Want to be an entrepreneur and run your own franchise business? If so, how much time have you spent inside your own head and how many inward steps have you taken? If the answer is little time and few steps, the chances are you will find it hard to succeed in business. The reasons for this rest in the fact that a successful entrepreneur needs to be self-aware. According to Badal and Streur (2012), “conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives and desires contribute extensively to the success of an entrepreneur’s business.”
This makes perfect sense. Many of us start a business and become its director, manager, even chief cup washer, from day one. The business is actually an incarnation of our own personalities and traits, so it is vital to know what these are. Its success also depends on our personal strengths and weaknesses, so if we cannot identify these with clarity, we can struggle from day one.
Incredibly, 95% of people think they are self-aware, but only 10-15% actually are. Lacking self-awareness can lead to poor management decisions and hinder our perceptions of others. It also prevents an entrepreneur from harnessing their strengths and driving the business on by utilising and optimising these qualities. Turning a business into a personal brand with which customers wish to associate can be remarkably difficult if your brand messaging is at odds with how other people perceive your brand, based on your actual actions and personality. Brand authenticity can only be achieved if you know who you are.
According to Daniel Goleman, IQ makes only a 20% contribution to success in the business world. The other 80% is comprised of EQ – emotional intelligence – which is the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feeling and emotions, to discriminate among them and use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions.
Tapping into our EQ can be difficult.
We need to be humble enough to admit we are not perfect and are lacking in some areas. However, it is vital. It enables us to make quicker and more efficient judgements when we face difficult scenarios. It cuts out a lot of noise and enables us to focus on what needs to done, how it should be done and by whom – based on the honest assessment of ourselves and others.
It also enables us to harness our reactions and emotions, ensuring we can sometimes concede on a small point, knowing we can win on a big one. It guides us as to when we need to push for something and when we need to back off. It enables us to put destiny in our own hands.
This is vital in the world of loss-assessing and property claims management. A successful Aspray franchise has the self-awareness that enables them to quickly read a situation and tailor their message to the individuals who have suffered loss or incurred property damage. Franchisees have to be self-aware when meeting with the loss adjuster – the insurer’s representative – recognising that this person may be working to different goals than their own and that a successful outcome in the negotiations will rely on their own use of their skills-set and inner tenacity.
Self-awareness provides the ability to empathise and understand the perspective of others.
It helps our franchisees make the right decision, at the right time, for the right reasons and enables them to be bold enough to ask for critical feedback from Aspray, as their franchisor, so as to keep performing at the highest level.
Any entrepreneurial individual wishing to start a business with Aspray must be able to take the inward steps towards self-awareness before they even attempt to secure a territory. Running a franchise is hard work in any sector and will stretch you to the limit. If you do not know what those limits are, in every single aspect of your personality, you are facing an uphill battle.
Successful franchise businesses need to be built around who you are as a person, not who you want to be, just because you wish to earn significant amounts of money or fancy the ‘part’ of a franchisee. A franchise needs to be a ‘fit’, playing to your strengths and not focusing too much on your areas of weakness as, in the early days, it will probably be impossible to outsource or recruit individuals who can cover your weaker ‘bases’.
Franchise businesses also build over time and the business world is constantly evolving. If you do not understand who you are from the very beginning of your journey, you cannot adapt to new circumstances and keep your business healthy.
Self-awareness is about establishing your persona, and that of your business, and making that the spine of your enterprise. It’s about making your business and you one and the same.
Franchise businesses should have a rich vein of self-awareness running through them, ensuring that nothing jars with the customer from the moment they start their dialogue with the business that they perceive you to be, to the day their case file is closed. If you can achieve that, you will be on the road to success as you take your franchise journey.