Pip Wilkins, CEO at the British Franchise Association, delves into how you can find your franchisee match
A supported franchisee network is the backbone of any good franchise. So recruiting the right franchisees should be the most important aspect when growing your business. When the British Franchise Association (bfa) recently spoke to its members we found many franchisors didn’t struggle with sourcing interested candidates. No, instead they faced difficulties finding the right ones – a match that would work best for both parties concerned.
There are many channels to find prospective franchisees. According to the 2018 bfa NatWest Franchise Survey, the most useful methods are website enquiries, word of mouth, social media and exhibitions.
The survey also revealed the main reason for not granting a franchise is due to insufficient capital. Of course, if they don’t have enough money either up front and in regards to ongoing fees, this is a waste of everybody’s time. Although banks can loan up to 70% of the franchise fee, they’ll only do so if they see a watertight business proposal.
However, don’t simply grant a licence to a prospect because they have the capital, as this doesn’t automatically make them someone you want in your network. Perhaps their motives for taking on the franchise aren’t aligned with your core values.
It can be hard to turn down offers from someone who’s willing to hand over the money. But even with the funds, the prospect could turn out to be far more costly if not properly vetted.
Keep the goal of your business front and centre. If your goal is to recruit as many franchisees as possible, then your strategy is flawed and will inevitably lead to having a network of franchisees who don’t have aligned goals or ambition. A franchisee-franchisor relationship is a long-term commitment and one that needs to be built on trust and shared vision.
Many of the franchise systems in bfa membership don’t have specific recruitment targets as it’s all about finding the right profile of franchisees. While this is admirable, other systems will put targets up as something to work to. There’s no right or wrong answer. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t find yourself in the position of accepting a franchisee purely for a short monetary injection.
You should know who your ideal franchisee is. Be scrupulous about who you want in your network and consider what should drive them, preferred character traits and experience. When it comes to franchisees, one disgruntled franchisee can disrupt an entire network. So pick wisely.