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Franchisors Need To Be Confident Yet Candid


Franchisors have to walk a fine line between confidently presenting their franchise concept to qualified prospects while being candid about the amount of effort it takes to be successful. Franchisors that effectively balance these activities can develop a network of successful franchisees and lower the risk of franchisee failures.

A previous article dealt with the subject of why franchisees may have to work much harder to be successful than they expected.  These situations can lead to negative outcomes. Franchisees can get burnt out, throw in the towel and/or sue the franchisor. For franchisees that find themselves in this situation I placed an equal portion of the responsibility upon the shoulders of the franchisee and franchisor. I also provided advice on how proper due diligence by a franchise prospect could identify the possibility of this situation happening.

Since franchisors administer and control the franchise sales process they can take steps to make sure that these situations are minimized. The need to sell new franchises places franchisors in a situation that may not be as simple as it may seem. I make the same assumption I did in my previous article that the franchise program has successful franchisees.

Franchisors have to verify certain attributes of their candidates in order to obtain the most qualified franchisees including:

  • Being financially qualified
  • Having the required business skills and experience
  • Possessing personal traits of leadership, enthusiasm and the desire to succeed
  • Recognizing and accepting the role of the franchisee in the operation of the franchise

However, there is a fine line to this process which can often get blurred. This is because the franchisor staff needs to present the franchise opportunity in a positive way and confidently provide information and the answers to the prospects questions. This very process can provide encouragement to the prospect. On the flip side is the need for the franchisor to be realistic regarding what it truly takes for the franchisee to be successful. How then can a franchisor reckon with this rather delicate situation?

Assuming the franchise candidate meets the financial, business and personal qualifications for a new franchisee, I would suggest the following:

  • Identify any potential constraints the individual would have in operating the franchise. This could include family considerations, distance from the franchise location (except of course home based franchises). For franchisees that need to make outside sales calls confirm that being on the road visiting prospects wouldnít be a problem.
  • Consider having the person work at a franchise location for a few days. I realize some franchisors are unwilling to do this for fear of losing a prospect. Does this really make sense? If a franchisor doesnít have the amount of confidence in their franchise program to encourage this then perhaps they should consider another business.
  • Be candid when responding to particular candidate concerns or issues. If a response is sugar coated it can emerge as a problem sometime in the future.
  • Describe the daily and weekly routine of a franchisee especially for a new franchise operation. When it comes to the schedule and hours donít hold back.
  • Encourage the prospect to contact existing franchisees and donít push them to the usual validators.  If an example of a franchisee failure is applicable to a particular point donít be reluctant to use this for emphasis. 

Franchisors need to present their franchise opportunity in a positive way but balance this approach with a realistic description of exactly what it takes for a franchisee to be successful. Failing to take this approach can lead to future problems with those franchisees that believe that achieving success is easier than it really is.

© 2011 FranchiseKnowHow, LLC

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


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