Are you really considering buying a franchise?

Founder and Managing Director of I AM WOMAN, Cheryl Bass, looks at what it takes, and some of the essential qualities required, to become a successful I AM WOMAN franchise owner.

If you are considering buying a franchise, you are probably at a crossroads in your life where you are looking for that next challenge and doing something new.

In choosing to make that leap into doing something new, comes the recognition that it will require taking the step away from where you are now, into doing that something new. The space in-between is a ‘gap’. That ‘gap’ requires transforming ones life from where you are now to where you need to be.

Starting a franchising is like no other business start-up. When you purchase a franchise you are buying so much more than you ever imagined.

You are buying a proven, successful business model
You are buying the skills of someone else who can transform you
You are buying a business infrastructure that already works, so all of the systems and procedures are already in place, up-to-date and ready for use
You are buying the expertise of others, who surround you with their skills and knowledge
You are buying into the business network of the franchisor
You are buying into a team of people that you can work alongside
You are buying people's problem solving ability into your business

Lots of people look at business franchises not realising just how much work goes into establishing a franchisable business. They think just running a business is enough! They think, "if I do this, others must also". Successful franchising, however, is very much about the ability of the franchisor to develop skills and systems that are teachable and transferable.

A franchise is a fingerprint of something. As the prospective franchise owner, you will need to replicate that same fingerprint into your geographic area.

At I AM WOMAN, we are very interested in knowing as much about what makes people tick as we do about their business experience, in order to deliver our I AM WOMAN Membership Benefits. Our franchise owners, although all very different in expertise, will each demonstrate the following values:
They believe in being themselves
They are passionate about helping women in business
They love witnessing personal change in women
They have strong integrity
They love having fun by helping themselves and others
They get excited by learning new and better ways of doing things
They recognise collaboration is the key to success

Finding the franchise that has a similar fingerprint to what you are looking for is imperative to your own success. Franchisors and new franchise owners choose one another and it’s a marriage of minds, looking forward to a long-term future together.

Our selection process is rigorous. We are a relatively young franchise, so it’s really important that we take our time choosing someone to join our I AM WOMAN Business Club Network. Someone might have all of the skills, yet none of the values. We can upskill people, but we can’t change people’s basic values!

Michelle Wilmott is a franchise owner of a new I AM WOMAN Business Club. Michelle, who started off as a member of the Cardiff I AM WOMAN Business Club, loved the concept of what we did and enjoyed membership for a year before waking up one day and wanting to run a Business Club of her own.

Her background was in retail in the beauty industry, primarily working in spas internationally, so not a typical person you might perceive as running a Business Club for women. But retailing anything is what business is all about. So, sometimes, it’s about women looking at the transferable skills they already have.

Women dominate the consumer market by some 85 per cent and refer 10 times more business than their male counterparts. When women compete with men they tend to lose confidence. But when women are placed alongside other women, their innate nurturing skills mean they encourage, support, motivate and help each other flourish, without even trying.

The fastest growing market is not India or China, it’s WOMEN! Michelle says: “I chose I AM WOMAN because I just loved the thought that my business was going to make me money from me helping other people to grow. I was looking to buy a business model that wrapped itself around me and was going to take me to that next level in business. I just loved what I had experienced as a member and wanted to do that for myself with my own business. I loved the training I AM WOMAN offers when you are a new franchise owner. That includes a total makeover of me, my knowledge, my experience and being TOTALLY supported by switched-on, savvy women who genuinely care about my success.”

Michelle is launching the Monmouthshire I AM WOMAN on Wednesday 8th October, in The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny. She has undergone intensive training on the business model, financial planning, advertising and sponsorship, launching and running events, mentoring, master classing and on our unique Aspire programme. Her training and mentoring will be ongoing. Her franchisor is available at the end of the phone, via email, at training events, mentoring sessions or within the substantive Operational Manual, backed up with Cloud-based systems and a tool kit.

Going it alone would have taken years and mega-bucks, but buying an existing franchise model makes life simpler, affordable and doable. The I AM WOMAN Business Club franchise could be just right for you if you find, as a woman, you have reached that crossroads in your life where you are looking for an exciting challenge. It will also appeal to you should you want to start believing in being yourself, are passionate about helping women in business, love witnessing personal change in women, have strong integrity, love having fun helping yourself and others, get excited by learning new and better ways of doing things and recognise that collaboration is the key to success.