To be successful, a franchisee must fit a certain profile, according to Rik Hellewell, founder and managing director of Ovenu
You’ve read the magazines and scoured all the information you can find online. You’ve found the franchise you think is suitable for you.
But before you arrange a BACS payment to the franchisor, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself some searching questions, bearing in mind a franchise agreement will typically tie you into a legally binding contract for a 5-10 year term, sometimes longer.
Your first question to yourself should be: can I see myself operating the franchise in the years ahead?
This will be closely followed by: are the profit margins great enough for me to appoint a manager if I get fed up running the business myself?
Or even: could I sell the business for a reasonable return after a short period of, perhaps, a year or two?
If the answer to any of the questions is ‘no’, have a rethink.
At Ovenu, we’ve appointed approximately half of those who have applied to become franchisees over the years. Reputable franchisors will be looking for franchisees who they can work with both in the short and long-term.
A franchisee needs to fit a profile, which will be different for most franchise opportunities.
This may sound obvious, but there are many factors to consider before applying for a particular franchise. If your profile doesn’t fit the requirement, please don’t apply. A franchisor will be looking at putting square pegs in square holes. We at Ovenu certainly do.
On a somewhat brighter note, the majority of reputable franchisors are looking for a profile that is way more than a suitably filled bank account and a pulse.
Remember, a franchisor will be seeking serious applicants it can invest its time, effort and money in. A franchisee will expect a franchisor to be there for the next few years for ongoing support and, in turn, a franchisor will need paying to further its brand development.
Following the system
Next on the list of self questioning will probably be: can I follow tried and tested systems? Followed by: am I good at understanding instructions? If you reply ‘no’ to these questions, maybe franchising isn’t for you. Your profile probably won’t fit the requirements.
At Ovenu, we’ve spent nearly 25 years developing our brand and operating systems to make them as profitable as we can. It’s therefore important that we continue to work with franchisees who understand how important it is to follow our tried and tested ways.
Let’s have a closer look at how franchising works - in golfing terms. The franchisor has built the course, groomed the greens and put the flags in a reasonable position. He then issues you with all the equipment you need to play, including clubs, balls, special shoes, waterproofs, umbrella, etc. These are the tools and equipment to do the job.
You’ll have some lessons to show you what to do. After the training, you will be shown a map of the course that shows you the way round and identifies hazards and out-of-bounds areas, etc. In franchising terms, this will be your operations manual.
Here comes the important part. A chap will greet you and help you round the course - he’s called the caddy. He’s there at all times to give you ongoing help and support.
The smart new golfer will hang on every word the caddy says. And rightly so. This guy will know every inch of the course and will therefore offer practical help all the way around. Not just once or twice, but every day the player is out on the course. It’s very similar to what a franchisor will do for you.
It’s important that you get along with this guy, as he will potentially make you lots of money. If you don’t get on with the caddy, every round you play will be a burden and you’ll want to quit. Naturally, the caddy will want a share of the prize money for his help, which is generally how franchising works.
Let’s face it, Rory McIlroy is a pretty tidy player and has earned some serious prize money. But have you ever noticed him play without a trusted caddy?
It’s natural for the caddy to want you to do well, as the more money you earn, the more they make. This may be a percentage arrangement or a fixed fee.
But if the owner of the course recruits grossly unsuitable golfers in the first place, who can’t or won’t learn the game, the caddy’s job becomes impossible and everybody loses out.
Lots of people have tried golf and just can’t get on with it. It’s no problem, as most find another outdoor game that they’re more suited to.
Golf won’t suit everybody, which is why a relatively small number of people play professionally. But when the profile does match, there can be a great working relationship formed that will be highly profitable for many years ahead.
So it’s worth asking a few questions of yourself initially to determine if your profile fits the franchisor’s criteria. You’ll be glad you did in the long term.
If you’ve read this article and you’re a hard worker who’s happy to follow Ovenu’s tried and tested routes to success, we would love to hear from you.