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How to Choose a Franchisee to Help Grow Your Business

Choosing a franchisee isn’t always an easy process, but following these steps can help you narrow the field and select the right people for your brand.

The franchise industry opens up a world of possibilities for potential business owners, and knowing how to pick your first franchisee as you open your brand’s doors for growth matters. 

Jack Armstrong’s pathway to becoming the president and owner of a franchise consulting company started after he left a lengthy career in the publishing industry. Then, an interesting turn of events sent him back to school to earn an MBA, where he had to choose a thesis topic.

“I chose my thesis topic on franchising,” said Armstrong. “That’s when I came across FranNet, and in 1994 when I sold my company, I became a licensee.”

Currently Armstrong serves as the president and owner of FranNet of New Jersey. He is also one of the principal owners of corporate FranNet and is the chairman of the board of the parent company.

Armstrong offers services on franchise information and helps potential franchisees find the right business to send them on a pathway to success while meeting their lifestyle, career and financial goals.

Tips For Choosing Your First Franchisee

Armstrong has worked with a large number of potential franchisees and those who are looking to get into the industry through consulting and franchising seminars, so he knows the ins and outs of what to look for when a brand is looking to bring on a franchisee.

When you’re looking for your first franchise, Armstrong recommends that you spend time with your potential candidate. “Some candidates don’t always do as well as they might look on paper,” he said. “It’s important to get to know them before you select them to become a franchisee.”

You want a franchisee who is committed to your brand and will contribute to your success as a franchisor. Armstrong said he recommends that potential franchisees speak with other franchisees in your brand, so they can ask questions and know what they’re getting into. 

“We want your franchisee to be willing to do the due diligence early,” he said.

There are also important qualities to look for in a franchisee, according to Armstrong. Franchisors want someone who is comfortable networking and who’s a good listener.

“At FranNet we look for those who are willing to follow the process and systems, but are still hunters,” said Armstrong. “We want them to go out and network. It’s important to meet people and build relationships, and that’s something they have to be comfortable doing.”

It’s also no secret that opening a business doesn’t immediately turn a profit. Armstrong said it's important for franchisees to have the financial stability to be able to live on the money they have until the business gets off the ground.

Management skills are an important quality in a potential franchisee. “In today’s labor market, franchisees need to know how to manage people,” said Armstrong. “With COVID, it’s become an issue of supply and demand. You have high demand for products and services, but not always the employee to fulfill those requests. So you want to be able to manage properly,without a high turnover rate.” 

Other important aspects to consider when choosing a franchisee are their communication skills and risk factors.

While choosing a franchisee can be a long and drawn-out process, putting in the due diligence to select the right candidate can help a brand’s growth and reputation.