New businesses are being started, and older businesses are being transformed. If the green movement has not touched your professional life in the past couple of years, then you must be a Klingon, sent here on some type of spy mission.
The franchise industry has started to embrace the green movement, and more and more franchises are starting up that relate to all things of the green variety.
There are numerous categories in franchising that can be environmentally conscious. Mark Siebert, CEO of iFranchise Group, includes organic pizza shops, eco-friendly dry cleaning, and green hotel chains on that list. “Sometimes it’s a matter of adding a green product line, and sometimes it’s creating a whole new franchise,” Siebert says. Either way, franchisors are trying to meet consumer demand first, then appeal to the franchisees who have a green streak.
Interest in franchise offerings that have started as a green business model is definitely increasing, and I do not see interest in this category slowing down at all in the near future.
Just last week, I received an inquiry from a gentleman who asked me if there were any franchises that are “recycling old computers / phones / printers / and joining the green economy.” He then added some of his personal views into the equation;
“We as a country must do something with the toxic waste these products are producing.”
Well, he is probably correct about that, but is he crossing a chasm?
As strong as his feelings are about helping to save the environment, does that mean that he should definitely buy a franchise that can allow him to do just that? I mean it sure sounds like a perfect fit, doesn’t it? It very well could be, but only if he has the right skill set needed to run a successful franchise operation. There a several factors to consider when choosing a franchise, and I am going to send this prospective green franchise owner this page from the Federal Trade Commission website.
So, the question I have is this:
If you are going to invest in a franchise of your own, should you make your franchise selection based on what you are passionate about?
Here is an example of what I mean: If you are a teacher, and love changing lives by education, does that mean you should invest in something like a Kumon Math and Reading Center?
I met Sylvan Learning Center’s founder Berry Fowler, back in 2001. I remember him discussing this very topic. He told me that the mistake he made in his franchise operation early on was that he chose the wrong franchisees. He said that a lot of his early franchise owners were teachers. He further went on to explain that:
“Although these folks were great at teaching, and certainly had a lot of passion around helping kids, they were not very good at running the day to day operations. They only wanted to teach. The “business” part of Sylvan didn’t really interest them.”
When Fowler started to sell franchises to people that wanted to run a business first and foremost, and hired educators to do the teaching, his business started soaring.
I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t explore opportunities that are in line with your passions and values. What I am suggesting is that becoming a franchise owner is a business proposition first, and foremost. Anything that aligns with your passions and interests need to be secondary.
Here is one more example, albeit, a personal one.
I am passionate about animals. I have a real interest in dogs, specifically. I have this neat visual of buying a few acres out in the country someday, and breeding, boarding, and training dogs. I love being around dogs, and I like the fact that a well trained dog can really add real value to people’s lives. Does that mean I should start a business that will enable me to do that? Or, will I end up being an unhappy small business owner, because so much of my time involves things like hiring, accounting, and property maintenance, that I cannot do what I really wanted to do in the first place… hang out with my four legged friends.
What do you think? Is it possible to be a really successful business owner around your passions? Have you been able to do it? Are you going to get involved in a green franchise?
* * * * *