What have you learnt about selecting the right franchisees

I cannot stress enough how essential it is when it comes to selecting the right franchisees to run your outlets.

You need people who will take complete responsibility for delivering your product or service to your valued clients in the way you specify. Every franchise outlet needs to look the same, feel the same and offer the same level of service.

You cannot afford to simply recruit anyone who offers you money. Not everyone can work within a strictly controlled system such as a franchise.

These are my tips for businesses who are recruiting franchisees:

  1. Work out the personality and skill profile you want your franchisees to have. It is tempting to think you need someone like yourself. The trouble is, as a business owner wanting to franchise, your personality is probably a little direct, driven, risky, and decision focused. This is the last thing you want in your franchisees. They need to be technicians, happy to follow rules but with enough drive to make their businesses work within your framework.
  2. Look for someone who is — or can be trained to be — skilled enough to do the job well. A cleaner, for instance, needs to have a keen eye for detail and take pride in having everything sparkle. They need to be pragmatic enough to know how to get the job done in time but probably don’t need to have strong people skills as they will be working generally when places are empty. On the other hand, someone in a marketing franchise will need to have a background in the industry and a love of working with people.
  3. But be flexible. Franchisees run their own businesses so they need to understand how to do this effectively. However, some personalities will have great difficulty in doing some aspects of business, and you, the franchisor, may decide to take responsibility for some tasks. In the early days, Jim Penman of Jim’s Mowing decided he did not want his lawn mowing contractors to organise their next jobs or even do their own bookwork. He wanted them to be pushing a lawnmower, earning money for both themselves and the franchise group. So, he set up a 131 number and had jobs allocated by the central office. Invoicing, and all the marketing gets taken care of by the central office too.You need to think carefully about what you want your franchisees to do as you separate the tasks between both sides of the franchise group. Working out what you want as you build your franchise concept is essential.
  4. At the end, if you think a potential franchisee is a ‘maybe’ — the answer should really be, “no!”The wrong franchisees can cause much heartache for both you and your other franchise owners when they do not do the job the way you want it done. Your clients will suffer if they get a bad service or the shop they go into looks dirty and not on brand. They will complain, often on social media, which can make those complaints seem universal. Other franchisees will be affected by the bad publicity and complain to head office. One bad outlet can have an impact on the whole group.A disgruntled franchisee can also have a huge impact on the other franchisees, making the work of your support team seem impossible. If your legal agreements have been written correctly, you will have ways to deal with these situations but the stress and damage caused can be painful.

You need to go through a carefully thought out and detailed recruitment process. However, as you go about advertising for franchisees and whomever you use to bring them in, you need to make the decisions based on facts.

At the end, if you think a potential franchisee is a ‘maybe’ — the answer should really be no.

Check out my website and get a copy of my free book ‘How to franchise my business simply’ if you want more information.

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