Deb Shugg | CEO | Award Bookkeeping
"Franchise Opportunities seem to be everywhere at the moment and with the overall success of franchising as a business model it's no wonder so many people are prompted to enquire. But what is it that happens between the initial enquiry and the signing of a franchise agreement that has franchisors scratching their heads in wonder?
I think I've attended every "how to attract franchisees" seminar held in the past ten years and listened attentively about how to recruit franchisees and who makes the best franchisee for my system. I've thought about it, put in processes, written criteria, placed ads and effectively generated thousands of enquiries from people considering a franchise. All good things to do and they have helped strengthen and develop the culture of my business.
I've sent out thousands of brochures, interviewed hundreds of candidates and granted a few franchises. This is where I ask myself: only a few, why?
Firstly, is it me? Is it that we're not offering what people are looking for? What can I fix about "us" that will make "us" a more attractive offering? Are we attracting the wrong type of enquiry?
They're the first questions that come to mind, especially when you're a fairly new franchise system still tweaking your model to get it right. But there comes a point when you get tired of the tweaking and have to look carefully at what you've achieved. Then the only question you need to consider is: Is your franchise opportunity one that has all the hallmarks of a good successful venture that will help both the franchisor and franchisee to succeed? If you answer yes to that then you're probably disappointed that you're not falling over new franchisees in the hallway!
So why don't people choose to become franchisees? They're afraid.
Afraid of failure. Afraid of making a wrong decision. Afraid of letting their family down. Afraid of appearing stupid. Afraid of being ripped off.
So how is it that we can overcome fear in good candidates?
I believe acknowledging that franchise candidates are afraid is a good first step in franchise recruitment. We can too easily get so caught up in the "perfection" of our own franchise opportunities that we disregarded the candidate's fears as we bang on about how fantastic we are!
We need to address a candidate's fears with candid and sincere concern without minimizing or disregarding it. Those of us who are experienced in the franchise world are quick to fire off anecdotes about greater success rates and support in order to convince potential franchisees that they shouldn't be afraid. However, we can never promise nor achieve a risk free opportunity so we should never consider selling it as one!
If you've tried to combat a potential franchisee's fear with glib lip service and emotional counter arguments all you've probably achieved is an expectation gap the size of a ravine. Franchisees will expect "risk free" and the franchisor will be expect "fear free" and both are impossible to achieve.
I believe that we need to respect the fact that our franchise opportunities, as good as they may be, are not without risk. We need to explain to candidates that fear is natural and acceptable and show them real examples of how we will help them succeed. If the picture is clear and our purpose transparent then we will help our candidates to move forward in spite of any fear.
And, if you're a potential franchisee, do what you need to do to change your life and circumstances, knowing that your fear is a part of your internal protection mechanism. Understand that it will protect you but it may also hinder you. Many people let the fear keep them in the same place for their entire life while they wish things were different. Instead, use the fear to drive your success."
To find a franchise business that is right for you, refer to the Top 10 in different categories section of this page. If you prefer to search for a particular franchise business, the A-Z Franchise Listing section lists franchise business opportunities alphabetically.