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The Perfect Franchisee

The key to a good franchise operation lies in recruiting the right people to take on the responsibility of helping the franchisor grow the business and the brand...i.e. getting the right franchisees.

There is such a thing as the “perfect” franchisee, and from my operational experience, I will relate what I think that perfection looks like:

1. Fully Comprehend the Business Model

The whole work environment within a franchise network works so much better if the parties going into the business together (franchisee and franchisor) fully comprehend the very special relationship that is franchising. It is so much harder to control, or indeed manage franchisees when they are consistently bitter about paying royalty fees; ignore any kind of advice; try and reinvent the wheel, etc.

Franchisors should try to educate their franchisees as part of the application and induction process about the business model and how it works in practice. If you are going to buy a franchise – take the time to understand the model.

2. Accept that Success is in Their Court

By buying a franchise, this does not mean that it is easy street! Like any other business, it still takes hard work, dedication, commitment and enthusiasm to keep the business going and growing. The only real difference with starting a business by buying a franchise is that you should have an extra burst of help in the beginning when you start up, and your ‘trial and error’ period is vastly reduced. Other than that, the franchisor is not going to run the individual businesses for the franchisees – that is up to them.

3. Respect Authority and Integrity of the Business Model

This is a major one. By fully understanding the business model, the franchisee will also grasp how very important it is to stick to the model. A perfect franchisee will stick to the operations manual and will engage with the franchisor on occasions where he may think that something valuable could be added or altered within the model. A really great franchisee works with the franchisor and not against him. It is important to respect who made the business successful enough in the first place to make it a franchisable concept!

4. Motivated to Grow and Expand

The whole idea about franchising is to GROW a business and brand. The ideal franchisee will have this as one of his main motivators, next to making a profit (and increasing that profit over time.) Very few franchisors are going to be looking for franchisees who are happy to ‘cap’ their earnings and are complacent in the level of business they are doing. This works against the crux of the franchise model.

5. Annihilate ‘Half Empty Glass’ Thoughts

We all know there is nothing worse than having a Moaning Minnie around you. They bring you down and make you want to really drink a whole bottle of wine on your own, while hanging precariously off a ledge. A fantastic franchisee is one that accepts that there will be ups and downs, but learns from them...gets up and keeps going. Anyone who is likely to blame others for their failures and lack of activity is not suited to franchising. Your fellow franchisees are part of your backbone of support when you are a franchisee, so it’s important to be strong for each other and to support each other when times get tough. When things are in a dip, it’s not a time to band together and rally negativity at the franchisor. Nothing good comes from moaning (you can quote me on that.)

Copyright © 2009 Shelley Pearson.
Reprints are welcome, as long as the by-line and article are published in tact and all links made live.


About the Author

Shelley Pearson, formerly an independent franchise consultant, created the Expert Franchise Guide business after identifying a serious lack of a provision of franchise business guidance products to small and medium sized business owners. She has developed her products in order to solve one of these business owners’ biggest operational obstacles: access to decisive, experienced and cost effective franchise business guidance. She is now an information marketer and has managed to attract both professional affiliations and clients who recognise and value her business acumen matched with a practical and empathetic approach.

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