Do You Need Industry Experience to Open a Franchise? Nope.
🕒 Estimated Reading Time: ~3 minutes
I remember the frustration of early career-building. Trying to check off boxes of acquired knowledge—software apps learned, network connections made, resumes refined.
The biggest hurdle, though, was a dilemma that nearly everyone faces: organizations hire those with experience, but how do you get hired when you don’t have any experience beyond flipping burgers? (Note: there is nothing wrong with flipping burgers – burgers make for great franchises).
In franchising, however, career development is a little different. You do not need industry-specific experience to open a franchise.
Does it help to know a few things about running a business? Sure. Do you need financial stability to qualify? Definitely. But you can learn nearly any franchise business sector that interests you and succeed at it without having specific skills within your chosen franchise industry. That’s part of the beauty of the franchise business model. It offers us possibilities and support to meet our entrepreneurial goals.
Not long ago, I read David Epstein’s Range. His writing and research encourage anyone without specific industry knowledge to use their range of experience in broad ways. That range is what makes us more creative and agile than those with a narrow skill set.
His ideas and countless examples demonstrate the value of being anything but specialized in one area. Those with a broad range of experience often provide the connections that more specialized professionals simply cannot see because they become stuck in narrow concepts.
What does this mean for you as a prospective franchisee? Be creative, think broadly, and appreciate how much you can bring to the franchise table. You have transferable skills and broad experience that will enhance your franchise. A personality suited to business is hard to create through training, so be confident in what you know, and then rely on your franchisor to support your success in a new industry with:
- Training: Determined franchisees soak up training and become expert franchise brand ambassadors. You don’t need to know the industry before you buy. The training support that franchisors provide is what distinguishes them from start-ups. You come ready to learn, and the franchisor training will help you thrive.
- Site selection: Franchisors won’t force you into a specific location, but they do have market data to support their suggestions. Use that deeper knowledge and past success in the industry to build your own successful business, no matter which location you choose.
- Marketing: A franchisor succeeds based on its proven brand. Franchisors are expert marketers and will do that legwork for you. That way, you have time to build your customer base in other ways while benefiting from established advertising and marketing programs.
- Operations: Systems are integral to franchise operations. Processes, procedures, and systems are pre-designed for your ease and success. You don’t need any prior knowledge to operate your franchise successfully.
Franchisors provide a great deal of support for franchisees. Your success will come with a positive attitude, a wide variety of experiences, and a willingness to learn a proven concept. The franchisor will provide the training. You simply decide if you want to flip burgers, do taxes, or find another niche that suits you, even without experience in your chosen franchise sector.
Anne Daniells is a co-owner of Enterprising Solutions, a professional services firm specializing in corporate communication and financial improvement for businesses where she shares decades of corporate and entrepreneurial experience—including franchise ownership—in her writings on business culture. She has authored hundreds of articles for publications including AllBusiness.com, TweakYourBiz.com, and MSN.com. Reach out via her website for more on where corporate culture, communication, and human architecture collide.