In my opinion, this is one of the most important things to think about when you are franchising your business. Why? In both of my businesses I deal with people on both sides of the equation. When you are a brand new franchisor, then your first few franchisees are going to be entrepreneurial, they are going to want to get involved in a business that is brand new and exciting. When you have got a few more franchisees then you are going to be attracting the “sheep” or followers, these people have seen you grow and wanted to see if it worked before they hand over their savings to you. Then you have the “rest”, this is where you will be pitched in the same area as everyone else who is selling a business that has been running for a few years, has good franchisees and a growth plan to go forward. The main thing here though is at all of these stages you need to have a profile of franchisee that you are looking for. For example, they might need to have a certain skill set or you might only want people to work full time in the business.
I would advise people that full time franchisees are harder to find than people who want a franchise as a 2nd business. But it’s the best way to go if you want them to build a business quickly. I have had a few disagreements with people over this, put it this way – if you take on a franchisee and they have a part time job or another business, where is their main focus? I will promise you, if they struggle with the business for whatever reason, where do you think they are going to put more of their attention? Where the money is! That means that you have sold a franchise to someone who doesn’t actually want to work on the business because their focus is on their PT job. This totally comes down to your franchisee profiling. There are a few main reasons why a franchise doesn’t work; the franchisee doesn’t follow the system properly and thinks they know best, (why did they buy it?!), the franchisor sold a business that didn’t work, or the franchisee runs out of money.
On the other side of this you could take on someone on who has too much money, but how can you have too much money? The biggest problem with too much money is sometimes they don’t have the motivation as they don’t actually need it. My daughter is 10 and trying to get her to understand about motivation is killing me: she is taking her 11+ this year and we want her to get into a grammar school for a good education. When I say if you don’t study you won’t get in, her question is “so where will I go?” I then explain a 2nd option is still a good school but not 1st choice, do you know, her answer is, “oh well, it’s still a good school” – she’s happy to settle for 2nd best. Now, she’s 10 so hopefully she will learn about competition and that in the future, but do you really want a franchisee who is subconsciously OK if they fail?
Franchisee profiling is key to how your business will shape in the future, you want the correct people from day one, yes it’s going to take longer but they are going to be worth it. Having a high churn rate on franchisees is a massive ‘no no’ to incoming franchisees, why would they buy into a business that has people leaving here, there and everywhere?
Now this is different to a well-run franchise having franchisees who have had their franchise a while and are looking to sell. At any time a mature franchise will have about 10% of the franchisees up for resale, this is normally because they have done their time and want to retire after making their money. When you are profiling a franchisee for a resale it is different to a new start. This is when you are going to look for people who have got the money as the purchase price is going to be higher but their return on investment is hopefully going to be quicker, which means their focus is there and they have a plan in place to grow the franchise. Is there any point in taking on a franchisee for a resale and them not growing the business? Yes of course, the outgoing franchisee may not have had the focus for a while as they are selling but still we all want to grow don’t we?
This weekend spend half an hour thinking about who you want to be your franchisees and who you want to avoid. Work out why and you’ll be on the first step of making your franchise work.