1851 caught up with the franchise development professionals of various brands to learn more about the state of the industry and their predictions for the year ahead.
1851: Who's buying franchises right now and what type of activity are you seeing?
Jared Jensen, Senior Director of Franchise Development at Floor Coverings International: People who come from the corporate world who are disgruntled. People who are tired of their corporate job and want to take their destiny into their own hands. They want the autonomy of owning a business. They want to bet on themselves.
1851: What's the number one thing franchisees are looking for in the conversations that you're having with prospects?
Jensen: They’re looking for income potential. They want to replace their corporate job.
1851: Do you have an ideal franchisee in your system, and what are their qualities?
Jensen: We have lots of ideal franchisees in our system. They have leadership skills and are capable of overseeing a small team of people. Many of our franchisees hit their financial goals with a small staff of four or five. We also want people who can focus on the metrics and a proven playbook. Our playbook is really well-written, strong and proven. We’re looking for people who can follow that plan and execute.
1851: What's the biggest challenge facing franchise development right now and how are you overcoming it?
Jensen: It’s actually a really strong job market. The enticements to get a job are stronger than ever right now. We’re looking for people who want to put their hands on our business and be a CEO, which requires a full-time commitment. There are a lot of people who want to keep their job and start a business, but we want someone to dive in with both feet.
1851: What's one thing prospective franchisees should know about your brand and franchising in general before buying?
Jensen: It’s a lot of hard work. There’s no such thing as getting something for nothing. But when you jump into business ownership, who you’re in business with is as important as the actual business model. So many people I meet are looking at “what” the business is, but they should focus more, actually, on “why” they're doing it, and who they’re in business with. Those are huge pieces of the equation.
1851: Why should franchisees invest in your industry and in your brand specifically, and why should they invest now?
Jensen: Flooring is a more than $60 billion industry experiencing steady growth. It’s always growing and is not a fad, a trend, or going to be replaced by Amazon or technology. We’re the No. 1 flooring franchise with over 150 units, and when people want consistency and steady, reliable growth opportunities, we’re one of the best franchises they’ll find. We’re not going to be here one day and gone the next.