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Allowing Your Gut Feeling to Guide Your Franchise Choice

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“Trust your gut” may not be the most conventional business advice, but it can be a valuable tool when it comes to choosing the right franchise for you. After all, your instincts are often based on a combination of your experiences, preferences, and values, which are all crucial factors in making a successful franchise investment. If your gut tells you something is off, there likely is something amiss that deserves your attention before you make an investment.

As you’re going through the process and doing your due diligence to find the right next franchise, here are a few questions to consider. Although they might seem superficial initially, your feelings are important to honour and consider.

How Do You Feel About the Marketing?

As you’re researching franchises, look around at the public-facing messaging.

  • Do you like the way the franchise markets the business? 
  • Are the graphics ones you’d feel comfortable sharing? 
  • Do the messages align with your voice and how you want to show up in your business? 

As a franchisee, you may be required to help spread the word about the franchise in your location. This means sharing your message, wearing the logo, handing out swag at events, and more. If you don’t like the marketing or advertising, you might not feel comfortable in those situations. Instead, find a franchise with a brand that resonates and feels relevant to your style. In choosing a franchise with marketing you love, you’ll exude more confidence when sharing your new venture with others in your area.

Do You Like the Employee Uniforms?

Popular business advice states you should dress for the part you want. That’s because your daily clothing makes you feel a certain way. Dress in a suit, and you’ll feel more buttoned up and professional. Dress in a swimsuit, and you’ll feel like you should be at the beach instead of in any professional conversation.

Dressing the part shifts your mindset and puts your head in the business game. If you’re wearing a uniform or asking your employees to wear one that doesn’t feel good, offering service with a smile will be harder. Consider how much you and your team will love wearing the uniform before you sign up to wear it daily for as long as you’re a franchisee. While it might seem silly, your clothing and attire will affect your mindset, and it is worth considering if your gut tells you something is off.

Do the Systems Fit In With Your Tech Personality?

Technology is both a blessing and a curse at times. While it can make life a lot easier, it can also be a drain to use when it doesn’t function the way you want it to.

When doing your due diligence, ask the franchisor about the systems used on the backend. These are the tools you’ll need to interact with every day. If your gut tells you that the systems feel too burdensome, it’s important to consider why that might happen. Is there flexibility in the systems you can use? Will you have a voice in choosing a new system for your franchise or location? Can you overcome the learning curve and learn to like the system in the long run?

Does the Company Culture Feel Inviting to You?

No one wants to walk into a party and feel like the odd person out. Nor do you want to walk into a franchise and feel like you must be different from yourself to succeed.

If you don’t feel excited and enthusiastic about the company culture of the franchise you’re considering, it’s important to ask why. You must regularly work with the people inside this business, so you must feel the culture fits your personality and work style. If not, asking for feedback, help, or offering opinions will be harder throughout your franchise journey.

Will You Be Proud to Market and Share This Franchise?

Ultimately, trusting your gut is important because your gut will help you know if you’ll enjoy marketing and sharing your new franchise investment. As light and superficial as the above questions might feel, they’re valid when deciding which franchise to start. If your values don’t align with the marketing style, you don’t like showing up to work in the uniform, the systems feel like a chore, and you don’t feel welcome in the franchise, you won’t enjoy your new investment.

If your gut feels off about a franchise, consider why that’s the case. Then, research a franchise that aligns more with your values and core desires for franchise ownership. This will help you stay on course to find the best next franchise.


Kimberly Crossland is the founder of Roadpreneur and Cruisin' + Campfires, two companies designed to keep families together and living in freedom through travel and entrepreneurship. The goal of both businesses is to inspire meaningful change through the power of a strategic, thoughtful approach to life and business. In her free time, you can find her looking for a new adventure together with her two boys.

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