Is there an "ideal" franchisee?

Is there an "ideal" franchisee?

By SirGerardThe1st | Franchise matters | 23 Sep 2020

All entrepreneurs in the world are looking for the "Holy Grail". The franchisors too. There are countless franchise requests, interviews, preliminary talks, visits to established franchisees, the back and forth of those who are more "numerical" trying to demonstrate the business through an Excel spreadsheet, and the frustrations by not reaching an agreement.

In addition, many franchisors have a polished "franchisee profile" and whose format they materialize through an Application Form that they ask to be filled out by the prospect before summoning him to an interview.

But the question remains the same: Does the "ideal" franchisee exist? Something like the "metafranchisee" with unmistakable DNA, who once detected, can be summoned without fear for the next stage of the process?

If I were to describe the characteristics of that "ideal" franchisee with the information that I gathered in my 30 years of experience in this industry, the candidate would have more or less this shape:





1) Characteristics:

> Married man with children

> Middle / senior managerial executive

> Net Worth: house, car

> Age: 50 years

> Understand that a pre-established system must be respected

> Understand that he/she has to work hard and that the franchise "alone does not work"

> Accept to be the owner of his/her business and to bank the growing pains

> Understand that things are going to be difficult at first

> Has high self-esteem


2) Medium-term objectives:

> stop depending on corporate whims (¿abuse?)

> better work / life balance

> financial independence

> safety for the family

> wants to be the best franchisee in the network


3) Typical objections:

> insecurity of leaving corporate employment

> skeptical of franchising (what if we cut sales in half in Excel?)

> Difficulty choosing between several franchises


Those who know me know perfectly well that I am not "macho type", a very obsolete term. I have participated in the sale of franchises to women who are very successful and who greatly prestige the industry. I only show a man as an ideal profile because this profile, in 100% of cases, and handling objections correctly, gives a result above the standard.

Today there is an exacerbated emphasis on what is loosely called "inclusion", which neglects excellence a bit and tends to make people believe that all people can do all jobs on equal terms. And although it is very auspicious to work on equal terms and enrich each other, the truth is that each one should identify his/her passion, his/her strengths and his/her knowledge to discover the best way to earn a living doing something that he/she absolutely love. It cannot be thought that a person who is comfortable in the construction industry can be good at gastronomy, and vice versa. And then, why should we think that anyone can be used to manage any franchise?

Searching for a potential franchisee is a very difficult task that resembles the task of a corporate headhunter. Once a person who has the guts to run his own business but does not want to venture down the path of entrepreneurial risk alone is identified, buying a franchise is a near-ideal option. But if the person's goals and objections are not addressed correctly, it is very likely that an agreement will never be reached, or worse, that the purchase of the franchise will be a complete failure.

A good franchise system will give the franchisee a sense of belonging that does not, in any way, preclude his/her entrepreneurial ability to work hard and make things happen. That is the main ability that a person with the DNA of an ideal franchisee values. The professional franchisor will give him/her all the tools, training and support he/she need to be a successful entrepreneur, but he/she is the only one on the battlefield.

Wanting to be the best franchisee in the network is a very important thing that must be highly valued by the franchisor. When a franchise contract is signed, it must be borne in mind that the franchisor does not guarantee absolutely anything, neither success nor profits, so the franchisee who is content to function as the average, does not give a very powerful image and his/her attitude is, when less, dangerous. In fact, a failing franchise is clear proof that not everyone is willing and able to put into practice the powerful system that the franchisor developed and tested in other territories, with the same brand, the same trademarks, and the same method. Franchisees who are only content to "be independent and earn some money" are not attractive.

The competent franchisee will visit other franchisees in the network before buying the franchise, and will realize that there are winners and losers, and will determine if the system and the brand serve to be adapted to his/her lifestyle. In this analysis, the franchisee must make it clear to himself/herself and to his/her environment, that the system he/she is buying has all the potential to become a success, and that the only limit is his/her own capacity and his/her own vision of the business. When working for yourself, you have to choose daily between doing the easiest thing or the one that is best for your business. Those who choose the latter are the ones who show the best performance ratios in the network.

When the franchisee starts his/her operation, he/she is alone or with one or two employees. But when the operation starts to grow in sales and to have a demand outside the standard, the need for new staff, new spaces, new working systems, can overwhelm many. When the business world talks about growth, everyone is very happy because the word is associated with something that brings a lot of well-being. In reality, growth brings a lot of headaches. Although it is highly desirable for both, franchisees and franchisors, a special temperance is necessary to face this growth, without which the operation would stagnate. It's typical to hear "who told me to get into this!" when there are many customers outside waiting to be served. But the truth is that, in these circumstances, it is when the entrepreneurial claw and the possibilities of being the best in the network are shown the most.

In the USA they say that when you are facing your grave, you become very creative ...

Many entrepreneurs buy a franchise with an extraordinary eagerness to generate profits, backed by the idea that franchising is a money-making machine designed by someone who has already made mistakes many times and who managed to develop a successful model for others to exploit and become rich. They ask franchising for something they never asked any other form of employment. In reality, those who buy a franchise with that idea are frustrated almost immediately, because all franchises, including premium franchises, need a period of time and a lot of effort to get operational and in steady state, a phenomenon known as "learning curve". If the entrepreneur can control this impatience, and not listen to the litanies of the frustrated people around him/her who say "you see, I told you not to get involved", he/she will have a much better chance of being successful in the medium term.

It is often said that, with the operational issues of the business already systematized and compiled by the franchisor, the most important task of the franchisee is to manage the activity of the clients in the territory. And it is here where "race entrepreneurs" distinguish themselves and achieve superior performances. The franchisor trains the franchisee in marketing and sales matters and transfers him/her a good number of promotional, advertising and sales techniques tools. But the growth limit of the franchise in the territory will be in direct relation to the creativity of the franchisee to attract new customers and delight existing ones. In fact, franchises differ from each other by the public relations, press, events and activities programs that they organize in the territory, and by the quality management of the information obtained through social networks from customers in the protected area.

The franchisee who had what it took to quit a corporate job, lower his standard of living for a time, endure his own and family anxiety, and handle his demons at night, gradually ends up focusing on the long-term plan, and he/she does not allow himself/herself to be hit by the small problems of the day to day, keeping the ship on the preset course. The best franchisees believe that "the best is yet to come" and that true success rests in his/her personal skills, which is why it is so important that he/she has high self-esteem.

We need franchisees with high self-esteem, who are winners, who want to be the best. The franchisees who jump on the system and compete to be the best in the entire network, raise the bar for the brand and the business, and make everyone else grow too. Those are the ones to look for.

Those are the ideal franchisees.

Ultimately, the franchise is a proven business system, but the franchisee is the one that is going to make it a territorial success, so the franchisor has to make sure that he/she got the best driver he/she could get to drive that machine.


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Franchise veteran, Dapps developer, DeFi evangelizer, Bitcoin and Ether since a long time

Franchise matters
Franchise matters

Reflections of a franchise industry's "Old Wolf", after 30 years in the international franchise business. All opinions are mine, and cover aspects that serve both franchisors and franchisees. Love for brands and entrepreneurs around the world.

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