What experience do I need to run a particular franchise? Should I have experience in the industry of the franchise I am considering? These are important questions to ask yourself when considering investing in a franchise. However, the answers are not always clear cut. People come into franchising with a diverse range of backgrounds and sometimes it is hard to see on the surface if the skills and experience they bring are transferrable.

The level of experience required varies depending on the type of model you are investing in. An owner operator business model would require more hands-on experience than an investor model would. A semi-absentee model requires more soft skills. Closely examine your role as the franchisee in the daily operations of the franchise model to get some clues about expectations and experience required.

Most semi-absentee business models require owners to have experience hiring and managing employees, as they will be handling the day-to-day operations. Strong leadership and team building skills are important to recruiting and retaining quality employees.

Usually, it’s not necessarily about what skills you are bringing to a franchise, rather what attributes you bring. Do you have a desire and commitment to succeed? Are you willing to follow a set model? Do you have a strong work ethic and business acumen?

It also matters whether the company’s culture is a good fit and if the business model fits your lifestyle goals. Is the industry an environment in which you could see yourself feeling comfortable? If you don’t enjoy dogs and cats, it wouldn’t be a good idea to become the owner of a pet hotel.

Above all, you must be coachable and able to closely follow a system. While it may seem daunting to come into an industry you have little to no personal experience with, the franchisor does and that is a clear advantage over going at it alone. The franchisor should offer support and training to teach you what you need to know.

For this reason, it is important to look at the experience of the brand. Does it have a track record of success operating their business model? Have the systems, processes and procedures been tested and proven?

Sport Clips Haircuts, for example, does not require any salon industry experience for its franchisees. With 25 years in the industry, year-over-year same store sales growth, and 99.7% continuity rate, the brand has proven itself to be a successful business model. Long-standing systems are already in place, and training and support are provided to give franchisees the tools they need to succeed.

The advantage of investing in a franchise is that you don’t have to know everything about the industry you are entering. The most important thing to consider is whether the model is one you can follow and whether the brand has the support and systems in place to do so.

For more information on Sport Clips’ proven business model, let’s continue the conversation here.