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Screening franchisees: the personality traits to look out for

Written by Pip Wilkins on Tuesday, 16 May 2017. Posted in Insight

From being passionate to displaying innovative thinking, the best franchisees tend to have certain things in common

Screening franchisees: the personality traits to look out for

When it comes to finding the right franchisees, every franchisor will have their own unique set of criteria and may well end up investing a substantial amount of time and money evaluating potential candidates. Most will look for people who are systems-oriented, driven, possess good sales and communication skills and come from a management background. These are all good traits to look out for but there are other characteristics to pay attention to as well.

Firstly, you'll probably do well to partner with someone who displays an entrepreneurial flair. Given that franchising is so often about adhering to the guidelines, this might seem like a contradiction. Franchisors want franchisees who will be able to follow the proven system they’ve carefully set out without trying to reinvent the wheel. But even though a lot of the groundwork has been laid out for them, new franchisees are to a large degree starting a business from scratch. And that’s why it can help if they possess some entrepreneurial qualities.

Newer franchises are even more likely to recruit entrepreneurs because franchisors can have a tendency to be drawn to people with similar characteristics to their own. And when the franchise is still getting off the ground and proving its model, it’s especially important to have franchisees who are capable of being proactive, adapting to changing circumstances, driving growth and thinking creatively. But whatever state the business is at, franchisors would do well to bring people on board who can innovate and come up with new ideas, whether it’s a twist on an existing product or a local marketing campaign. So while most franchisors will of course want to make sure that any potential franchisee will be capable of following the rules, a healthy measure of entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t hurt either. After all, it was a franchisee who came up with the idea for McDonald’s Big Mac.

Another trait many of the best franchisees share is an ability to multitask. Being a franchisee often involves wearing multiple hats, especially in the early days. They may have to be a marketer, have a head for numbers, manage people and get stuck into the day-to-day operations. You want someone who's capable of embracing change and adapting successfully.

Fearlessness also comes into play. Even though failure rates in franchising are typically lower and there will probably be fewer surprises, investing in a new and relatively unproven franchise concept can contain some unknowns. Franchisees need to be comfortable with taking measured and calculated risks and in some cases will be piloting new concepts.

Finally, they have to have passion. Your franchisee is your roving ambassador and they need to feel just as enthusiastic about the business they're buying as if they'd come up with the concept themselves. And while these traits might be hard to detect, they're hugely important when it comes to making sure the person coming on board is right for your business.

About the Author

Pip Wilkins

Pip Wilkins

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say we’ve got franchising royalty on board in the shape of Wilkins. The bfa chief executive boasts more than 15 years of experience in the franchise sector and is a regular event speaker both at home and abroad.

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