Being your own boss is a common fantasy. Yet “fear of the unknown” keeps many prospective business owners from taking the plunge, according to Ron Norton, a Redmond resident and business coach for The Entrepreneur’s Source, a Connecticut-based company with the motto “Your success is our only business.”
“Some people look not so much at why they should start their own business, but why they shouldn’t,” said Norton. Of the 70 to 75 percent of people who express the interest, roughly five percent follow through, he added.
The challenge of “doing it all on your own” can be daunting, as well as the belief that if things go wrong, you’ve got no one to blame except yourself.
According to Norton, younger adults, specifically recent college graduates, are frequently the most eager to grow their own business instead of working for someone else.
“Young business owners are at an early stage in life where they can take that chance without worrying about other financial responsibilities such as a mortgage, a spouse and children,” he pointed out. “And they want to control their own destiny.”
They’ve seen people of their parents’ generation either frustrated by a series of layoffs or feeling burned-out in a career that no longer excites them. Whereas their parents expected to spend their whole lives in a certain occupation, the people of Generation Y (18-to-24 year-olds) see themselves holding many types of jobs throughout the future.
Norton said that his specialty is guiding people—of any age–into the world of franchising.
“For most people, the first thing they do is to get on the Net and start banging away. What I do is sit down and get to know about them and their background—gain a relationship with them,” Norton explained. “Some say they don’t care what hours they work as long as the hours are flexible. Some only want to work part-time. Some want to mentor other people and some don’t.”
When he made the choice, after 30 years in corporate management, to go independent as a business coach, his priorities were, “that I love talking to people and working with people, I wanted flexibility and to earn enough income to pay the bills — in that order. Everyone has their own reasons and own priorities for choosing a business to run.”
The advantage of franchising, Norton said, is that “instead of building on an idea of their own and completely starting from scratch, they are investing in an established concept that has proven successful for others. Each franchise typically comes with a good amount of training and support to help a start-up get their business up and running.”
So how does a prospective franchise owner benefit from consulting Norton and what does it cost?
There is no cost to the individual, Norton said. The franchising community pays him when he brings a new business owner into their fold. And he considers himself fortunate if 10 percent of the people he coaches decide to follow their dream.
“My job is not to sell them anything or force them into making a decision. It’s a discovery process. I bring them three businesses to explore, based on their personality, interests and lifestyle. I’ve worked with everyone from total workaholics, people who are very driven, to the total opposite — people who are passive, want to be a silent partner,” he said. “Most people don’t know what opportunities exist. They think it’s almost too good to be true.”
Along with the Generation Y crowd, lots of women are exploring the option of franchising and also Baby Boomers who can’t afford to, or don’t want to retire yet.
For more information, contact Ron Norton at (425) 861-7872 or RonNTheEsource@comcast.net.
Frequently-asked-questions about The Entrepreneur’s Source can be found at www.theesource.com.