5 things to avoid when recruiting franchisees

By Sarah Stowe | 29 Oct 2015 View comments

Franchise recruitment isn't easy. However there are some actions that will make it even more difficult – not just to match your business to the right franchise buyer but to give both of you the best chance of succcess.

Here are five behaviours to avoid in your recruitment process:

1.      Ignore franchise leads

Lead generation is fundamental to your business development, whether leads come from referrals, online enquiries or expos. Of course you want to sell your business to someone who is ready to buy but there will be lots of people contacting your brand at various stages of a buying journey. Some of them will never become franchisees. Most won’t be right for you. But if you dismiss everyone who isn’t ready, when the time comes for them to purchase, they will be talking to another brand. And if you’re too busy to respond to answer every lead that comes through, share the load. The next lead could be the franchisee you want!

2.      Assume everyone knows your franchise system

It would be nice if everyone could rattle off your mission statement when asked, but the reality is there are more than 1000 franchise brands in Australia – and many, many more brands we come across every day of our lives. Be clear about what you do, why your business has a place in the Australian community and your vision for the brand, but don’t be surprised if you have to explain this time and again to potential franchisees so they understand and know exactly what they are buying into.

3.      Oversell the franchise opportunity

Yes, you want franchise buyers to see the potential in your franchise system and to love it like you do, but please, don’t oversell. Many buyers are attracted by the notion of a ‘lifestyle’ friendly business but there’s a balance to achieve with lifestyle and profitability. Franchisor guidance on location and earnings are often cited as causes for disputes that eat into your time and energy and are bad for the network. Not only does gilding the lily give the wrong idea to someone about to invest his or her dollars in your concept, serious misrepresentation can lead to costly court action.

4.      Rush the recruitment process

Getting the right franchisee takes time but it always pays off. Franchisors who accelerate the process because of financial pressures or the unabated enthusiasm of the franchisee who can’t wait to go through proper due diligence can find themselves regretting their actions. It isn’t easy to match a franchisee who has the right credentials and access to finance with the franchise opportunity, but it usually leads to happier franchisees.

5.      Ignore the evidence

If something isn’t working, change it. That rule applies to recruitment as to any other aspect of your business. There are a myriad ways to source franchise buyers and you probably have your favourites. It’s worth looking at the evidence to see which methods bring you the best franchisees – and how they fare once they are in the system. Recruitment processes change as technology advances, so what worked once may not be so productive now. Do some research on industry standards of ROI and expect to invest to recruit.