Fact Check: Don’t I need some experience with a product or service to become a franchisee in that industry?

A former chief executive of agricultural trade groups now owns a franchise of technology gurus.

A woman who spent 27 years working in financial services runs a franchise specializing in in-home senior care.

A gentleman who recently finished a 30 year career doing home appraisals is opening a franchised kickboxing studio this spring.

Say what?

Fact: Experience doesn’t matter when choosing a franchise. Skills and lifestyle preferences do.

When Drayton Mayers decided to trade the career that had him traveling around the world on a regular basis for a life that allowed him to spend more time with his family, he never dreamed that he would end up owning an IT franchise.

“I don’t have a technical bone in my body — I’m pretty much 1-800-FIX-MY-LIGHTBULB,” Mayers said. “I knew that I could have a business conversation with other business owners. As a president and CEO, you have to make IT decisions that either drive revenue, increase customer satisfaction and/or manage bottom line costs. I understand that and can have conversations with owners on that level.”

Mayers is a perfect example of the key message Franchise Locators CEO Anna Wilds works to instill in her candidates.

“When considering a franchise, I don’t want people focusing on the widget (a.k.a., the product or service). It’s irrelevant. Franchisors are looking for skill sets, which are much better predictors of success,” Wilds said.

During the estimated 20 hours of free consultation per candidate that Wilds provides, she and her candidate explore not only what their skills are, but what their dream lifestyle looks like.

“I needed a business that I could get started but would eventually run on its own,” career home appraiser turned kickboxing studio franchisee Larry Keller said. “As I got older, I started reflecting and wondering what difference I made in this world. I wanted a product or service that benefited people or improved the lives of the participants or customers.”

Understanding this is why in-home senior care franchisee Patricia Bergey says it’s best to have a coach along for the ride.

“There are so many different franchises out there, so to have a coach through this process is necessary,” Bergey said. “The process Anna put me through allowed me to narrow down what my vision was (for my life). Anna educated me on the franchising process.”

Wondering which franchise would be a perfect fit for you? There is no charge to consult with Select Franchises CEO Anna Wilds. Click here to learn more.

Photo by Michael Browning