How to Select Great Franchisees
How to Select Great Franchisees

Look for these top personality traits when searching for the right franchisees for your brand.

Selling a franchise is no easy task. Getting a person to invest their life’s savings into a business opportunity that will completely change their life is not something you want to take lightly. The way your franchise will succeed is by bringing on candidates that are the right fit for your brand that will execute the systems you have laid out with precision.

Once you are ready to head into the selection process, you will need to figure out how exactly you can find the right people. Start by learning from the top franchisees already in your system. These people are your brand ambassadors and that is what you hope to find in any new candidate. And although certain brands may require specific previous experience to be successful, there are certain traits you can look for in a candidate across industries and brands that make a person good at running a successful franchise location.

People who have a true passion for what your franchise is doing will be. Clay Carson, Vice President of Franchise Development at Coolgreens, explains, “Are they good people? Are they genuine? Do you get that sense of passion from them? You can teach people a lot of things, but you can’t teach them passion.”

Candidates also need to be proactive and motivated to succeed. If you can see the candidate taking initiative during the process, following directions and hitting deadlines, you know there is potential for that person to do well running their own business.

“The majority of the success and failure of a franchise is on the execution,” said Sean Fitzgerald, No Limit Agency Chief Development Officer.

Natural leaders that are able to motivate others are the type of people that will do well in a franchise system. Even though you have the resources of the franchisor as a franchisee, the execution is on you to manage and if something isn’t working it will fall ultimately, on the owner’s shoulders. Candidates that have experience running a small business and managing people can easily transition to running a franchise.

Another top trait to look for in your search is someone who is entrepreneurial spirited but is great at executing systems. Knowing the business won’t succeed without their hard work, they also have to be good local marketers and understand the importance of networking and marketing your own brand along with your business.

“A true entrepreneur wants to come in and fix things in your system, which won’t make for a great franchisee. A person who loves small business but doesn’t want to reinvent the wheel will,” said Fitzgerald.

Once you know what to look for, how can you find out all of this information from a candidate? During the sales process, franchisors should have systems in place to identify these traits and characteristics. For example, Coolgreens has candidates take a psychographics questionnaire to learn more about their personality traits.

“The questionnaire takes about an hour and a half to discover more about their personality traits, how they handle stress and how they plan their days. You need someone who is outgoing and entrepreneurial in nature and the psychographics survey helps us see what type of person we’re dealing with,” said Carson.

Discovery Days are an additional opportunity to get to know candidates better. There you can learn what they are most interested in by hearing their top questions and concerns about buying into your brand.

“People that get down to income immediately and don’t take the time to understand the brand or do a deeper investigation are missing what makes a brand special and different,” said Carson.

It may seem like franchisors are searching for a needle in a haystack when it comes to selecting great franchisees, but in the end, the work pays off. Candidates have so much more information to consider than they ever used to, and the result seems to be better matches between franchisor and franchisee.

“People are very cautious nowadays. The sales funnel process used to be around 90 days. Now, it’s closer to a 120-150 day process. People are just a little smarter, more judicious and do more of their due diligence, which makes for a more educated buyer,” said Carson.