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Understanding the Passionate Franchise Founder

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When visiting franchisorís corporate headquarters, franchise candidates look forward to the opportunity of meeting the person who founded the franchise. However, itís important that these candidates keep the enthusiasm often demonstrated by the founder in proper perspective.

The founder of a franchise may be the most important single individual to meet during a Discovery Day visit but prospective franchisees need to avoid being overly swayed by the passion these entrepreneurs can exhibit.

When a franchise candidate visits a franchisorís corporate headquarters, particularly a small or medium franchisor, there are many reasons to meet with the franchise founder(s):

  •  A new or medium size franchise doesnít have the accomplishments or track record of a mature franchisor. As a result the individual who started the franchise can provide credibility.
  •  The founder typically built the business from the ground up and has experience in operating and growing the business.
  •  Franchise candidates recognize the founder as a true entrepreneur compared to franchisor staff.
  •  They want to meet the key decision maker in the organization.

Although, these are valid reasons and have some merit, there is the potential for the franchise candidate to be overly influenced in his or her decision-making after meeting the person who started the franchise.

An individual who starts a franchise based upon their initial business operation has a great deal of pride in their franchise. This pride on the part of the founder can manifest itself in a high level of confidence in the franchise opportunity. They may unwittingly impress a candidate and thus impact their decision about purchasing the franchise. The prospective franchisee needs to be careful about letting this enthusiasm overly influence their decision.

When meeting with a franchise founder here are some items that a candidate should keep in mind:

  •  A successful business and a subsequent franchise operation is usually the result of hard work, risk and significant sacrifice by the founder. Many people are unwilling to pay the price for such success.
  •  The enthusiasm and self confidence of the founder can be contagious. The franchise candidate should maintain a realistic attitude regarding their own strengths and weaknesses.
  •  Since the franchise founder has achieved success operating the business they may portray operating the franchise as being easier than it really is.
  •  Promises of unwavering franchisor support by the founder, although well intentioned, needs to be validated by existing franchisees.

Individuals who convert a business into a franchise are understandably proud of their accomplishment. Most franchise founders are driven to build their franchise company into a highly successful organization. Prospective franchisees need to keep certain factors in mind when meeting with these individuals.

 2010 FranchiseKnowHow, LLC

Ed Teixeira is the President of FranchiseKnowHow, LLC. He can be reached at franchiseknowhow@gmail.com

 

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