Why You Should Keep Mum to Mom

For years you’ve listened to your mom’s sage advice: “Turn off the lights,” and “Save your money” Most of the time that advice was pretty good and many times you even followed it. Now don’t tell your mom I said so, but there’s one time when your mother’s advice may not help you and that’s when you are about to invest in a Franchise opportunity.

Look, I still think mom is right up there with baseball and apple pie. It’s just that when it comes to making a life-changing decision, those “trusted advisors” in your life may not be the best people to help you make the choice. Whether it’s your Uncle Ed, your best friend, or Dear Old Mom, your biggest fan can quickly turn into Ebenezer Scrooge when you tell them you want to buy a business.

Let’s take Uncle Ed. He’s been around the block a few times and knows a number of people. As a matter of fact, he knows a guy who knows another guy who had a brother-in-law who once owned a business and it didn’t do well. Now that business may have been selling pet rocks a decade after the fad went out of style and the owner may have spent more time in hip boots fly fishing than he did in his store selling painted stones. But in Uncle Ed’s mind, only one fact is relevant: “The guy didn’t do well.” Therefore, he is certain, you won’t either.

Is this the person you want to make a career decision for you? He may think he wants what’s best for you but instead he’s picturing you as having already failed. If you need advice about purchasing a franchise, make sure it is from someone who understands franchising.

I’m not suggesting you keep your franchise research a big, dark secret. But I would suggest that you carefully consider who you listen to. If you don’t, you will find yourself swamped with well-meaning but ill-considered advice. 

“But I tell my best friend everything,” I can hear you say. “She knows me better than I know myself.”

If you are considering business ownership as the next step in your career, you’ve already done a good deal of soul-searching and self-evaluation. There’s always the element of risk in a new venture but, because you are considering business ownership through franchising, you’ve already taken a big step towards limiting that risk.

Franchising offers you the ability to start a new business without starting it from scratch. Your franchisor will provide you with training, an operations manual, marketing assistance, on-going support – and more. They know what works in their business and truly want you to be successful.

Of course if there’s one person who truly has your best interests at heart, it’s your mother, right? No one can disagree with that. However, let’s take a look at this picture through your mother’s eyes.

First, she’s coming from a different generation. In her day, people picked a career, got a job, and then worked in that job until they retired. I’m generalizing here but for a good part of the last century, having a job meant security. Keeping a child safe and secure was mom’s number one goal. Therefore, she believes you should have a job. She wants you to be happy but she’d rather have you safe and any change in routine is seen as fraught with potential danger.

Now, there is one person you must include in your decision making and that’s your spouse. Any decision you make should be with the full support of your partner. Many franchisors require the spouse be a part of all phone conversations and face-to-face meetings because they know that no decision will be made unless the spouse is onboard. Whether or not your husband or wife will be involved in the business, it is of critical importance to a new franchisee that the significant other agrees with the purchase and will provide emotional support.

As for the others? Our experience shows that those trusted advisors can be well-meaning, but sometimes they are not equipped to help you evaluate such a significant decision.   Generally, family and friends want to support us and want to see us do well, but they also recognize their job as protecting us from dangerous decisions.

In the end, Buying a Franchise is not about your uncle, your best friend or your mom. It’s about you and your future. You need to make the decision whether owning a franchise is the right move. If you need an advisor, make sure you choose someone who understands Franchising and will help you make a decision based on fact, not emotions.

Mom was right about so many things. Sitting up straight, eating vegetables and getting enough rest are still part of my daily routine. But mom and your usual trusted advisors aren’t usually experts in franchising. So, when considering business ownership, you may want to keep mum to mom. When your franchise purchase is a fait accompli, invite your trusted advisers to do what they do best: bring the balloons, buy the champagne and help you celebrate your new business!

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