Starting a franchise is not easy. In fact, it’s very hard. When I purchased my first COMPUTER EXPLORERS franchise in 1997 I was the typical new franchise owner and deeply afraid of failure. I received the usual good advice: do what you love, create a solid business plan, interview current and previous franchisees, review the FDD (Federal Disclosure Document) with a professional, etc.

Today, there is a plethora of business books available to help entrepreneurs get started. On the NY best seller lists are: Delivering Happiness, A Path to Profits and Passion by Tony Hsieh and The Mirror Test by Jeffrey Hayzlett.

There are also very good business books written by two men, whom I consider to be franchise greats: Bud Hadfield and Fred DeLuca.

Bud Hadfield, Chairman of the Board of International Center for Entrepreneurial Development, a holding company which includes Kwik Kopy, COMPUTER EXPLORERS and several other brands and Northwest Forest Conference Center outlines the following as his “Business Dozen” in his book Wealth within Reach,

  1. Trust your intuition.
  2. Always Remember – No one is unimportant.
  3. If you wouldn’t buy it, then don’t sell it.
  4. You are more than the number on the readout of a bathroom scale.
  5. The problem with advice is that the person who has the answer doesn’t have the problem.
  6. Quit thinking about thinking to quit.
  7. Expect the unexpected.
  8. Never promise what you can’t deliver.
  9. Your worst employee – too good to fire and not good enough to keep.
  10. Winners feel like winners. Losers act like losers.
  11. Criticism is easy; achievement is more difficult. Winston Churchill
  12. Success comes to the man or woman who gives more than receives.

Fred DeLuca, founder of Subway shares the Fifteen Key Lessons in his book, Start Small Finish Big.

  1. Start Small. It’s better than never starting at all.
  2. Earn a Few Pennies. It’s good practice before you earn those dollars.
  3. Begin With an Idea. There’s probably a good one right under your nose.
  4. Think Like a Visionary. Always look for the Big Picture.
  5. Keep the Faith. Believe in yourself and your business, even when others don’t.
  6. Ready, Fire, Aim! If you think too much about it, you may never start.
  7. Profit or Perish. Increase sales, decrease costs. Anything less and your business will perish.
  8. Be Positive. The School of Hard Knocks will beat you down, but not if you keep a positive attitude.
  9. Continuously Improve Your Business. It’s the best way to attract customers, and generate sales and profit.
  10. Believe in Your People. Or they may get even with you!
  11. Never Run Out of Money. Its’ the most important lesson in business.
  12. Attract New Customers Every Day. Awareness, Trial, and Usage work every time.
  13. Be Persistent: Don’t Give Up. You only fail if you quit.
  14. Build a Brand Name! You’re your reputation.
  15. Opportunity Waits for No One. Good or bad, breaks are what you make them.

You won’t find Bud attending IFA (International Franchise Association) conventions or giving keynote presentations today. But he can still be found many days in his office at ICED.

Bud Hadfield

Fred, on the other hand does attend IFA and in fact last year participated in social media sessions! By the end of the convention Fred was “twittering away” and can be found today posting a tweet or two about Subway as @FredSubwayCEO (photographed below with his blackberry in hand after posting one of his first tweets).

Fred DeLuca, Subway

Starting a franchise is not easy but finding individuals to help guide you is. Become a member of IFA and network with some of the greats in the franchise industry. Whether you are considering a purchase, are a new franchisee or experienced franchisee there are always new things to learn in your journey to success!