Be honest with yourself and you’ll ace the franchise recruitment process

Director of Franchise Recruitment for Dream Doors, Alex Waite, shares the dos and don’ts for new franchisee applicants

Be honest with yourself and you’ll ace the franchise recruitment process

While the adverts in this magazine are designed to grab your attention – to extol the virtues of the respective franchised brands – the actual recruitment process is a two-way vetting exercise. Naturally, a franchisor will want to present the most positive attributes of their company, but they’ll be assessing your suitability for their brand as well. You’ll need to sell yourself to them, of course, while also trying to work out whether that particular franchise is the right fit for you. 

Applying for a franchise will be like sitting in on the most important job interview you’ve ever attended. But a franchise definitely isn’t a job – it’s a far more serious engagement than that! You need to take into account the financial outlay, the lifestyle changes and the sheer grit required to become a successful business owner. There’s rarely a trial period with a franchise. Once you decide to sign up, you’re committed to a contract that typically lasts five years or more. Quitting – unlike leaving a job – usually incurs some sort of penalty, so you’ve got to make sure the franchise you join is the right one for you. And for at least the next five years!

Be prepared

The best piece of advice I can give is to prepare well. At Dream Doors, the best candidates we’ve ever had have spent time on our websites; they know that we are part of Neighbourly and the benefits that brings. They’ll have watched franchisee interviews online, have researched the industry and, above all, thought hard about whether they’re ready for self-employment. They also know exactly what appeals to them about our business.

Be inquisitive (but not The Inquisition!)

It’s not commonplace, but some candidates start with aggressive questioning and are reticent about answering any of ours. Those applications go no further. While most people accept a bit of tit-for-tat in an initial conversation, the process must contain an element of that – conversation. It is an exchange of information.

Be honest

Telling the truth is essential. Whether it’s how much money you have to invest and what you need to earn – as well as your motivations, your goals and your fears – the franchisor will want to know. More than that, they need to know. So don’t fabricate or embellish and be 100% accurate in declaring your financial position. Franchisors, or their preferred lenders, will undertake credit checks and other references as well. It is best to be honest from the outset, as some minor blotches on your record could be overcome. If not, disclosing them early prevents disappointment and wasted time for all parties further down line.

Be presentable

I, for one, am glad the days of wearing a suit and tie for business are long gone. But think about the franchise you are hoping to represent. Look at their branding and images, and how their franchisees present themselves. Is that you? At Dream Doors our franchisees are customer-facing and are, for want of a better description, dressed in a ‘smart casual’ manner. So, we’re not blown away by someone who turns up at our training centre in shorts, an untucked t-shirt and flipflops!

Be positive

You’ve prepared well and really considered the pros and cons of joining that particular franchise. And by all means explore the cons – they’re vitally important. But those negatives should be on why the business might not work for you, not why it might not work! If the franchise you are applying for is well established and has dozens of successful franchisees trading, then it’s fair to assume the business works! That’s not to say there won’t be challenges. There will be a ton of them! But, if you have a positive mindset, you’ll have the best chance of overcoming them.

Follow the process

At Dream Doors, we have a recruitment process. And while there is some flexibility, if candidates stray too far from the roadmap, we have concerns. A classic example would be people who take forever to make a decision. We certainly don’t want to rush people in something as lifechanging as this. But, if it takes a year for them to make a decision, that’s likely to be a character trait is reflected in how they run their business. Successful franchising is all about processes and, as you’ll no doubt have read before, it’s vital you ‘follow the model’. That model includes the recruitment process itself. If you don’t follow it, then why would you make a successful franchisee? 

Be yourself

Setting aside everything else, a truly important factor for us is the chemistry. We’ve got to get along. Some of the questions we always ask ourselves are: “Would I buy from this person?”, “Would I work for this person?” and “Is our brand safe in this person’s hands?”. Through a proven recruitment process that includes proper due diligence from each side, then those questions can be answered. And that’s why it’s important to be honest, to be yourself, to be honest with yourself. 

This article comes courtesy of Dream Doors, the UK’s #1 kitchen makeover company. Find out more about how to become a Dream Doors franchisee here.

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