Sally Butters, co-founder of Coconut Media, provides some tips for those searching for the perfect franchise and those hoping to recruit first class franchisees
The start of a new year is a time for re-evaluating our lives; spring is around the corner, and people who have had ‘going it alone’ on their minds come back to the same thought. So the next question is: “Which franchise business is right for me?”.
The great thing about a good franchise business is that you are never on your own. You are starting with a proven business model and the support and systems from a knowledgeable franchisor.
But not all franchise opportunities are right for everyone, and so you need to think about your qualities and skills and match them to a franchise you feel confident you can make a successful business of.
Things to think about
* What are your strengths at work? What skills do you have that could be put to better use in your own business?
* How much do you have to invest in your new business? Don’t forget that you’ll need to cover your living costs during the initial growth phase.
* Do you want to take part in the operation of the business or do you want to manage a team who operate the business for you?
Do your research
* There are plenty of useful websites and magazines that provide information on franchise opportunities that you can browse at your own speed. Make notes and talk your plans through with family or friends.
* Visit a franchise exhibition. If you don’t do your homework beforehand, the choice can be overwhelming. So make sure you plan your visit in advance by looking at the show’s exhibitor list and make the most of the seminars on offer.
* Consider linking with franchisors you like on LinkedIn, talk to existing franchisees and take advice from the experts (try visiting a Lloyds TSB franchise seminar - you can find details of venues and dates on the internet).
Franchisors: how to find your ideal franchisee
There are several ways you can make the process of finding new franchisees much smoother and more rewarding:
* Profile your perfect franchisee - there could be one or several profiles. Knowing the characteristics of a perfect franchisee will mean you know what you are looking for, but also what they will be looking for in you.
* Initially, only provide enquirers with the key details they need to know. A franchise prospectus the size of War and Peace will only leave them wondering what it is you are actually offering.
* Have your franchisees available to tell the story from their perspective either face to face, via online blogs or in testimonials in your printed information.
* Build relationships with other franchisors. If you have been talking to a prospective franchisee, but they are not right for your business, you may be able to recommend them to another franchisor.
* Ask an expert. If you want to find out about best practice for franchise recruitment visit a Coconut Creatives Franchisor Marketing Workshop.
And don’t forget, the most successful partnerships come from a franchisor and franchisee being well matched, which can only happen when both parties are open and honest during the recruitment process and beyond.