Selecting Your Franchisees – Part 1 of 3

Whether to expand your network, to find a suitable replacement for retiring franchisees or simply to identify prospects, the recruitment and selection needs of franchise networks have been a subject of growing attention among franchisors.

But how do you pick the right franchisees for your network? First, you attract high-potential candidates, then identify the best match for your network, and finally recruit the top talent. And of course, you will be faced with the hefty task of retaining them after! But that is another subject for discussion. It’s that simple, right? Well, not exactly. From a pool of entrepreneurs, how do you select those who would add value to your network, who would ardently and proudly work to grow their business as if the banner were their own?

Here, we shall break down this complex task into three steps:

  1. INTROSPECTION
  2. ATTRACTION
  3. EVALUATION AND RECRUITMENT

 

Part 1: Introspection

“Know thyself” taught Socrates. Such a seemingly simple invitation to reflect on oneself actually carries a deep meaning that reveals all its essence in our context. It is no easy task to navigate through the turbulent waters in a world without borders, where changes occur constantly and at an ever-growing pace, where aging population may result in a massive retirement crisis, and where companies face the many challenges of managing a multigenerational workforce that often includes up to four generations of employees.

The bankruptcy of the fashion chain MEXX or the closing of all 133 Target locations across Canada are just examples to make you realize the immense scale of challenges and complexity that networks have to tackle. Merchants never stop innovating and reinventing themselves in order to ensure customer satisfaction and adapt to changing consumer behaviors, growing business competition and new technologies such as e-commerce and social media.

Selecting franchisees for your network is a delicate and tricky task: on one hand, these entrepreneurs must show strong leadership to make certain their businesses evolve, while on the other hand, they must be capable to function within the framework established by the franchisor, which means that they must respect the existing structure and must be able to adapt to the processes and standards in place. It goes without saying that the franchising industry calls for a very specific entrepreneurial profile.

The ways of doing business from the past decade are no longer sufficient to optimize the quality of franchisees. Adding a candidate to the network based solely on his capacity to pay fees without taking any other criteria into consideration is actually a fast track towards failure in the overwhelming majority of cases. And since a franchise agreement is often signed for a term as long as 20 years, your franchisor-franchisee relationship may either turn exhausting and endless or beautiful and prosperous…

To boost your success factor in dealing with the intricacies and challenges of franchising, it is important to start by understanding what you are and the direction where you want to go. What does your banner represent? What are your core values, corporate culture, DNA, mission and vision? Which franchisee profile would be a good fit with your banner in order to achieve your short-, medium- and long-term goals? What are your franchisees’ expectations with regard to the franchisor? Which management skills, experience and strengths do they have, and what is their affinity with the network’s values? Do these match your expectations? Is their entrepreneurial profile a good fit with your banner? There is a growing trend to go back to our roots, to balance work and family. Do the work conditions in your network correspond to the way of life that your franchisees seek? Which geographic sectors are your top recruiting priorities?

In order to attract the best candidates for your banner, to employ the pull strategy instead of the push strategy, profound introspection is not only the first step, but the key step that will determine the quality of the very foundation of your network. FlagFranchise was designed with the vision to provide support and assistance throughout this critical business analysis that would help you, among other things, identify your ideal franchisee profile, as well as review and rethink your franchisee selection process.

FlagFranchise team