ABC’s of Franchising: Goals

“People with goals succeed because they know where they are going.” – Earl Nightingale

If you are looking into franchise opportunities, chances are you are pursuing a goal. Maybe it’s a goal of being an entrepreneur, or perhaps it is to be your own boss, create greater work/life balance, or to create financial security for your future. Your individual goals have brought you to take action and educate yourself on how to get there.

As you start to narrow down what franchise opportunity is right for you, now is the time to start clarifying your goals and formulating an action plan. A good place to start is to ask yourself what “success” ultimately looks like. From there you can work your way back and set goals for five years from now, then perhaps three years from now. Begin with the end in mind and work back to determine the next you need to take on your path to success.

The SMART formula provides a practical guideline for effective goal setting. SMART is a mnemonic for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant, and Timebound.

  • Specific: It is not enough to say, “I want to be a business owner.” You determine the role you want to have in that business. Are you looking for an immediate career change or are you investing for the future? Do you see yourself owning multiple locations? Your role in the business will determine which business model is the best fit for you. An owner/operator model will allow you to work in a business but might not let you scale to multiple locations.

A semi-absentee business model means you work on the business (managing people and marketing) rather than in it, leaving more opportunities for scaling. Sport Clips Haircuts is a semi-absentee, manager-led business model, making it ideal for the franchisee who does not want to be tied to one location and wants to be able to maintain their current commitments while building a business. Consider what business ownership looks like to you and what your ideal should be can help determine what offering is the best fit for you.

  • Measurable: How will you define success? Is it having the flexibility to enjoy more time with the family, attend your kid’s sporting events, take vacations? Is increasing your community involvement something you desire? Are you trying to transition out of corporate America and be your own boss? A clear picture of how you will measure progress toward your ultimate goal will help determine if you are on track to achieve it.

  • Attainable: Take your strength and skills into consideration. Do you have the right transferrable skills needed for the business you are considering? Successful Sport Clips franchisees have leadership and people skills, as well as management, marketing and community involvement. Are these things you are willing and able to do?

What unique challenges does the business face? Are you prepared to do the work required to overcome these challenges? Take an honest look at your weaknesses and how they would factor into what will be required of you in a particular business model.

  • Realistic: Examine whether your goal aligns with the business model and your business plan. Goals should be challenging, but they also need to be realistic. Do you have the necessary capital to invest? Can you afford the start-up phase of your business if you don’t have regular income? How do you feel about taking the risk of becoming self-employed? Your level of risk aversion might be a determining factor in the business model that fits you best. Sport Clips’ semi-absentee business model allows you to keep your job and invest in your future, allowing you the cushion of regular income during the start-up phase unlike an owner/operator model would.

It is also important to look at what the franchisor is offering. Are there enough support and tools provided to help you achieve your goal? A lack of consistent support from the franchisor can greatly affect the franchisee’s ability to be successful. Sport Clips offers comprehensive and ongoing support to team leaders that is unparalleled in franchising.

  • Timely: Your goals should be trackable and have a deadline. Anchor your goals within a time frame to ensure you take actionable steps toward success. Does this time frame work within the business model? Sport Clips is not designed to be an immediate income replacement business. Franchisees invest in Sport Clips to build a business, usually while maintaining their day jobs in the beginning.

Goal setting will help you be more effective. The SMART formula is a tool that can help ensure your goals are clear and actionable. Investing in a franchise is a big decision, so it is important you educate yourself on the business model and determine if it aligns with your goals.

In addition to the SMART formula, remember to look for those around you for support. Accountability is very important when working toward a goal. Who will keep you on track for your goal? Do you have the support from your friends and family to help you achieve your goal?

Setting clear, well thought-out goals is the first step in achieving them. If you know where you are going, you are more likely to get there. It takes a lot of self-examination and educating yourself on the opportunities available to you to determine which business model is the right vehicle to get you there.