The attributes of a great franchiseeThere are a set of aptitudes that would be desirable in most franchises, and not all of them fit in with the popularised view of entrepreneurship, particularly the ‘wheeler dealer’ characters on business TV shows and popular sitcoms. Most franchisors do not simply select their franchisees based on a CV and a list of skills; instead they recruit based on who the person is, and whether they would be a good fit for the network. Some of the expected aptitudes that really help someone fit within the franchisor / franchisee relationship would be as follows:
Honesty: The franchisor is going into a partnership with you, which involves significant levels of trust and confidence from both sides. The recruitment process is also not a cheap process, and thus they are making a significant investment in time, money and effort with any new franchisee. Therefore, it is likely that their view will be impacted if there are any signs of dishonesty, as in my opinion, dishonesty within a franchise (on either side, franchisor or franchisee) is the biggest root cause of disputes in franchise agreements.
Compliance: Following on from honesty, franchisors would also be looking to make sure that you would be compliant with their system, and indeed an advocate of it. Although networks encourage ideas and innovation; for brand protection it is essential that the correct process is taken for these so that other franchisees are not affected by the brand being tainted should an idea not be right for the business. Franchisors want franchisees who are happy to follow the proven business model, not those who wish to create their own new business model.
Risk aversion: Although the typical perception of a business owner is that of a calculated risk taker, franchisors often would ask that their franchisees do not take risks with their business model. Again, this comes back to compliance, as franchisees are provided with a blueprint of how the business has been successful in the past. Strategic changes to the business should be undertaken by the franchisor, who has an ethical obligation and responsibility to engage with the network and get their buy in to the future direction of the network.
People skills: Not only are franchisees expected to stick to the system, but they are also expected to deal with staff and customers. Regardless of whether the business is consumer facing or business to business, all interactions with external parties are in fact interactions with other people, and as such a basic level of people skills are absolutely vital when it comes to dealing with anyone either inside or outside of the franchise.
The above is an extract from The Franchising Handbook, which is due for release later this year. Follow this link to pre-order and be one of the first to read it!