Getting Ready to Get Ready

Helane Wilbourne


Aug 10, 2016

So you’ve overcome the hurdle of actually doing something about your desire to explore owning a business.  Congratulations!  Over the past few years off and on you have attended business shows, spoken with sales representatives and spent a great deal of time poking around the internet.  There is a franchise business expo this coming weekend and you are ready to get started with finding a business.  Not so fast.  Similar to starting a fitness program there are a few preliminary steps to think about.  It may seem as if some these steps are slowing you down but, in the long run they are ensuring a strong foundation for your potential success as a franchise business owner.  

Following are some of the “getting ready” things to think about.


In his book, “Start With Why” author Simon Sinek introduces the concept of the “Golden Circle”.  Three distinct areas: the what, the how and the “why” provide the foundation for the circle.  Starting with why provides the purpose, cause or belief around “why” you are interested in potentially starting a business.  Not certain other than a stalled career, no worries—just asking the question stirs the necessary contemplation to move you closer to aligning with your “why”.


Do you know what you do best?  Are there competencies that you used in your prior career but don’t necessarily want to continue to use?  What kind of setting do you work best in?  Consider conducting a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats) Analysis on yourself.  You could use a formal process or a simple one such as a self-audit, a conversation with a trusted friend or a coach. Understanding what skills you have allows you to leverage them to your favor.      


According to most fitness experts, the first step you should take before beginning a new workout routine is to assess your current fitness level. An effective way to assess your financial fitness level is to take look at a few areas.

For example, check your credit.  There are free services or go directly to one of the three major credit bureaus. If you have not checked your credit in a while it is a good idea to do so.  Often cleaning up credit or challenging erroneous information helps secure necessary financing.  Understanding where you are financially is important ideally before you start due diligence.

Franchising is an awesome unique business format, however, similar to getting a check-up before you begin a vigorous workout program—know your numbers.  

Following are two additional important financial concepts:
  • NET WORTH- An individual’s total assets minus their total liabilities.  It is surprising how many people don’t know their number.  Do the math so that you can honestly assess your financial fitness.

  • MONTHLY EXPENSES- How much do you really spend on a monthly base?  These numbers are important.  As a w-2 employee you get paid with some regularity.  As a potential business owner, you now have your household expenses plus your business expenses to manage.  It is better to operate with no surprises.  Knowing these numbers establishes the maximum amount that you and perhaps your spouse or partner is both comfortable and qualified to invest into a business.


By taking the time to start with “why”, examine your skill set and evaluate your preliminary finances you are off to a better start. You’ve planted yourself confidently on the path to a better validation and perhaps business ownership.  Getting ready to get ready starts to make more sense. 

Author: Helane Wilbourne, SPHR/MBA

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