Are you a good match for franchise opportunities?
Todd Matea| Recruitment Manager | Smartline
Australia is the most franchised nation per capita in the world. With more than 1,000 franchise systems in the country there are plenty of franchise opportunities up for grabs, but what does it take to be a good franchisee?
Logically, such an extensive network of franchise companies encompasses different industries (from home based franchise to retail franchise, from fast food franchise to mobile coffee franchise and so forth), each of them requiring a specific combination of skills in a prospective franchisee.
However there are some key characteristics that everyone interested in buying into a franchise should be aware of to determine if owning a franchise business is a viable choice.
Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers is a franchise system with a pervasive network of 200+ mortgage broking franchisees across Australia. Todd Matea, Smartline Recruitment Manager, has plenty of experience in dealing with prospective franchisees and was happy to share with us some insights about the ideal profile of a good franchisee related not only to the Smartline model, but also applicable more broadly to the whole franchise industry.
When you're in franchising, you' re in it for the long run and it is in the best interest for the franchisor to address whether the prospective franchisees have what it takes to be successful in that particular business model.
Some franchise systems might require very specific skills related to the type of industry they deal with (for example mechanical training), while others might be looking more for general business experience or entrepreneurship.
At Smartline, having a previous knowledge of the mortgage industry helps, but is not mandatory in order to become successful as a personal mortgage adviser, the first requirement is more about the franchisees’ personal skills set. With Smartline it is necessary to have the ability to build solid relationships with customers, gain their trust and then exceed their service expectations in obtaining the best available loan products.
Broadly speaking, the home loan industry is really based on the relationships you maintain with your business associates and the end customer. There is a lot of networking involved in building a Smartline franchise business which is why we deem people skills as one of the most important asset for a franchisee.
In evaluating a professional consulting franchise you need to think about your previous life experiences and ask yourself if you are a real ‘people person’ and truly enjoy interacting with customers as that’s what you will need to be really good at as a future franchise owner.
At Smartline we make sure that future franchisees are selected with these requirements in mind which is one of the main reasons behind our high franchisee satisfaction. This satisfaction is also based on the flexibility of our model and the great work-life balance obtained in a mobile franchise where you are able to work from home, in the field, or from a Smartline branded office. This allows our franchisees to work in the fashion that best suits their circumstances.
"So before you begin to research franchise opportunities, do some honest assessment of your personal skills set and see how they fit with what you want to achieve."
Other characteristics of a good franchisee are the ability to combine entrepreneurship with a willingness to be part of a network and follow the recommended processes of the franchise system. This custom enables a consistent message and level of service across the brand.
At Smartline we instil sharing of best practice through a number of activities (franchise focus groups, state meetings and national conferences and ongoing professional development) which are all designed to provide franchisees with valuable information on how to run their business successfully.
This knowledge is also supported by our business development teams who are always one phone call away: franchisees are never left to second guess the best available options. This advice helps to avoid many of the pitfalls of the business ownership as you are accessing the experience of time proven techniques. In this sense, Smartline embodies the true strength of a franchise system.
So before you begin to research franchise opportunities, do some honest assessment of your personal skills set and see how they fit with what you want to achieve. These attributes will help you to evaluate whether you could be a great candidate for franchise business ownership.
The next step is to evaluate those businesses that are suited to your interests by speaking with the franchisees in that system. Be certain that you have the skills and personality to identify with that group. As a franchising is a long term proposition getting this balance right will make a key difference to your satisfaction with the business and to your ultimate success.
Most importantly choose a franchise that you have a passion for, be proactive and contribute to building the franchise brand. The best franchisees are the ones that embrace best practice and openly share their experience.