Franchising Advices

Top Strategies to Attract Franchisees


The franchise system does not work without a franchisee. That is why it is of a significant importance to find suitable candidates. Below are a few ideas to get you started.

Develop a business plan- Set specific goal and develop a business plan. It is recommended to review your goals every six months and reconsider your business plan if needed. Factors like crises, natural disasters, or changes in client behavior may have a negative impact on growth rates. If so, you need to work your business plan around these setbacks.

Consult a franchise broker- The recruitment of franchisees is more difficult than the recruitment of employees. Let’s face it- sometimes it’s better to pay a fee to someone who has more experience in franchising than to make a mistake that we could have avoided easily. The cost of such a mistake could exceed the cost for hiring a specialist. Franchising consultants know everything about creating, buying and selling a franchise. If you want the job done with minimum mistakes, consult a specialist. Outsourcing is sometimes the best and simplest solution.

Profile the candidate you need- If you have already set your business goals, you know whether you are looking for someone who would develop the franchise or for someone who would maintain the business in a static way. Define correctly the candidate who meets your needs. If you know what you are looking you will find it easier. Profiling will also help you decide in what manner to address potential franchisees- whether through mass or local media; search among new or current franchisees; etc.

Franchise manager- Hire someone who would take care of all the details. The recruitment of a franchisee is not easy and may take time and thorough research. Assign a franchise manager who would control the recruitment and training of entrepreneurs. The manager is the one who offers support and information about business procedures and new products to the franchisees.

Selection tests- You want to attract capable and motivated candidates who would devote enough time and commit to your business rules. Selection tests reduce the scope of candidates and help you determine who is suitable for your business. Research shows that there is a correlation between the results of the tests and the results of the candidates’ work afterwards. When you are composing the tests have in mind what you want to learn about your potential franchisees and construct your questions in accordance with your goals.

Research- Research the franchisees’ financial history. Any information that indicates their financial stability could be helpful. You don’t need someone who cannot sustain a business or someone who gives up when an obstacle appears. With the click of a mouse you can access the information you need. Studying the candidate’s financial history will not take long but may spare you a big headache. Remember that you have the right to decline the application of any candidates if you feel they are not suitable or they might jeopardize your financial statŠµ.

Portfolio- The franchising coin has two sides- the franchiser and the franchisee. You need to evaluate entrepreneurs as much as they need to evaluate you. Give out sufficient information to potential franchisees about your business. If you already have a franchise /or a few of them/, make a portfolio. References from existing franchisees will make entrepreneurs feel more confident in their decision. Give them the chance to talk to other entrepreneurs who have worked with you and show them how successful as a franchiser you are.

Marketing/Advertising- Attract potential franchisees through all channels available. Make sure you know what message you want to send and to whom. Take in consideration that advertising that emphasizes on emotion and logic together is more influential than advertising that merely shows the benefits of your product/service. Use your imagination here; you have to choose from a list of promotional methods- paid reports, radio ads, on-line ads, print ads, billboards, newsletters, door-to-door marketing, etc.

Expositions- A good way to make connections and to meet people who are interested in franchising is to attend franchising expositions. They usually offer great opportunities. You can meet people who want to create, sell or buy a franchise; you can learn new strategies from people who have more experience than you; and you can have fun. Expositions give a good opportunity to present your business within a niche audience. Moreover, organizers of such expositions usually offer consultations and trainings that could be helpful.

Join organizations and associations- Consider getting a membership in various professional associations like the National Association of Entrepreneurs, the Employers Association, the International Association of Business Communicators, or any national or local business organization where you can keep up-to-date with the novelties and build business relationships. 

Lectures and presentations- Buying a franchise is a hard decision. The process resembles a long-term relationship- you get acquainted, you exchange information and form a partnership. Entrepreneurs want to be assured you are a good fit before they commit. Make them trust you. Giving lectures and making presentations allows you to demonstrate to franchisees what to expect from their relationship with you. You are offering them a brand name and a tested know-how, but you are also asking them to commit. If they feel well- acquainted with you and your business and they trust you, they can make a confident decision.

Franchisee conferences/events- Organize a conference or a dinner where all your franchisees can meet. They will exchange business ideas, but they will also feel part of something more significant than their own businesses. If they are happy for being part of your organization they can recruit fellow entrepreneurs for future franchise projects.  Word-of-mouth is the best promotion.

Discounts- Franchise can be expensive. You can offer existing franchisees to open a new franchise with your brand name by decreasing the initial fee or by giving them discounts on royalty fees or advertising payments in accordance with their performance. This technique reduces the barrier to entry and opens an affordable and attractive possibility to entrepreneurs.

Consider location- If you want to open a franchise at a certain location, it’s a good idea to search entrepreneurs who operate in that location. There are a few things to consider before making a decision. Do you want to position your franchise at a place with national significance or at a small town? Is there another franchise with your brand name nearby? Would that be a problem or would that increase brand identity and growth rates?

Promotional brochures- Catalogues, brochures, leaflets are easy to distribute and can be useful if you want to recruit franchisees on a local level.  Use them to promote your corporate philosophy and strategies, development plans, corporate social responsibility and any information that you think would attract franchisees.

Internet- Think like your target audience: how would you browse the web if you wanted to buy a franchise? If you think entrepreneurs would search Google then pay for Google ads; if social media comes to mind, make a Facebook account. Update your website on a regular basis; make a presentational video on your website; connect your website to high-rated franchise- related sites.

Interviews- Franchising is not all about the business; the human factor is strong, too. One of the most important steps in recruiting the right franchisee is the interview. Meet entrepreneurs face-to-face; get to know them better. Making business with someone you do not like is not fun.