Step four and five in the Franchise Mind™ system for
“Choosing the right franchise for me”
are about selecting companies to evaluate and having a
systematic approach for evaluating the companies selected.
In our previous article we addressed evaluating franchise companies. Once you have completed your evaluation of a franchise company and believe that it is the right fit for both based on your business profile, you must ask the crucial question, “Am I qualified for this franchise?” The franchisor will use a process to qualify you, however, you should go through your own analysis to ensure that you are indeed qualified for the franchise. There are 3 areas that require your careful consideration:
Have a clear understanding of the initial and on going financial requirements for the business. Be willing and able to make such financial commitments.
Additionally, you should make provisions to take care of your family finances while you build the business. Understand and plan for the amount of time it will likely take before you are able to withdraw any money from the business in the form of compensation.
2 Time commitment
Each business requires a time commitment of the owners both initially and on an on-going basis. Have a clear understanding of the time requirements to operate the business in the franchise of your choice. Business demands may be much greater in the initial stages as you are learning and building a new business. Be comfortable and willing to make the necessary time commitment.
3 Success elements
For the business of your choice clearly understand what you must do in order to succeed in that business. With that understanding look at yourself honestly and be sure you are able to execute on the key elements as required by the business.
Franchisor qualification process
Generally there are seven areas that good franchisors look at in qualifying candidates:
Basic qualification requirements of:
✓ Financial ability
Entering the business with realistic expectations as to:
✓ Sales potential
✓ Profit potential
✓ Operating requirements
✓ Sales and marketing requirements
✓ Time commitment
Maturity and emotional fortitude
You should have the maturity to be in business and the emotional fortitude to handle the ‘ups and downs’ as well as the multiple priorities a business brings. In other words, you will not unnecessarily panic when things do not go per plan. Franchisors look at your ability to stay the course and remain “drama-free”.
You share the company vision for the customer and that you will follow their prescribed plan for sales and marketing and in growing the business. For example, you believe that the business model should be delivery based, however the franchisor believes that it should be a sit-down restaurant. This non-alignment of vision will create problems and may be a disqualifier.
Your ability to communicate effectively with the franchisor speaks to your ability to communicate with your customers and your employees. Franchisors look for candidates that will succeed in building units.
Franchisors have the right to know what kind of person you are before granting you a franchisee. As such, you will need to provide information that is personal and confidential in nature. This information is to ensure that you are qualified and that you will have the greatest chance of success. Be accurate, be timely and do not‘make the information “look good” just to get approved.
The personal meeting also known as Discovery Day with senior executives of the company is critical to the qualification process. Create a favorable impression in such a way that the franchisor ‘wants’ you to join their franchise system.
Pay attention to dressing professionally, being prepared to ask and answer questions, being on time and reconfirming in your own mind that this is the company you want to join and these are the people you want to work with on a daily basis.
Qualification is a two-way street. In your mind you must feel comfortable that you are qualified and can succeed in this franchise. The franchisor is also qualifying you. It is when you and the franchisor jointly decide that it is the right fit for both that the greatest chance of business success occurs.
This way you will have the confidence to know that you are well suited for the business and will proceed with the attitude of success.
In the last article of this series, we will address making a commitment to the franchise and tips on operating for success.
Harish Babla is the Managing Director of Franchise Mind Corporation based in the United States, supporting franchisors, around the globe, through knowledge events and mentoring. He is a 4th generation successful entrepreneur, a business visionary, an inspiring leader, a growth strategist and an advocate for family owned and especially franchise owned businesses. He believes that business must be conducted with the highest standards of excellence and with an unwavering passion to serve the customer. Harish can be reached at Harish@FranchiseMind.com
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