Recruiting franchisees: how to find the right people for your business

Perhaps you have some fond memories of long ago turning your business into a franchise but have found one of the biggest challenges in your business growth has been finding the right people for your business. Recruiting franchisees is no easy task, as it takes the right kind of manager to run a franchise business.

Here are 10 things to consider before you list your next franchise business with

1.  Advertise your franchise effectively

Be as descriptive as possible in your listings and resist the urge to make too many puns. You need to show that you take the sale of your franchise business seriously and that the business itself is a serious business, worthy of a potential franchisee’s time and research efforts.

Research what sort of phrases people search for when finding businesses such as yours (use tools such as Moz, Google Adwords to research keywords). It is important when considering SEO for your business and for the advertising of your franchise to not load any listings up with keywords in a clunky or obvious way. Use longtail keywords (long phrases) that you have researched. For example, if your business is a restaurant in Melbourne, a longtail keyword would be more specific. such as ‘restaurant in suburb for sale’ and specifics such as the cuisine (‘french restaurant for sale in Melbourne’).

2. Introduce potential franchisees to your business

When recruiting franchisees, have them work in your business. Work out whichever sort of arrangement is best for the both of you, but it is important that a potential franchisee gets a feeling for the intricacies of your business as well as all of the boring parts. They may have thought they would be the perfect fit for a cleaning business, but until they have seen the amount of hard work, dedication, organisational and personable skills such a job requires, they will not have a well-informed ability to invest in your business.

3. Look within your business when recruiting franchisees

Just as selling a business to an existing employee can be a great way of minimising costs and ensuring the future success of your company, it can be smart to first look within your existing network of franchisees to extend your business.

Offer new territories or units of your business to an existing franchisee who has demonstrated the sorts of attributes that make a great business owner, such as innovation, financial literacy, time management skills and drive.

4. Research potential investors

Do as much reasonable (and legal!) research you can into potential franchisees. Find out to what extent they have managed businesses before, and how much of this experience relates to your industry. If they do not hold specific experience that matches your requirements within a given industry, don’t immediately dismiss them. Can they demonstrate the same attributes that make a great manager and business owner within their unrelated employment history? If so, have them work for you within your franchise for a while to gauge whether they are suited to the business.

5. Produce an informative and attractive business case

Consider using the services of a communications agency, or a freelance creative strategist to produce effective digital and print materials that outline both the macro and micro aspects of your business. A strategist will work with you to identify the various drawcards and strengths of your business and incorporate this into effective communications materials, while doing the same for the more detailed intricacies of your business growth plan and how you work with franchisees in various aspects of the business management (marketing, sales, finances, HR etc.). These will be your go-to tools in recruiting new franchisees, so they need to be attractive and informative communications materials.

6. How responsive do you like people to be?

If the answer is ‘very responsive’, as it surely is for everyone, then make sure you deal with potential investors in your business as promptly and effectively as you can when recruiting franchisees.

7. Seek help from Myers-Briggs

Psychological testing is a mainstay in recruitment, and is even more relevant in finding potential franchisees for your business. Why? Because running a franchise successfully requires skills and strengths that are not necessarily as important for those working within an organisation as an employee. Use specific psychological testing to gauge how driven franchisees are. How do they approach their businesses? Do they organise and plan well? These sorts of tests will show whether they have what it takes to maintain and grow a business, as they have to be proactive in their approach to the business. Franchises offer investors the opportunity to enter an existing and successful business framework/network, but it does not mean they do not have to work as hard as any other business owner. It instead means they need to demonstrate the characteristics of a business owner as well as the characteristics of someone who is amenable to directions and help from a higher management (you).

8. Show that you are open to new franchisees

Once you have developed the attractive and informative communications materials that outline how your business works and why people may be interested in working as a franchisee, advertise this information. Build a specific platform on your website in which people can explore what opportunities there are as potential franchisees. This will show that your business is orientated constantly towards growth through recruiting franchisees. 

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