Everyone talks about how to find the right franchise, but what about the other side of the story? How do franchisors find the right franchisee?
Finding and entrusting the right person to grow your brand can be just as time consuming and strenuous of a task for franchisors as it is for individuals looking to buy a franchise—they both need to find the perfect fit.
To better understand what it takes to find the perfect franchisee, 1851 Franchise spoke with Noelle Burak, the franchise development manager for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK, Rick Robinson, the founder of Services4Franchising, and Sharon Peterson, franchise sales director for Best in Class—three people who have undoubtedly experienced firsthand what works, and what doesn’t work, when it comes to recruiting the best brand ambassadors.
According to Burak, the first thing TWO MEN AND A TRUCK looks for in a candidate is something a little more intangible—they need to have a passion for the industry, their community and the brand. In other words, it can’t just be about money.
“It’s a big red flag if you find a franchisee looking for a quick and easy thing to do to make more money. Franchising is not easy. We are looking for someone that is passionate about owning a business—that is big on our core values. But they also need to have a genuine desire to give back to their community and grow their employees,” Burak said.
Peterson agrees that passion is a must-have in franchisees.
“We want to find someone that is passionate about education. To be a Best in Class franchisee, you have to have this passion because the franchisee will be constantly active in their community, frequently meeting with schools and parents.”
While finding someone with passion is crucial, it is equally important to find someone that wants to grow with the business.
There are two types of franchisees: a single-unit operator and a multi-unit operator. Of course, there are advantages to both, but across the board, franchisors typically prefer multi-unit investors—that’s because this gives the brand a good indicator that they want to grow the brand on a greater scale and have a long term relationship. Best in Class, for example, looks for both operators, but 70 percent of the brand’s franchisees are multi-unit owners. The same goes for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK—a majority of the brand’s franchisees are multi-unit.
According to Robinson, there’s been a noticeable shift over the years of franchisors moving towards preferring multi-unit franchisees.
“A few years ago, there was a big shift. Before, everyone was going for the single-unit operator, but now, franchisors are looking for executives that want multiple units,” Robinson said.
Another change that Robinson noted is the fact that franchisors are leaning toward executives rather than people with backgrounds within the industry.
“A lot of franchises get caught up hiring a franchisee that comes from the respective space. What franchisors need is a true business owner that has managed people before, has the working capital to get the units up and running, and will get a management team in place. The franchisee can then get out in the community and spread the word,” Robinson stated.
Robinson has seen various franchisors who have hired people with experience in their specific industry but ended up not being able to manage the franchise properly.
“A mobile dent and scratch repair for vehicles attracted a lot of franchisees that were car guys. What happened though was that these franchisees did all the work themselves. They were doers instead of managers, and you need managers,” Robinson explained.
Burak has seen the same type of hiring trend. The TWO MEN AND A TRUCK franchisee model peaks the interest of a lot of moving and transportation professionals. The working model is a lot different than the franchise model though, and they run into the same problem of having doers instead of managers.
The same goes for Best in Class.
“A majority of our system aren’t teachers. Yes, we love working with passionate educations and child care professionals, but we don’t require our franchisees to teach at the location so they don’t need to be from a teaching background. A lot of the franchisees come from corporate backgrounds, management, and IT,” Peterson stated.
There is a lot that goes into finding the right franchisee, whether it is your background, net worth, management experience, and more. Each franchisee is different, but when choosing them, it’s important to make sure they all have one thing in common – passion.