Starting the Conversation…

What a Partnership with a Franchise Coach Could Mean for Your Business and Clients in Transition

As a career and transition coach, you help clients make sense of the chaos and uncertainty in their lives. You are a teacher, a cheerleader, a document editor, a listening ear, and a guide – pointing clients toward a range of exciting possibilities for their future.

As a franchise coach, I understand that when you choose those possibilities (especially recommendations that invite your clients to interact with another resource), you want to make sure your clients get the “white-glove” treatment – and find the exploration of each path you suggest valuable.

I’ve been lucky to partner with many career coaches over the years, because just as the right career coach can make all the difference to clients, so too can peer collaboration make a difference in the ways that we as coaches support our clients. In my experience very few career coaches are well-versed in franchise opportunities, so franchise coaches like myself can help close this gap and open new doors for clients.

If you’re thinking about partnering with a franchise coach (maybe your clients have expressed an interest, or maybe you’ve heard that “now” is a great time for many to consider franchising), it’s important to find the right partner – and to learn more about how a franchise coach can help you expand the services you provide clients.

To help in your early exploration, below is a list of top questions and popular “myths” about franchising that I hear in my introductory conversations with career coaches…

What’s the value of partnering with a franchise coach – to my business and to my clients?

The more resources and avenues you can offer your clients, the more value you can provide to a diverse mix of people seeking your help. Not every career coach offers a franchise coaching resource, so a partnership with a franchise coach can be a key differentiator for you. This is particularly true today, when more and more professionals are interested in leaving the corporate world and starting their own business. There are only four ways to do that: become a consultant, buy an existing business, start a business from scratch, or start a franchise. So, the question really is, why NOT consider adding a franchising coach to your breadth of resources?

My clients rarely bring up franchising, so I’m not sure I need a partnership in this space.

We’ve all been in situations where we might not have considered a particular path until someone points us in that direction. Some of your clients – especially those who aren’t sure if staying in the corporate world is right for them – might be excellent candidates for franchise exploration. And you broaching this topic as a potential path for consideration might trigger them to think about their future in new ways.

Even if you only have one or two opportunities a year to refer a client to a franchise coach, proactivity is key. Identifying a franchise coach that you trust – and discussing in advance a game plan for how that relationship might work – will allow you to move forward quickly as the need arises. (And as career coaches, we are fully aware that we can make a huge difference in multiple lives by helping even one individual find their way to the best path.)

Most of my clients don’t have enough personal wealth to consider franchising.

Almost every “myth” I hear about franchising comes down to the importance of looking past assumptions. On the topic of finances, I encourage fellow coaches to never make assumptions about someone’s financial situation. There are a range of factors (e.g. a spouse’s income, family savings, etc.) that can easily bring franchise ownership well within reach.

In addition, while it’s true that some franchises can cost over $1M to get up and running, there are many that require a much lower investment, ranging from $350K down to $50K. And there are also options out there for financing – which a good franchise coach should review in detail with your clients.

My clients aren’t interested in starting a McDonalds or a Taco Bell.

I hear this one a lot! Sure, we’re all familiar with franchises that serve up fast food, but rest assured that most franchise businesses out there don’t have a drive-thru window. (And many don’t even have a retail location.) There are 3,800 franchise concepts – and that list is always growing, primarily because interest in franchises is growing.

There are 6 categories of franchising: Automotive, Restaurants, Retail, Business to Business, Business to Consumer/Homeowner, and Education. The latter three categories have a vast amount of concepts for consideration – and my clients are often amazed by how many possibilities are out there for franchise ownership.

My clients aren’t experts in any of these franchise categories – or they won’t be interested in these categories based on their career history to-date.

Some of my best client success stories involve matching people with opportunities where they had no prior interest or expertise. As an example, I recently helped a CFO from a well-known Hollywood entity invest in a successful home-painting franchise, and he’s been loving his new life-work balance.

Through exploration, clients uncover that most franchisees never had any experience in the franchise they invested in. The benefit of investing in a franchise is that a good franchisor gives franchisees the right playbook so they can leverage their expertise and experience – and know how to execute the business successfully.

This process is quite different from the typical search for the next professional stepping stone. A franchise coach helps clients not only look for a career they enjoy, but also a lifestyle that offers autonomy, financial stability, and the flexibility to do all the things they want in this next chapter of their life. (And not have to worry about big-company politics, layoffs, downsizing, and all the stressors from the corporate world.)

My creative clients would be frustrated with the formulaic nature of franchising. Or…my introverted clients wouldn’t be any good at “selling.”

Circling back to those tricky assumptions again… My clients who choose to pursue franchising have taken their expertise, accolades, and experiences and parlayed them into the successful launch of a new venture. Franchising attracts people with all different personalities – for a wide variety of reasons. As with many other things in life, when there is the right “fit” with the right opportunity, everything else falls into place.

And there is plenty of room for creativity in the franchising world. Yes, there’s a framework from the franchisor, but franchisees get to run their business based on their own management style and unique ideas.

What should I look for in a franchise coach partner?

I have a long list for this particular question, but one thing rises to the top: look for a franchise coach who views their work as “franchise exploration” vs. a franchise broker who is simply looking to close a deal.  

I personally started this chapter in my own career journey because so many other franchise coaching companies offer a transactional process. I wanted to take a more personal approach – and I think that’s critical for providing the “white glove” treatment I mentioned earlier. Your clients and your reputation are your most valuable assets, so you want a franchise coach partner that will be in your client’s corner – just as you are.

I also recommend you take the time to understand a franchise coach’s process, experience, and follow through. A good franchise coach supports their clients every step of the way – from the opening conversation to the resources and guidance needed to make a well-informed decision.

What does a relationship with a franchise coach look like?

Every relationship is different, and it all starts with a first conversation! With some of my career coach partnerships, I have quarterly check-ins – and with others, I have a less formal schedule. In all partnerships, I share updates about the franchise exploration with their clients, so they stay in the loop on progress.

In terms of referring contacts, an email introduction is almost always the first step, and I can take it from there. The typical clients that career coaches refer to me are those who are daydreaming about business ownership, fed up with corporate America, and open to alternative options.

Like you, I am a coach, a guide, a sounding board, and an advocate. I can help challenge your clients to look through a different set of lenses. I want your client to enjoy the exploration process and to feel like they’ve learned something along the way. My aim is for them to come back to you and say, “Thanks for connecting me with Harris! The franchise exploration process was valuable to me.” Even if your client doesn’t invest in a franchise for their next chapter, the process may plant a seed for a future chapter.

I’ve only touched on some of the top questions and myths about franchising I hear in my early discussions with career coaches – so feel free to reach out at any time to learn more about franchising or how we might partner to serve your clients. I look forward to learning more about your business and your clients! I welcome you to visit me online at www.franchisecoachonline.com to learn more, feel free to connect with me at harrisgubin@gmail.com.