The key traits to look for in a successful franchisee

There are numerous hard and soft skills that franchisors look for to identify a successful franchisee

The key traits to look for in a successful franchisee

First and foremost, franchising is about people. The network of franchisees that make up the business are the glue holding everything together. These franchisees are trained to deliver products and services to the franchisor’s standards and requirements and any deviations are considered a big no-no. Why? Because it can lead to brand dilution, product or service inconsistency, a loss of customer loyalty and more, ultimately affecting the bottom line.

Which is better: hard or soft skills?

With franchisees at the forefront of franchising, having a certain set of skills is more important now than ever before. But what are franchisors looking for in prospective franchise partners? The answer – more often than not – lies in the franchisees’ soft skills. While hard skills may be required, it’s the soft skills that truly turn the cogs in the wheel. 

What makes a successful franchisee?

What makes a successful franchisee, then? While this answer will differ for every franchisor, a few common attributes are worth sharing.

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” and “Every cloud has a silver lining” – both of these English idioms have one thing in common: they denote a can-do, positive attitude. A prospective franchisee who is positive and has the right attitude is much more likely to succeed because they have the inner wherewithal to overcome obstacles that may arise.

In addition, successful franchisees are strong communicators. They have the confidence and fearlessness to ask questions to ensure they get things right. They’re not afraid to seek help when they need it. And they’re open and honest about where they can improve, showing self-awareness and self-reflection. 

A franchise candidate should also be coachable. A know-it all attitude means they are less likely to learn when an opportunity arises. Meanwhile, those with an open mind, a desire to learn and a growth mindset are more likely to learn from their mistakes and seek to improve the next time around. Continuous learning is a part of franchising.

A fourth characteristic of a successful franchisee is that they’re not afraid to put in the hours. Yes, there are different franchise types. However, the important lowest common denominator is that franchisees usually get out what they put in. By being hardworking and giving it their all, they’re much more likely to succeed. 

Next, we have the soft skill that involves a willingness to delegate tasks. Making sure that they are able to prioritise and delegate where necessary means freeing up more time to focus on core tasks that will help with the business’ development. However, trying to do everything on one’s own is likely to lead to burnout, stress and frustration with little actually being accomplished.

And last but not least, there is the soft skill of being adaptable and flexible, being able to meet others halfway, being open to changing one’s mind about a situation that may not be yielding the best results, resilience and bouncing back from missteps. This necessarily means being a team player both with the franchisor, other franchisees in the network, customers and organisational stakeholders. 

A brief look at some potential hard skills

Although hard skills and previous experience are not always necessary when evaluating prospective franchisee candidates, they can come in handy.

Examples include business acumen and financial capacity. It’s one thing to have to teach every new franchisee how to read a financial statement and submit their annual tax returns. It’s a whole different ball game when a franchisee is already well-versed in the workings of business. This means the franchisor and franchisee team can more quickly and easily focus on the importance of running the business as opposed to getting the basics in place. In addition, being results-driven means setting goals for oneself and doing everything in one’s power to achieve them using the right metrics and tools and constantly trying to improve.

Wrapping up 

With both hard and soft skills being sought after by franchisors to take their network to the next level, it’s important to ensure that the right franchise candidates are selected during the franchisee recruitment process.

Dani Peleva
Dani Peleva