If you've always dreamed of owning your own business, then you might want to consider investing in a franchise. Franchises offer the independence of small business ownership with the benefit of being backed up by an established business. You don't even need to have experience as a business owner to run a franchise. Franchisors will provide you with all the training and support you need to operate their franchise model.
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But successful franchises are only possible if you find one that’s right for you, your lifestyle and your ambitions. Both franchisor and franchisee need to feel that they've found the perfect fit. Every franchisor will be looking for different skills and traits from prospective franchisees, but there are 10 qualities that most franchisors are looking for.
What do franchisors look for in a franchisee?
1. Willingness to follow the system
One of the most significant advantages of buying into a franchise opportunity is that you don’t have to re-invent the wheel. The franchise system has already been developed and improved by the franchisor over time and has proven to be successful. All you have to do is follow the system to see a healthy return on investment.
It can be tempting to put your stamp on your business when you become a franchisee, but this can be harmful to the franchise system rather than beneficial. The overall franchise brand can be jeopardised if you don’t follow the rules in terms of marketing, sales and service. Remember, the franchise system has been set up in a certain way for a reason. And that reason is that it works.
Successful franchises thrive on consistency and uniformity across their network, so it's essential that you're prepared to adhere to the rules. If you've got a strong entrepreneurial spirit, franchising may not be the right career move for you.
2. An understanding of what to expect
You buy into a franchise, and all the hard work has been done for you. You just sit back and wait for the money to roll in. Right? Unfortunately, there are many myths surrounding franchising, and this is probably the biggest one.
Just like any business, you must be prepared to be committed to making your franchise a success. In the early days, you may have to dedicate many hours to working in and on your franchise until it’s more established.
If you enter into a franchise agreement with a full understanding of your responsibilities, your expectations are more likely to be realistic. This will give you an advantage over other franchisees who may have unachievable goals and who are not willing to put in the required effort long enough to reap the rewards.
3. Financial capability
Buying a franchise is called an investment for a reason. Most franchises require an initial franchise fee and ongoing royalties to be paid. Some franchisors demand a contribution to a marketing fund too.
Before you even consider becoming a franchisee, you need to be sure that you have the means to finance the necessary franchise investment. It’s likely that you’ll also need working capital so that you can meet other financial obligations both personally and professionally until your franchise is making a profit.
As a franchisee, you'll wear many different hats when running your business. One minute you might be recruiting new employees and the next you’ll be mopping the floors. The key to your success as a franchisee will be your ability to adapt to any situation.
For your franchise to run efficiently and profitably, you need to learn how to switch seamlessly from one mindset to another. This will help you to focus on each task as you're performing it while always being ready to change hats as and when it's needed.
5. Willingness to learn
The relationship between franchisor and franchisee can be compared to that of a teacher and student. For you to succeed as a franchisee, you need to be willing to learn from the franchisor to develop and grow. It's crucial you make the most of the training and support that the franchisor has to offer.
Independent business owners have to figure out everything for themselves, but you'll get the benefit of a comprehensive training package when you become a franchisee. Throughout your franchising journey, gain as much experience as you can to become even more profitable and successful.
6. Networking skills
You’ll also learn lots from other sources aside from the franchisor. Being able to network effectively with other business owners in your community is great for your personal development, as well as your franchise.
You can also learn a considerable amount from other franchisees from within your network. Good franchisors encourage their franchisees to meet up to share stories, ideas and problems by arranging regular networking events. Ensure you make time to attend these so that you can learn from those more experienced than you.
7. A leader as well as a manager
Successful franchisees tend to be successful leaders. A good leader is one who can influence their team and make effective decisions and who, most importantly, has excellent communication skills. All of these qualities are necessary to motivate staff, as well as ensure that customers receive the best possible service.
8. Someone who is motivated and driven by results
Despite receiving training from your franchisor and support from other franchisees, ultimately your success as a franchisee is down to you. You must possess a drive to achieve measurable goals and become the most successful franchisee that you can be.
9. Someone who is happy to ask for help
Franchisors and franchisees have a common goal: to run a profitable business. If you're ever struggling or need help, then don't let your pride get in the way of asking for additional support. It's in the franchisor's best interests to make sure that you have all the help you need to overcome any challenges that you're facing.
10. Plenty of passion and enthusiasm
Even if you possess the previous nine qualities that are essential for a franchisee to hold, if you don’t have passion, the journey to success will be much more difficult. Having enthusiasm for your brand will be infectious and very evident to your employees and customers. Love what you do, and you'll never work a day in your life.
On top of these 10 main things, here are some more requirements that franchisors may look out for:
- Good credit history
- Positive attitude
- Someone who is ready to tackle challenges head on
- Someone who is responsible and reliable
- An independent thinker with an entrepreneurial mindset
- Someone who is prepared and organised. When you turn up to the interview, make sure you’ve done your homework. Prove to the franchisor that you are well informed about the brand and its offering.
- A good support network. Franchisors might look fondly on candidates with a strong network of family and friends who would be there for them if any problems arise.
- Emotional resilience. The franchisor will want to see that you are able to cope with and adapt to stressful situations. It is generally understood that less emotionally resilient people find it more difficult to cope with stress and life changes. Whereas, more resilient people are able to adapt in such situations calmly and effectively. Emotional resilience can be developed though, and when mastered it can transform your quality of life.
- An efficient worker who makes the most out of their time.
- Traits of a good salesperson. To name a few, this could be empathetic, good listener, confident, multitaskers, excellent verbal skills, persistence, tenacity, ambitious, patience, commitment, imitative etc…
This list isn’t extensive either. For more information of what franchisors look for when recruiting, click here.
How can I stand out from the competition?
- Ask questions. Having a list of questions prepared before you meet the franchisor will prove that you have taken the time to prepare properly and are taking the opportunity seriously. You might want to write down the answers too so you can reflect properly when you get home and can digest all of the information. For some more examples of what questions you should ask yourself and the franchisor before buying a franchise, have a look at another one of our articles here.
- Research the franchise in detail. Learn as much as you can about the franchise before you go to the interview. This might include when the business launched and if there has been a change of ownership, as well as the main competitors and how many other franchisees there are. Not only will this help you decide what questions to ask, but it will also prove to the franchisor you have showed initiative.
- Make sure you fully understand franchising. As well as being knowledgeable about the brand, you need to know what it means to be a franchisee. Franchisors only profit when their franchisees profit, so it’s in their best interest to recruit the right ones. Make sure you will be able to follow the business systems and are happy with the amount of support you will receive.
Even if you possess the previous nine qualities that are essential for a franchisee to hold if you don’t have passion the journey to success will be much more difficult. Having enthusiasm for your brand will be infectious and very evident to your employees and customers. Love what you do, and you'll never work a day in your life.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©