So, you’re thinking about owning your own franchise. That’s great. Even better -- you’ve realized there’s a lot about franchising you don’t know and you’ve partnered with a franchise coach to help you fill in the blanks and make a sound decision. A good franchise coach is similar to an effective sports coach -- they teach, guide, provide strategy advice -- then they trust you to play the game. A franchise coach’s job is to empower aspiring owners to make smart decisions when it comes to franchise ownership.
However, as with anything else, not all coaches are equally talented. How can you tell if a potential franchise coach will add real value to your exploration while respecting your personality and needs? Further, how can you determine if you are working with a true, professional franchise coach who is prioritizing your future as opposed to simply making a quick commission?
Well, to find out, I spoke with five highly reputable franchise coaches who, like myself, are truly invested in coaching and empowering their clients. These franchise coaches listed 20 specific warning signs to help franchise prospects determine if it’s time to find a new coach. Here’s what they had to share:
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- The Mr. Wonderful -- Your franchise coach has an ego the size of a hot air balloon.
- The Chatter Box -- Your franchise coach talks more than he listens.
- The Cover Up -- Your franchise coach tells you the franchise has had lots of failures in the past but they now have a "new model."
- The Sunday, No Funday -- Your franchise coach gets mad and yells at you because you don’t want a business that operates on Sunday.
Matt "The Franchise Guy" Stevens.
- The “Oh, But You’re Special” -- Your franchise coach believes that a franchise with a high failure rate is OK for you because “you’re special.”
- The By-The-Seat-of-Their-Pants -- You ask a question and then hear your franchise coach typing quickly into Google to find the answer.
- The Combative Debater -- ask a question and your franchise coach provides a rapid-fire reply with all the reasons why you are wrong.
- The Sneaky Recruiter -- Your franchise coach suggests you become a franchise coach too.
Jeff "The Franchise Matcher" Shafritz.
- The Lost in Translation -- You say you want a business with professional, white collar employees that runs five days per-week and your franchise coach suggests Subway.
- The Jump to Conclusions -- Your franchise coach starts to introduce you to the “perfect company” within 10 minutes of your first conversation.
- The “It’s Not My Job” -- Your franchise coach introduces you to a laundry list of 20 franchises and asks you to choose one.
- The “Can We Push to Tomorrow” -- Your franchise coach can only speak with you in the evening or on the weekend because he still has a "day job."
- The Uninformed -- Your franchise coach doesn't know the difference between IFA and FDD.
- The “Silver Bullet Sure Thing” -- Your franchise coach tells you the business is a “no-brainer.”
- The “Let’s See if it Sticks” -- Your franchise coach registers you with lots of companies, “just in case.”
- The Media Darling -- Your franchise coach advertises on billboards or has free “giveaways.”
- The Biased Recruiter -- Your franchise coach tells you, “This company is so good that I invested my own money in this franchise.”
- The “Look Over Here” -- Your franchise coach tells you the ROI is “really much better than the FDD indicates.”
- The Hometown Hero -- Your franchise coach only works locally and doesn’t know the national trends.
- The Out of Their League -- Your franchise coach has no practical experience in franchising or business ownership.
Related Book: Franchise Your Business by Mark Siebert
Here’s the bottom line -- like any business or occupation, there are a ton of excellent, well-informed coaches out there… but there are also some pretenders. While we all recommend conducting your due diligence on franchise opportunities, I also recommend that you conduct due diligence on the franchise coach helping you through the process. And if you’re noticing any of the warning signs above, it’s probably time to fire your coach and find one that has your best interest in mind.