Have you got what franchisors want?

14/06/2018 08:00 | Start a business

What do franchisors want?

If your dream is to become a franchisee and the manager of your own business, you're first going to have to impress the franchisor. While every franchisor looks for something slightly different, there are many qualities that all franchisors favour. Here, we take a look at ten traits that no franchisee should be without.

What do franchisors want?

1. Market insight
Franchisors want to meet applicants that have a thorough understanding of the market theyre entering. While you may have worked in other industries, unless you can demonstrate that the skills are transferable or relevant (which they usually are), theyre not going to impress too much. You also need to be able to show that you recognise the main competition, see where the market is heading, and understand the potential obstacles in the way of the business success and growth. The key to this is research.

2. Finance and funding
If you're going to walk into a meeting with a franchisor and ask to become their newest franchisee, you better have a good idea of how much it's going to cost you and be sure that you're able to raise the required funds. Franchisors want to see that you've got a good grasp of the numbers and that you'll be willing to invest a bit of your own money in the project, too. Finally, theyll also want to know that you recognise the fact that youll require additional working capital to see you through the first few months of business.

3. Compatibility with the franchise
Each franchise has its own specific set of characteristics and its own unique philosophy. Many franchises are more like highly functional family units than business organisations. Consequently, franchisors want to know that you'll fit into the franchise and that you share its ideals, its vision, and its goals. Not only does this make it easier to know that they're picking an applicant that will thrive in the business, but it also suggests that they're choosing someone who isn't going to cause conflict if there are issues further down the line.

4. An understanding of the franchise model
The franchise business model differs radically from most other types of business model. It requires a different kind of individual and a different kind of management style. Franchisors want to see that their prospective franchisees understand this and that they recognise the franchise model places quite specific demands on everyone involved. However, they also want to see that the franchisee appreciates the benefits of the franchise model and is content to deal with its drawbacks. If not, the relationship between franchisor and franchisee will not last long before breaking down.

5. Leadership skills
Though franchisees will be following the rules, standards, and procedures set out by the franchisor, they are still responsible for leading their own team and managing their own franchise unit. Consequently, they need to demonstrate excellent leadership skills if they're to pass the application process and become a franchisee. This will require an ability to organise and communicate with employees, to take difficult decisions, and consider the long-term success of the franchise, as well as short-term goals.

6. A willingness to follow the model
As well as leadership skills, a franchisee needs to show that they can follow the franchise model and work within the franchise structure. Franchises succeed because they have developed a proven franchise model that can be rolled out across diverse geographical areas and still succeed. The franchisor understands this and doesnt want to have to deal with a franchisee that thinks they know best or wants to overhaul the entire system radically.

7. Passion
Most franchisors are looking for an individual who can demonstrate a great passion for their industry. If you're applying to open a fitness franchise, it's probably necessary to enjoy working out. If youre opening a vaping franchise, youll need to enjoy smoking an electronic cigarette. No matter what franchise youre attempting to join, if you dont showcase your passion for the products and services, youre going to struggle to make it.

8. A feel for marketing
A lot of people have acquired excellent business skills and commercial expertise, but few can apply this expertise when reaching out and communicating with potential customers. Marketing is all about taking business ideas and communicating them effectively to other people. If you can do this, advertising your franchise shouldnt be too difficult.

9. Ability to network
The ability to communicate in a clear and concise manner is also an essential factor in networking. Not all business opportunities are come by through official channels, and a good franchisee will be looking for opportunities everywhere they go. Whether it's getting a spot on a local radio talk show, organising charity fundraising events, or getting to know other franchisees at the annual conference, networking is a vital skill that will help you stand out from the crowd.

10. A connection
Finally, most franchisors will be hoping for some personal connection with a potential franchisee. The franchisor/franchisee relationship is an essential component in the success of any franchise, and it's one that has to be nurtured over an extended period. Unlike traditional employer/employee relationships, the franchisor and franchisee exist on a more equal pegging and commit to a minimum period of five years working with each other. If its not a comfortable, healthy relationship, its going to be tough making the new franchise work.

Different franchisors will prioritise different key franchisee characteristics. One franchisor might believe the most essential quality is the franchisee's ability to communicate with the customer. Another might prioritise market expertise. Despite this, most franchisors will want to take on a well-rounded individual who is capable in many respects. If you're having trouble preparing for your first meeting with the franchisor, try and go through all the franchise information available on their website and in their promotional material. Make sure you've covered all the points listed above and go into the meeting confident in your abilities.

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