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Do I need industry experience to be a successful franchisee?
Franchisors’ views on this vary. For example, our business has had clients whose franchisees needed to be, for example, hairdressers. We’ve had other clients who run hairdressing franchises who’ve said: “The last thing I want is hairdressers; bring me franchisees who know how to run a business.”
In the first example, we were looking for hairdressers who could be taught how to run a business. In the latter case, we were looking for experienced managers from any field who could learn about the hairdressing business, though without actually becoming hairdressers.
Other clients prefer to start with a blank sheet of paper, looking simply for people who demonstrate the desire, ability and potential to succeed, whatever their background.
The reason franchisors have different views on the matter will be the result of their previous experiences of the pros and cons.
Franchisees with experience of the business sector in which the franchise operates may take less time to train and get going because they ‘know the ropes’. However, they will also know the wrinkles and short cuts, which may compromise the quality of delivery of the franchisor’s service and therefore the brand as a whole.
The experience most franchisors like to see is demonstration of previous success in a job or business related function, maybe even in a hobby or sporting activity, where objectives were set and achieved. Stress your previous successes when discussing opportunities with franchisors and the details may not matter.
Brian Duckett is chairman of The Franchising Centre, part of the world’s largest network of specialist franchise consultants.
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