5 essentials for successful franchisee recruitment

Sarah Stowe

Inside Franchise Business: what type of franchisee do you want to recruit?What are the key behaviours that will ensure your franchisee recruitment is right on track?

Over the years I have had the pleasure of successfully expanding franchise networks as well as interacting with many systems. Here are five basic franchisee recruitment principals that have worked for me and I would say should form the core of every systems growth initiative.

1. Know your system

It’s critical to identify the unique characteristics of your franchise system and have a clear understanding of where your product and services sit within your competitive set.

Some simple questions you should ask to help better market your franchise system include:

  • where do you win or compete verses your competitors?
  • are there advantages to your business model compared to similar businesses?
  • what trends are you experiencing and do these give your model an advantage verse other sectors?
  • what are your trading or consumer habits and do these differ from competing offers?

Once you clearly define the unique characteristics of your business these learnings should form the key messages used when promoting to potential franchisees.

2. Define the type of franchisee you want to attract

Understanding the profile characteristics of your preferred franchisee is critical to ensuring firstly that your promotional activities are specifically targeted to attract this type of person and secondly that you recruitment structure clearly identifies them early in the process and professionally manages them throughout the recruitment cycle.

Equally, promoting your ideal franchise candidate’s desired business acumen and personality characterises can demonstrate to potential franchisees your intrinsic understanding of the system and allows candidates to also assess their suitability.

3. Market and promote the franchise system

You may have heard marketers say “you can’t sell a secret”, and this is absolutely true. To grow a franchise network requires the same level of commitment as growing existing revenue or customer base. If you are not actively marketing and promoting to attract new franchisees then you are at risk of being left behind by those that are.

Franchise marketing needs to be specifically targeted to locate and attract your desired audience, i.e. “go fishing where the fish are”, and don’t waste time or money where they are not.

Systems that understand who they want to attract, have a targeted and consistent franchise recruitment marketing strategy and who generally follow the principals herein achieve results.

4. Have a predetermined recruitment process

Implementing a step by step franchisee recruitment process is critical to ensure enquires are managed correctly, critical information is extracted when needed and equally system information shared with prospective candidates at the right times.  This also improves internal communication, management visibility and reporting distribution.

Defining a step by step recruitment process is as important to the franchisor in assisting informed and consistent decision making as it is to the prospective franchisees who know in advance what the steps and time investment is for them coming into the process.

5. Provide first class customer service and build trust

This may come as a surprise, but a common complaint from people looking to purchase franchises is that they enquire but never hear back from the franchisor. This is difficult to believe in an industry that generally relies upon network scale and royalty income to succeed.

It is critical to service every enquiry and remember information is absolutely king. As a bare minimum you need to ensure calls are returned promptly, provide timely, useful and accurate information and go out of your way to service prospective franchisees.

Those who provide comprehensive information and ensure prospective franchisees are educated on all parts of their system and who genuinely want to determine each prospective franchisee’s suitability to the system will significantly increase their lead to conversion ratio as well as the success rate of each new franchisee.

Service and information builds trust, whilst also assisting to establish general expectation and sets the stage for a successful future relationship.