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Below are 10 traits that make up the DNA of a successful franchisee. These traits are universally required for a franchisee to be successful, regardless of the type of business.
The best way to assess whether a lead has the DNA of a successful franchisee is to think of the process as assessing how good a FIT this candidate is for this concept/system.
In other words, you want your owners to thrive in a franchise environment and to achieve their goals for their life and career — this isn’t about right and wrong, it is about optimizing the likelihood of success for everyone involved. Once this is established, you can simply go through the bulleted points and questions below to learn more about your franchise candidates.
Often overlooked is the fact that, even though a franchise may be a proven concept, it still takes time to build a new location. Franchisees must budget for the working capital they will need while they are building up the business.
People who gravitate towards following systems and processes are naturally going to thrive more in a franchise than those who prefer to be creative and frequently try something new. For example, veterans often have the DNA of a successful franchisee because they understand the necessity and value of following a system.
By entrepreneurialism, we are talking about having a propensity to see where there can be improvements to make things more efficient and ultimately more profitable.
This kind of entrepreneurialism we’re looking for in the DNA of a successful franchisee can be closely tied to problem solving. People on the frontline often have the best ideas (e.g. the idea of the Big Mac came from a franchisee).
We just need to make sure the franchisees understand that most modifications to the operational system need to be approved by the franchisor.
Loving this blog post so far and looking for more valuable resources? Check out the Franchise Growth Pod.
If a franchisee doesn’t absolutely love the brand, it will make it hard for them to build and grow the business. Be leery of a franchisee who is shopping around for franchises primarily based on the potential ROI.
It will be a lot more challenging to attract customers/clients and to inspire employees if a franchisee is not excited and passionate about what they are offering.
Starting a new business, even one with proven systems, is a big deal for most franchisees; the opportunity can place a lot of weight on the franchisee’s shoulders. The long days, financial burden, and pressure to perform can all contribute to the stresses franchisees undergo.
The most successful franchisees are those who have family members supporting them through the ups and downs of being a business owner.
Family support can show up as anything from emotional support and pep talks, to financial security, to having family members who will jump in and do whatever it takes to keep the business stable and/or get the business growing.
It is important to recruit franchisees who have the ability to lead and inspire their frontline team. Franchisors will often assume that someone who thinks they can run a franchise will have the ability to attract, maintain, and motivate employees.
However, franchisees are often choosing to join a franchise because they are looking for support on things like leadership and managing entry-level staff.
Just like on a sports team, franchisees often need to accept decisions that are for the greater good of the overall company.
Sometimes, franchisees will need to exercise patience. Things move much slower in a franchise system due to decisions affecting multiple business operators, all of whom have invested their life savings into the brand (i.e. their teammates).
There is so much value in the collaborative opportunities in a franchise, as you have multiple business owners operating the same business. If they are not going to play by the team rules and they are not going to leverage the network of franchisees, they might as well go start their own small business.
This is a key trait in the DNA of a successful franchisee! Contrary to popular belief, franchising is not turnkey. The problem with calling a franchise “turnkey” is that it can set up a false expectation that the business is going to run and sales will come pouring in without much effort from the franchisee. In most franchises, the franchisee plays a key part in generating sales for his or her business.
Franchisees may need to do anything from attending networking events in their local community to hosting a charity event in the hopes of generating business.
The most successful franchisees are the ones who take initiative to build business as opposed to expecting customers/clients to come flocking to them because of a few social media posts done by the franchisor with the group ad fund.
Franchisees that are comfortable getting out into their community do a better job of maximizing their opportunity. This can be anything from calling in favours with media people they are connected with, to creating strategic partnerships with fellow local business owners who want to help each other get business.
At the end of the day, even in a franchise, a business owner will typically need to work long hours to get their business up and running, and to maintain a decent growth rate. This ties back to the myth-busting statement “Contrary to popular belief, franchising is not turnkey.”
Having to work hard is commonly overlooked because people think that the proven systems are going to mean everything just flows. Whether a franchise or an independent small business, there will always be challenging times that require a ‘dig-in’ approach. Franchisees that don’t have grit tend to be the biggest complainers and drainers of resources on a franchise system.
Do you have more questions about franchising? We discuss this and more in our free virtual AC Roundtables where franchisors gather on zoom to collaborate and problem-solve together.
The AC Roundtables are a free resource we offer franchisors seeking collaboration and peer-to-peer learning. We’ve been running these virtual roundtables since 2020 and we always love to have new franchisors join us!
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