November 29, 2014

Many Entrepreneurs Not Cut Out For Franchising, Says Joel Libava

While many people evaluate buying a franchise when they’re looking to own a business, most people, in fact, are not cut out for franchising, according to Joel Libava (pictured below), who is known online under the name “The Franchise King.”  Joel is a franchise expert, and he’s passionate about franchising.

Joel Libava: The Franchise King

He loves helping people find a sense of freedom and control through franchising. But not everyone is going to succeed in franchising, he says, due to two primary factors:

1.     There is financial risk involved.  Yes … even with a franchise there’s some risk.  It’s true that franchising can help you piggyback on the success of an established brand. But buying a franchise from a well known brand doesn’t guarantee success.

2.     Lots of people don’t like rules, and the franchise business model is riddled with them.  Rules are part of the reason that franchisees succeed.  However, if you hate being told what to do, those rules will quickly become an irritant.

Joel says:

“I help prospective franchise owners avoid [pain] by teaching them how to choose franchises that match their skills and personal traits, and then teaching them how to do careful and thorough research.  Most people have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to buying a franchise. I provide the how-to.”

Entrepreneurs Make Terrible Franchise Owners

Joel, who is the franchise expert-in-residence here on Small Business Trends, and who writes on SBA.gov and is regularly seen on high profile business sites, says if someone is looking for a business to launch quickly and likes the idea of following a proven system, he or she should consider buying a franchise. But for those who have trouble following the rules, starting your own business from scratch might be a better option:

“True entrepreneurs are a terrible match for a rule-based business system like franchising.”

Writing the Book on Franchising

Joel is so passionate about helping business owners navigate the world of franchising that he wrote a book on the subject:  Become a Franchise Owner!: The Start-Up Guide to Lowering Risk, Making Money, and Owning What you Do. The book is aimed at helping people determine whether franchising is a good fit, and determining what sort of franchising is most appropriate (read a review here).

Taking DIY Too Far

He certainly has had his fair share of experiences on his path to becoming The Franchise King. One lesson he’s learned and is working to implement is leveraging the help of others. He, like so many of us, has done most of the things in his business, and is now learning to step back and hand the reins over to others who are better skilled in particular areas, like marketing.

Joel is one of the judges volunteering his time and expertise for the Small Business Influencer Awards. Being an inside part of this award has shown him how many smart small business people are out there:

“Just when I think I’ve met all the smart people that contribute their ideas, products, and services to the small business world, more of them appear.  In other words, I get to learn about influential people in business that I may have never known about unless I was a Judge.”

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Editor’s Note: This article is one of a series of interviews of key players in the Small Business Influencer Awards.

5 Comments ▼

Susan Payton - Awards Communication Mgr.


Susan Payton Susan Payton is the Communications Manager for the Small Business Trends Awards programs. She is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in content marketing, social media management and press releases. She is also the Founder of How to Create a Press Release, a free resource for business owners who want to generate their own PR.

5 Reactions

  1. Entrepreneurs Make Terrible Franchise Owners — that sentence alone Susan makes the article worth reading! Joel shared something along those lines with me years ago and it stuck with me. I think the comment about rules makes the difference between franchises and entrepreneurial gigs perfectly clear. Thanks for this post.

  2. Hey look it’s a post from two of my favorite small business experts! Great post Susan!

    Joel as always you are ‘THE’ man when it comes to franchising!!! I’ve had the pleasure of reading and reviewing, Become a Franchise Owner!: The Start-Up Guide to Lowering Risk, Making Money, and Owning What you Do and it was an excellent read {full of info and just my kind of humor!}. Additionally a Q&A with the Franchise King was the debut post for my small business resource blog. If I wasn’t a ‘true entrepreneur’ I’d certainly have Joel walk me through the franchise buying process, but his book and quiz {that he personally grades himself} advised against it. Thanks Joel for saving my life {financially} would hate to end up like James Pennington!

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