The British Franchise Association investigates why selective recruitment has led to a healthy industry, and a boosted UK economy
The success of franchising can be partly attributed to selective recruitment. Having a network of passionate franchisees will lead to greater rewards than simply handing out agreements to whoever has shown a mild interest and has the money to hand over.
While this may mean you could wait months, ultimately it will lead to a closer network who are all on the same page. Here are a couple of essential points to remember when seeking out franchisees.
Personal touch Understanding the motives and aspirations of a franchisee are key to knowing whether you are a match made. If not, don’t be afraid to swipe left. One of the top reasons for not granting a licence to a prospect is their performance at interviews, but even before you get to that stage, you need to ensure you’re not wasting each other’s time.
A financial discussion You could meet someone that fits with all the preferred characteristics of your ideal franchisee, but is unable to fund the venture. According to the 2018 bfa NatWest Franchise Survey, insufficient capital of the prospect is the main difficulty franchisors experience when recruiting new franchisees. While this is a sensitive subject, it is imperative you cut to to chase in a professional manner to ensure they can afford to purchase the franchise either up front or with the help of the bank.
How long will it take? Finding ideal franchisees might take longer than you prefer. Many franchise systems will have targets of say recruiting 20 new franchisees, and working on five resales. If you’re not hitting targets, don’t cut corners.
In 42 years of the association operating, the bfa has never seen this approach work in the medium or long-term. And once you do find a match, it’s important that the potential franchisee understands how long the process will be. All franchise systems vary, but it could weeks, months or even a year before a prospect becomes a fully fledged franchisee of the network.
Franchisor insight Martin Bunney, Director of Acquisitions at property franchise Belvoir, understands that the recruitment process may evolve over time.
He explains: “The way in which Belvoir recruits franchisees continues to evolve. Principally we looked at why people joined us, their satisfaction rate, what we did well in their opinion and what may need attention.
“Most of all we looked at preferred outcomes. This may seem strange, as the outcome is obviously to bring new franchisees into the network. However, what’s more important is that we bring in the right franchisees into the network.”
He continues: “To do this we built up a proposition, which potential recruits would see as an aspiration. We saw this approach as more effective than simply saying we want ambitious entrepreneurs to join us. We wanted their ambition to be demonstrated by their wish to move forward with a great proposition.”
Careful selection every time Whether you’re a pilot franchise or a veteran of the industry, careful selection of franchisees should be at the forefront of your business development.
You wouldn’t want a long-term commitment with just anyone. You want to know that your brand is in the hands of people you trust and respect, and this should be reciprocated.