Full-time income without full-time work

5 Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder, as an Executive Franchisee

I didn’t become an executive franchisee to work another full-time job. By definition, executive franchising isn’t about full-time employment. It’s about generating a full-time income without putting in full-time hours.

Most of my candidates have spent years, sometimes decades, as corporate executives. They want to leave the corporate rat race for varying reasons. Some want to start building wealth for themselves, rather than for a corporation. Others want to retire early so they can spend more time with their spouse or grandchildren. Still, others are at retirement age and want to stay socially and mentally active during their golden years. Regardless of their motivations, however, they all want one thing: to work smarter, not harder.

Based on my own experience as an executive franchisee, and many hours spent advising new executive franchisees, here’s how I tell my candidates to make that happen.

Choose a Supportive Franchisor

In franchising, the match between you and your franchisor is everything. And if you want to be able to work smarter, not harder, you need a franchisor who will make your job easier. Plus, not all franchises support the executive owner model. As you review prospective franchisors’ disclosure documents and attend interviews with them, look for these signs that the company will be a supporter, not a stumbling block:

  • Smart, approachable leaders with a track record of success
  • Steady growth that is not outrunning the company’s resources
  • A willingness to refer you to existing franchisees for informational interviews
  • Good onboarding and support systems, such as training and site visits for new franchisees or a well-staffed customer service call center for you and/or your customers
  • Reasonable up-front and ongoing fees that won’t cut too deeply into your profits
  • Low rates of turnover among franchisees

On the flip side, run the other way if you see these red flags:

  • Leaders who don’t show up for interviews or who don’t answer your questions properly
  • Refusal to provide references within the franchise network
  • Up-front or ongoing fees that are significantly higher than those charged by similar franchisors
  • High rates of turnover and/or lawsuits between the franchisor and franchisees

These are all signs of a franchisor that’s likely to make your work harder, not easier.

Buy a Multi-Unit Franchise

Once you’ve chosen your franchisor, they may offer you a choice of single- or multi-unit franchising. To maximize your success as an executive franchisee, I recommend signing a multi-unit or area developer contract.

While this kind of arrangement does require a bigger up-front financial investment, it will exponentially increase your wealth-building potential. And because multi-unit franchising involves economies of scale (e.g., you can hire one manager to oversee multiple locations), you can access that performance boost without a one-to-one increase in your workload. That’s the very definition of working smarter.

Get off on the Right Foot

Once you’ve signed your franchise contract, it’s time to prepare for the launch of your business. Because you want to work smarter, not harder, you may be tempted to take it easy right out of the gate. Don’t. Cutting corners at this stage is like building a house on a wobbly foundation. Things may seem fine for a while, but inevitably, cracks will appear. And ultimately, the whole structure may come tumbling down around you. Though there are ways to shorten the launch process safely, you must follow the right timeline in the early days. You’ll create a solid foundation that will keep your business strong for years–even decades–to come and make your job easier in the long term.

Hire a Good Manager

I can’t stress this one enough. An excellent manager makes all the difference between an executive franchise business that runs like a well-oiled machine and one that just sputters and limps along. With an excellent manager in place, your customers will be happy, your employees will be productive, and small problems will be resolved before they cause any real trouble–all without you getting involved. This will save you time and stress and put you on track for that core executive franchisee benefit: making a full-time income without working full-time.

Work the Network

When I was weighing franchising against traditional entrepreneurship, the franchise owner network helped seal the deal in favor of franchising. While traditional entrepreneurs are on their own, an executive franchisee gets access to a built-in support network from day one. Your fellow owners can help you solve problems, find good suppliers and employees, or just lend a listening ear. By tapping into their wisdom and experience, you’ll save yourself the time and trouble of figuring everything out from scratch.

Want to learn more about how you can pave your road to success by working smarter, not harder? Book some time with me to learn more about the process and benefits of becoming an executive franchisee.

Irving Chung


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