Franchisors should never sell franchises!
Now I know what you’re thinking: he’s playing with words here – all franchisors sell franchises – they might talk about “awarding them” but that’s just semantics, isn’t it? - I don’t think so, because it reflects a mindset.
Have you got a real vision for what your network would look like, fully developed; the quality of relationship you would enjoy with your franchisees; the performance levels of the franchisees and the revenues which would flow both to them and to you? If you have, I doubt that your mental picture includes franchisees who are struggling, who are awkward to deal with, who are negative and critical. But the truth is that there are going to be lower performers in every network the only issue is going to be how many, and how low is the performance of the bottom quartile? The answer to that question depends largely on you and the recruitment policy you operate in your franchise.
Whilst franchisee recruitment isn’t a science (in the sense that there’s a formula which works every time), I think it can be described as an art. But the art is principle-based. I would suggest that the principles underlying successful franchisee recruitment include the following:
- Total transparency a full exchange of relevant information between candidate and franchisor
- A mindset that is looking for “best fit” “has the candidate really got what it takes to be successful with us?”
- A structured recruitment process which is designed to ensure that the information exchange takes place and the candidate “fit” can be accurately assessed
- An underlying attitude which communicates the following message to the candidate: “We’re determined to be the best in our market sector and we know that if we’re to achieve that, our franchisees must share our vision, passion and have the attributes which will enable them to be the best too; are you (Mr Prospective Franchisee) good enough to be part of what we’re building?”
I promise you, that if you do communicate in this way with your candidates, they’ll be the ones trying to show you why they’re good enough to be part of your network!
The issue of whether you’re selling or awarding a franchise has simply disappeared…
Iain Martin is a Director of the International Franchising Centre and specialises in helping international franchisors secure UK partners, and UK franchisors to develop successful franchise networks, through several brokerage businesses.