Sean joined Snack in the Box, as a Franchise Field Manager, back in 2002. His role for the last 7 years within the business is Sales Director and he is responsible for the recruitment and selection of new SITB Franchisees.
We asked Sean how he works with individuals looking at purchasing a SITB Franchise, so as to ensure both parties are confident they have made the right ‘long term’ decision when a Franchise is awarded by SITB.
SITB – “What qualities are you looking for in a prospective Franchisee?”
Ideally, someone who wants to run the business in a ‘hands-on’ capacity, our franchise model does not really lend its self to running the business as Management Franchise.
Individuals need to be self-motivated, have a ‘cheerful’ personality, realistic expectations around the earnings that a SITB Franchise will generate and most importantly be able to work to a system - our experience tells us that our most successful Franchisees all follow the SITB system and model.
SITB – “Takes us through the ‘steps’ during the selection process?”
From the initial enquiry, we will advise if there is availability in the area where the candidate lives, if this is the case we will:
1) Franchise Prospectus
Email and/or post out our Prospectus to the candidate, which provides a wealth of information about SITB and our Franchise Model
2) Initial Communication
Have an initial telephone conversation with the candidate, to ascertain their individual needs regarding running the business and earnings expectations#
3) 1st Appointment
Meet with the candidate, in their local area, in order to properly present, our Franchise face-to-face. This meeting typically last 90 minutes and is in the form of a presentation, provide further detail and should answer most of the questions from the candidate.
This is an important meeting, as we will also ensure the criteria of our Franchise Model fits with the candidate’s needs.
4) Day with a SITB Franchisee
The candidate spends an entire day with an existing Franchisee – which will involve servicing their existing customer base, in a real hands-on capacity. This gives the candidate an ideal opportunity to see how the business works and ask questions, from someone who is actually running a SITB Franchise
5) Formal 2nd Appointment
With SITB at our HQ. This involves meeting the rest of SITB Team, reviewing the business and Financials, reviewing our Franchise Agreement and providing the candidate with access to other SITB Franchisees
6) Due Diligence
Using all of the information provided by SITB, the candidate must now carry their own Due Diligence on SITB and our Franchise Model. This would involve, reading the Franchise Agreement and taking their own professional advice, review the financials and again taking professional advice, driving the territory, ascertaining how much competition is in the area and speaking with our existing Franchisees
7) Sign Up
SITB will meet with the candidate in their local area in order to sign the Franchise Agreement and review what is required from the candidate prior to the Training Date (i.e. registering for VAT, obtaining a business bank account, set up accounts with suppliers etc….)
The time frame from sign up to the training date is typically 2 to 3 weeks
SITB – “How important is it for prospective Franchisees to talk and meet with existing SITB Franchisees?”
Absolutely essential! These are the individual/couples that are running the business on a day-to-day basis and will have a wealth of knowledge about the business – including what works well for them and more importantly, what are the challenges of the business.
SITB will try to advise of Franchisees to contact, where their individual circumstances and businesses match that of the candidate (i.e. operating the business in a rural area, running the business as a ‘sole trader’ etc.)
SITB – “Would you ever ‘turn down’ someone who wants to join SITBs Franchise Network?”
Definitely, there is no point bringing someone into business where we know they would struggle or not achieve their business ambitions – A good example being if we are contacted by a candidate who is looking for a ‘multi-van’ operation, our Franchise simply is not geared up for this type of business model
SITB - “What Due Diligence should be carried out by Prospective Franchisees when making a final decision about joining SITB?”
As much as possible, I have already discussed the importance of contacting our Franchisees. However a candidate should ensure they are happy with the terms of the Franchise Agreement – our Agreement is for a 5-Year Term (renewable thereafter) and this is a long-term commitment for both SITB and the candidate. They should also ensure they fully understand the financial projections and more importantly, what is required from them to ensure these projections are met, most projections provided by Franchisors require an amount of business development and marketing, to ensure the sales revenues and profits provided.