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Identifying Your Brand’s Ideal Franchisee and Targeting Development Efforts Accordingly

Leaders from Spray-Net and Royal Restrooms shared their insights.

Franchise brands always want to find the ideal franchisee who fits the mold of what they’re looking for, but before they do that, they need to ask themselves: What is my ideal franchisee? Once they’ve identified the qualities they want to see in such a person, franchise brands can then target their development efforts in the right way. 

Two franchise brands shared their insights on this topic: Spray-Net and Royal Restrooms

“Spray-Net is an innovative and progressive home services company, so we’re looking for like-minded individuals who are excited by new products, services and technology to grow their business and our brand,” founder and CEO Carmelo Marsala said in an email. “We are ultimately looking for someone who believes in our service, is sales-oriented and displays strong leadership skills to build and lead a team.” 

Marsala described the ideal Spray-Net franchisee as entrepreneurial, proactive and hands-on when it comes to running their business. 

“Most importantly, a Spray-Net franchisee must be a people person who understands both the strategic short- and long-term value of creating happy customers,” he said. 

To this end, the brand uses a multifaceted approach to finding new franchisees, which includes digital marketing campaigns, broker outreach, word of mouth and referrals, Marsala said. 

“While we find potential franchisees in a variety of ways, our Discovery Calls allow us to really get to know our candidates and see if there is a fit in terms of our ideal profile and ultimately our values,” Marsala said. 

For Royal Restroom cofounder and CEO David Sauers, finding that ideal franchise candidate is about having a strong connection with them. He noted that, after all, a franchisor-franchisee relationship is meant to be a long-term one. 

“Usually, there is a feeling about someone, just as a franchisee has to have a feeling about us,” Sauers said in an email. “A spark, instant connection, an attraction. Kind of like the moment you knew your wife was going to be your wife. You have to know you were meant for each other in an almost romantic sense, because they are going to go through good times and bad together.  You have to be able to communicate well and depend on each other. This is going to be a very important relationship. We need to make sure all the owners work well together, and hopefully that they are looking to create a legacy. And, just like in a marriage, you plan for the partnership to endure a long time.” 

That being said, there are some qualities an ideal Royal Restrooms franchisee would possess. 

“Generally, I am looking for someone who has a genuine interest in learning, growing and being a part of something that is like an extended family,” Sauers said. “Someone who works well with others and will listen. In addition to someone being a team player, we really look for people who have fresh ideas and can interject energy and charisma into the organization. We want to integrate that innovation into our company, but not spend time trying to reign in a rogue franchisee after the fact.”

This method has paid off tremendously. Sauers pointed out that Royal Restrooms has been in business for over 16 years and that most of the brand’s franchisees have been with it for more than 10 years. While the brand is certainly looking to grow, it will continue to prioritize making solid relationships with franchise owners. 

“Sadly, our recent franchising expansion efforts have produced only one new office this year, which is really surprising given our track record,” Sauers said. “But then again, we are not a sophisticated franchisor. We are not looking for mass development, but quality franchisees that want to make a name for themselves in their communities.”

By clearly identifying the traits they want their ideal franchisees to possess, franchise brands will ensure that they will identify and engage prospective franchisees who are good fits for their brand.