Franchisors have two options when it comes to recruiting the best franchisees
While there has been a drop in the number of people prepared to buy a franchise in the last 12 months, there’s been no shortage of people wanting to franchise their business or existing franchisors putting in frankly heroic performances to keep their networks together.
As restrictions lift and summer approaches, most brands are starting to see enquiry numbers trickle back up and some are standing by for a flood. This means that competition for good franchisees is going to be even more fierce than usual.
Of course, the more franchises there are, the more difficult it becomes for prospective franchisees to identify the good ones. So how do you make sure your opportunity is visible and attractive in an increasingly crowded field and who is going to take on this role for your brand?
Adding to your headcount and payroll, particularly in the early stages of growth, is not something most businesses can afford. But you still need the skills and work hours to effectively launch your brand to the thousands of people out there looking for the perfect franchise opportunity.
Inevitably, you’ll find yourself facing a chicken and egg conundrum: you can’t afford to invest in a marketing team until you sell some franchises and you can’t sell franchises without good marketing.
You’ve built a great business that’s ready to franchise, so there’s a good chance you could take on most of it yourself, but do you have the time, which after all is your most valuable resource?
There are some quite specific skills required, including sales, marketing, presenting, copywriting and even design. Anyone who has them all to a high standard will be able to command a very good salary. But is it really a full-time role at this early stage?
While outsourcing isn’t always the answer to everything, it might be a solution worth considering. An agency will work for a retainer and doesn’t come with any employment baggage.
It will also have the skills you need because the tasks are spread among a team of specialists who provide social media management, PPC, photography, video shoots, branding and design, copywriting, media engagement and campaign strategies.
That would be your lead generation taken care of, but what about lead management and selection and recruitment? If you can find a company offering all three services, you can expect to pay a monthly retainer with a commission on each franchise sold.
The franchise recruitment world is noisy, crowded and competitive, so ask around and take advice before deciding what will be the best approach for you.
There are many franchisors who have done it all themselves, only adding a team member when they had simply too many franchisees to manage alone. Some have appointed an internal recruiter right from the off, while others pay for time-saving external support, typically on a six-month review basis.
Only you know your budgets, your existing in-house skill sets and the speed you want to recruit at, but it’s good to know you have options.
Suzie McCafferty is CEO of franchise consultancy Platinum Wave.