Recruiting franchisees is probably the hardest and most expensive job for franchisors. New franchisors have conversion ratios of serious enquiries to appointment of around 10:1 Established franchisors have a conversion ratio which is often higher than 50:1 sometimes higher than 100:1.
The recruitment portals specific to the franchise sector are:
A great way to see both new and returning prospects, with strong footfall and opportunities to pre-arrange meetings. There are five bfa exhibitions throughout the year in London, Birmingham and Manchester. Be careful to avoid non-bfa shows, where your reputation could be spoiled by association with bad franchised businesses.
Some national newspapers have developed an active franchise market.
There are four established franchise magazines with a range of options for franchisors – their support can be important.
There are a growing number of websites used for the recruitment of franchisees. Take your time to review these as the quality of the advice that sits alongside any advertising can vary hugely, and can be important in attracting the right calibre of prospect. The bfa works with very few franchise websites, with only one as an official media partner.
Existing franchisees have friends, colleagues and customers, if they are happy with their business they will encourage others.
British Franchise Association
The bfa website has sent tens of thousands of franchise leads to its members.
Franchise Centres and Brokers
Specialist advice on profiling the best candidates for your business can be very helpful. Some will be experience Business Brokers and Transfer Agents, others will be specialist Franchisee Recruitment Consultants.
Not all will be to the standards you will find in the list above. Beware of any arrangement which places a financial incentive on a third party to recruit franchisees; you will be working very closely with franchisees once they are selected, so you need to ensure that the selection process is one based on quality.
In a number of cases it may be best for the selection process and the relationship to be directly between you and each prospective franchisee. However, there are some agents that do approach this area with ethics and standards as a priority. You need to make sure therefore that you are very stringent about recognising those who are more quality focused.
The British Franchise Association can help you find the right advisors - there is a list of bfa affiliated advisors on this web site.
Go to step nine: Becoming a franchisor