Do You Have What Franchisors Are Looking for in a Franchisee

13/08/2018 08:00 | Start a business

What franchisors are looking for

Any franchisor with a good understanding of the recruitment process will know that finding the right franchisee can be extremely challenging. Theyre likely to have an imagined ideal candidate in mind and will judge applicants against their image of the perfect franchisee. However, most franchisees struggle to understand what a franchisor really wants in a candidate. Theres often little information available to franchisees in this position and franchisors are often cautious about advertising such qualifications, lest they scare off excellent candidates. Here, we examine a few of the most critical things franchisors are looking for in franchisees.

Qualifications necessary or not?

When searching for the perfect franchise business opportunity, its highly likely that youll encounter some franchise sales pitches that state that anyone can become a franchisee. Some will write that the only requirements for franchise ownership are determination, drive, and dedication. However, other franchises will provide potential applicants with a list of qualifying qualities, attributes, and skills, that must be met if theyre to offer individuals their own unit.

Whether or not franchises should screen applicants according to a set of qualifying criteria is a tricky question to answer. On the one hand, some franchises won't need their franchisees to meet anything but the most basic of criteria. These franchises generally utilise a relatively simple business plan, and franchisees will usually only require a little training to prepare them for their management roles. On the other hand, its usually a good sign if a franchise does require candidates to meet their qualifying criteria.

Generally, it means that the franchise is not willing to work with anyone and everyone, just because they applied. Instead, it suggests that the franchise is serious about maintaining high standards, expects their franchisees to be of a certain quality, and understands that some essential attributes cant be taught over a relatively short training period. Considering the fact that all franchises need to operate to a certain standard in order to protect the brands reputation and, by extension, all other franchisees, what would you prefer a franchise thats willing to take on anyone who can pay the franchise fee or a franchise thats selective about who they work with?

The right attitude

Most franchises will prioritise finding a candidate with the right attitude over all other attributes. The role of the franchisee is challenging. Usually, it will require a great deal of hard work, commitment to years of business partnership, and often long hours. Not all franchise units immediately turn a profit. Some struggle for years before finally turning a corner and making a success of themselves.

Understandably, franchises want a franchisee who can demonstrate their determination to succeed, can provide examples of those occasions on which they've had to strive to reach their goals, and who is willing to commit to the franchise for a long period. However, the right attitude' also encompasses much more than just drive and determination. It's also about decision-making skills, the ability to communicate clearly and concisely, and a head for business basics.


Franchises are also looking for someone who can pay the franchise fee and have sufficient working capital to carry the unit through the tough first months of business. Most franchise units will have to last out an initial period where theyre not turning a profit and franchisees need to be prepared for this eventuality. Consequently, franchises will look for an individual who is a financially viable candidate, as well as someone who possesses all the right skills and personality traits.

Franchise owners are interested in personal investment for two reasons. Most franchises want a candidate who can invest some of their personal capital into the business. Not only does this demonstrate that the individual has been able to save for a specific purpose, but it also ensures that they are personally invested in the enterprise. If a franchisee is investing their own money in the franchise, they're risking their private capital and will usually feel a more significant commitment to the organisation.

Previous experience

Generally, businesspeople learn through experience. Of course, there are plenty of academic programmes that teach franchisees a great deal and training is also essential, too. However, most people seem to learn best by doing. This is one of the main reasons that franchisors so value previous experience. It demonstrates that an applicant has put in the hours, learnt on the job, and understands how businesses operate in reality, not just theory.

Experience doesn't just refer to an individual's employment history, though. Many different types of experience can be thought of as learning opportunities, and a good franchisor will recognise that many of the best franchisees won't be those that have dedicated themselves to a career. Some will have travelled the world. Some will have devoted their time to an unprofitable passion. Some will have made mistakes, learnt from them, and come out the other side ready for business ownership.

Relevant skills

Successful franchisors will have a strict franchise business plan that they expect all franchises to follow. They will also understand what skills and attributes are required to implement it. Different franchises depend on franchisees with incredibly different skill sets. In some industries, accounting skills will be the most crucial requirement. In others, it will be the ability to communicate well with customers. In some instances, these skills will need to be supported with official qualifications. However, in the vast majority of cases, a franchisor will be happy if the applicant can demonstrate the way in which theyve had to put a particular skill or attribute to use in the past.

Generally, franchisors are looking for a specific type of individual to become the newest member of their team. If this isnt the case and they appear willing to take on anyone who applies, alarm bells should start ringing. Being a franchisee is not easy and does require the individual to work hard, utilise certain skills, and have learnt from previous experience. A good franchisor will understand this and try to seek out franchisees who meet their precise requirements.

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