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Career Crossroads: Traits Pilots and Franchisees Have in Common

Published on July 02, 2021

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At first glance, it might not appear that pilots and franchisees have a lot in common. After all, they are two completely different career paths. The longer you look at them though, the more commonalities you start to see. As a pilot you are trained to follow a tried and tested routine, while adhering to the rules put in front of you, following the routes you are told to follow and avoiding unnecessary risks. If you’ve been looking at opening a franchise, this should sound familiar to you because franchisees share several personality traits. 

Knowledge is Key: As a pilot, you’re trained to know each aircraft you fly, tip to tail. You need to know everything too, from the computer and electrical systems, to communications, hydraulics and more. The more you know and understand, the better you will be at operating the vessel and the more prepared you will be when things go wrong. The same is true for owning a franchise. The more knowledge a franchisee has about their business, from the customers, to the competition, the products and services, the accounting and more, the better their chances of success.  

Practice Makes Perfect: Before you are given a plane of your own, you fly hundreds of hours on simulators and with instructors. Then you spend even more time as a co-pilot. This allows you to build your instincts and prepare for the future. Franchisees have a similar path. They spend a lot of time with experienced business owners, from mentors to other franchisees and the franchisors themselves, and are trained how to run the franchise system. Even after the business launches the practice never stops, because they will always be learning on the job.   

Always Striving to Improve: No matter how mundane a flight is, you always go over it afterwards. Whether it’s a change in how you dealt with turbulence, or a slight mishap or error you could have handled better, you know there is always room for improvement. Franchise owners who have a similar mindset find themselves better prepared to handle challenges as they pop up, which helps them soar even higher. 

No Excuses: You know that while your job may not always be simple, it’s easy to comprehend. Simply put, you just need to get where you are going. Anything else is irrelevant. The same holds true for franchise owners. The buck stops with them, so any excuses, reasons, justifications, complaints, and explanations don’t matter. Fail or succeed, it’s all up to them. 

Expect the Unexpected: As a pilot, you know things can and do go wrong, and you try your best to not be surprised or caught off guard when they do. You are trained to expect the unexpected. Successful franchisees are ready to handle unexpected situations as well.  They know they need to be ready to jump into the fire when something goes wrong and deal with it as quickly as possible.  

Trust the Co-pilot: You rely on your co-pilots and wingmen to help you complete your flights, and franchisees rely on the franchise they are part of and the managers they’ve hired to help them succeed.  

Don’t Panic: If you panic while you’re piloting an aircraft of any sort, people could die. You keep calm under pressure, and the crazier things get, the more important it is for you to stay cool. While franchise owners don’t face life and death situations, those who manage to keep their cool don’t make impulsive decisions and face problems with a clear head.  

Both are Multitaskers: As a pilot, you’re trained to multitask better than most people. You pay attention to the weather conditions, at the same time as navigating, flying the plane, handling communications and many other things. As a franchisee, the better you can multitask, the better your business will run. Franchisees need to be able to determine which things need their attention first, which they can focus on alongside another task and which they can ignore for a little while.  

Be Bold: Seasoned pilots know that there is a difference between taking unnecessary risks and being bold. Being bold means not hesitating or letting fear dictate your actions. It means doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done. Successful franchisees are the same at heart. Opening a business can be risky, but they know that being bold can give them wings.   

Timing is Everything: You follow a schedule. If you are a civil aviation pilot your passengers rely on you to be on time. If you are a military pilot, being late can be the difference between success and failure, or life and death. It’s the same thing for owning a franchise. If you are late, or take too long, your customers will leave. If you can’t decide quickly, your business could fail. Punctuality and professionalism go hand in hand and can make or break your business.  

Written by Team

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