As a prospective franchisee, you’ll be investigating franchise opportunities, learning the ins and outs of the brands that have attracted your interest. At the same time, those franchise systems will be conducting their own due diligence on you, making sure that granting you a franchise location would be in both of your best interests. This helps to protect the brand by helping to ensure that prospective franchisees are a good fit. Franchise systems want franchisees who will be great representatives for the system, because in many cases, franchisees will be the ‘face’ of their businesses and active in their communities.
There are many things that franchisors will be looking for as they do their appraisals. They’ll be evaluating the facts, like your skills, financial situation, and work history, but what about the intangibles? How do you put your best foot forward to help show the franchise system that you’re a quality prospect?
Here are five things that franchisors may be looking for that they won’t find on your résumé.
Do your homework
While the franchisor will usually welcome your questions, they also want to see that you’ve been doing your own research before sitting down to discuss joining the system. If you have documentation, bring it. If you’ve made notes, bring those, too. Make sure you have everything you need to be able to talk about you and your credentials, along with what you’ve learned about the franchise system.
Ask thoughtful questions
Franchisors expect your questions, but they also want to hear the kinds of questions you’re asking. After you’ve done your research on the system, be sure to jot down any questions you have, and bring them along. Posing thoughtful questions based on the investigations you’ve made shows the franchisor that you’re thorough, proactive, and interested in their system, and are keen to learn more about the opportunity.
A characteristic that many successful franchisees share is a passion for their franchise’s product or service. As a prospective franchisee, if you’re interested in the franchise system, it’s an indicator that you’re likely excited about what it has to offer clients and customers. Don’t hold back on showcasing your knowledge about and enthusiasm for the concept. You don’t need to be an expert on the subject – part of the beauty of a franchise system is that the operational procedures can be trained. What’s usually harder to achieve through training is a genuine passion for the brand and excitement about providing a high-quality, consistent experience for the brand’s end users.
Franchise systems are seeking franchisees who can act as ambassadors for the brand. Therefore, it makes sense that they would look for people who present themselves professionally, both visually and through their communication skills. Franchisors want to know that you’re organized, courteous, and would make for a great representative of their franchise system in the marketplace.
Investing in a franchise is not a decision to be taken lightly. One way to show the franchise systems that you’re interested in that you’re taking the entire process seriously is to enlist the assistance of franchise support professionals. In addition to providing you with the support, knowledge, and guidance you’ll need throughout the process, consulting with experts, such as a lawyer or an accountant, who have experience in franchising will indicate to the franchise system that you’re a conscientious candidate who is proactively seeking out the support needed to make an informed decision and to set yourself up for success as a franchisee.
Though each franchise system will have its own unique obligations, prerequisites, and requirements, it’s generally a good idea to bring those intangibles, along with the information you’ve gathered in doing your due diligence, to all meetings with franchise systems. As you consider your fit within a franchise system, the franchisor will also be evaluating the same thing on its end. Being prepared, passionate, inquisitive, professional, and proactive can help make the franchise investment process run as smoothly as possible.
The Importance of Franchise Due Diligence
Investing in a franchise is a major decision, and not every franchise will be right for every individual. This is why prospective franchisees should fully investigate the franchise systems in which they’re interested.
Part of the due diligence process will likely include meeting with representatives from franchise systems. Here are a few critical questions that you should be able to answer or have answered to your satisfaction about the franchise system as you research the brand and meet with key members of its head office team.
- What makes the franchisor’s product or service unique?
- How many years has the franchisor been operating? How many units do they have?
- How does the franchisor choose franchisees? How are qualifications reviewed?
- What kind of support and advice, including initial and ongoing training, and operational and marketing assistance, does the franchisor provide?
- Is the franchise system a member of the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA)?
Visit www.LookforaFranchise.ca, CFA’s official online franchise directory, for more information on CFA member franchises.