If you thought recruiting staff was easy, try recruiting franchisees!
Recruiting franchisees is NOT easy.
Every year the number one frustration for franchisors is the recruitment of good quality franchisees. (Nat West BFA Survey 2008)
Recruiting franchisees is complicated. Franchisors are looking for a very special individual who has the drive to run his or her own business, likes the trade the Franchisor is in, has the abilities required for that trade and has the money to invest in a new venture.
And then the Franchisor and Franchisee have to like each other. After all if you are going to work together for many years in a "partnership", you have to like and trust each other - especially to begin with!
Generally we believe that people who apply to join a franchise will be one of three types:
He is a corporate man happy with his lot and not wanting to venture out of his comfort zone. He might be driving a van or running a big department but he is still the sane sort of person. Is this someone who has the get up and go to run a franchise?
He is a "Richard Branson" entrepreneur type who wants to run the world. Is he going to be happy adhering to your carefully thought out systems or is he going to be telling you how to run your business on the first morning of the training course?
He is a good businessman - not a corporate man or a Richard Branson clone but someone "who wants to be in business for themselves but not by themselves". In reality he is the mid way point between "Corporate Man" and Branson Clone" In short - our ideal candidate!
The most important step in the process is identifying the "ideal" candidate for your franchise. What background and skills do they need? Do they need to have certain qualifications or certification for your industry? Have they the necessary man management or sales skills to really make a go of your business?
So we have identified our ideal candidate profile for our particular franchise and we know that we are looking for someone who matches the ideal candidate identified above.
Then we have three major issues to deal with:
Keeping marketing costs under control can be a real challenge. National advertising works for some but not for all. Similarly the franchise magazines can be useful but not every time. The trick is to spend enough money to get a return on your investment - and remember no-one has ever recruited a franchisee for your franchise before!
Can you sell your business over the telephone? It is very much a "cold call". Speaking to someone you don't know and enthusing him or her - no matter how much you love your business - is very daunting. This is especially true when you realize that, at best, you are one of very many franchises they are interested in or at worst that they may just have a vague idea of going into business for themselves.
The greatest problem is coping with the workload that recruitment brings. Even a relatively small number of enquiries can produce a disproportionate amount of work. By the time you have tried to telephone someone several times - which is very much the norm - it is very frustrating and not a good use of your limited time. And that is before you go through the typical interview and meeting process.
So these are some of the challenges in recruiting that special individual who is going to be your franchisee!
The trick is to "Sell the dream - avoid the nightmare"!