge, and with that comes a set of rules and instructions. Following the franchise process is necessary to have the same success as other franchisees. The No. 1 reason franchises fail is the inability to follow a process.
By no means are these the only important skill sets needed when starting your own business. Other great transferable skills include public speaking, being a “quick on your feet” thinker, being task oriented, technology proficiency, sales and marketing skills, financial acumen, and, of course, the primary one — being a people person.
All of us come from different work backgrounds and therefore have different strengths and competencies. What’s important is that you’re able to identify what your strengths are, so they can be matched with the right business for you. This will set you up for the success and independence you seek. And that’s what a good franchise consultant does and does well.
One of the reasons I love what I do so much is because I chose to reinvent myself 10 years after I retired as a Senior Vice President with a major Wall Street firm. I truly loved my career for most of those 20-plus years, but in those last few, I was burned out, bored, and unsatisfied.
I completely reinvented myself (at 58!) when I decided to become a franchise consultant and started Your Franchise is Waiting. It’s incredibly rewarding to work with women who are in the same position I was, and help them find the right franchise that fits their background, skills, interests, and investment parameters.
It’s never too late to begin a new chapter in your career, and it certainly becomes less intimidating and easier to manage when you realize all the transferable skills you have to work with.
Jane Stein is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.