How to measure success as a franchise owner

What success really is

Andy Cheetham founder of Lime Licensing Group ponders what it’s al about …

Franchising a business specialist Andy Cheetham


Let’s start with the most obvious shall we? Quite why this should be at the top of anyones list bemuses me but it often is. Most bonafide franchises will earn you money. Ignore the projections for now, because they won’t ever be exact. They are “illustrative”. Illustrative means that if you do “a,b and c”, you might get “x,y and z”. It also means that if you’re crap at it you’ll get less and if you’re brilliant you’ll get more. Same applies to grafting, your personality and various other elements. So, given that you will likely get financial results from whichever genuine franchise you focus on anyway, you may as well put this factor down your list somewhat. 


It matters to some people, it doesn’t to others. Many moons ago we had a 3.5% shareholder in a family business. He had the mansion with tennis courts, foreign property too, a vineyard with his own label Chardonnay and even a unique pattern in his carpets that no other person alive possessed. However, his daily drive was a 5 year old subaru estate. I always found this interesting. I also understand that Warren Buffet lives in an ordinary house and drives an ordinary car. So what does prestige mean to you? Is it a lot, or a little? You might want the posh title, the high street location, the big brand franchise? My advice is to sit alone by a lake somewhere and consider why this matters to you. But if it really does matter then choose a franchise that elevates your perception of what others might think of you. 


As I’ve got older I’ve worked less. In my twenties and thirties I was at it like a machine. Before franchising I had many trips to see my agents down in London setting off at 4:30 in the morning for an 8:30am breakfast meeting in Edgware. I stopped playing rugby and Sunday league football missing all the training sessions and I got less and less fit as a result. My social life was largely preserved and so thankfully my relationship with my now wife too. But looking back my lifestyle suffered in direct proportion to my income rising. I don’t think it was worth it. 


This is not intended to be the fourth paragraph. For me now, it’s the most important paragraph. It is doesn’t put a smile on your face or give you real job satisfaction then get the hell out of their pardner – you’re in the wrong role. Happiness is healthy, lack of it is unhealthy. Same too with stress and friction. If you’re in that zone you’re self harming. Are you self harming? Think about it. Go and sit by that same lake I mentioned earlier. 

When you are doing something which is making you happy, regardless of prestige and profit then you’re a success by any measure in my book. 


Another side effect of being in my mid fifties is that I care a lot more about meaningfulness and purpose in my life. I’d happily join a protest campaign against animal cruelty, or fracking for gas in North Yorkshire’s national park and various other things. What difference to others will your next business make? Is it a force for good? Is profit a by product of helping others or the planet? Does a purpose matter to you?  If so, rank the franchises you find on this factor too.

A bit of both ..

It’s true that some of these directly affect each other but broadly speaking if you’re thinking of becoming a franchisee then mark each of these out of ten and see what jumps out at you. You might have prestige but if you are working 100 hours a week your lifestyle and happiness and probably your health will suffer.


Your significant other may enjoy the money in your eventual divorce settlement.