Following on from last time’s article on things you should be looking out for as a prospective franchisee during the recruitment process, here are some of the things that a franchisor will be looking for from you:
WHAT TO EXPECT
The entire recruitment process in franchising is never just an hour-long meeting in a coffee shop or pub – if it is, you’d better think twice before handing over any money or signing anything. Depending on the network and date of enquiry the whole process could range from a couple of weeks, through to a year. If the process is lengthy and substantial, try not to get frustrated. Instead, see it as a good quality check; it means they care about who you are and how you’re going to be using their brand, and that’s a very good thing indeed.
From wanting to meet you at your home, to asking your spouse or partner to attend interviews with you, the franchisor will want to really understand you as a person. They will want to see if the people around you are supporting you, whether you have the right qualities and whether you are organised in your own life.
What you want
Be sure about why you are going into franchising. Is there something you are looking to achieve? Having a clear mind about this during the interview process will help you in your conversations with the franchisor.
There will be personal questions about your monetary situation. Of course, you’d expect some of these, but you may be surprised at the depth of questioning that some franchisors will go into. Be aware that, especially if you’re looking at a well-established brand with a higher initial franchise purchasing fee, the franchisor (and of course the bank if you’re applying for a loan) is going to need to be satisfied with your ability to not only come up with that fee, but establish enough liquid capital to sustain the early, often unprofitable months of opening a business. Be prepared for this and there’ll be less surprises about the questions.
When you want to leave
Don’t be surprised if as part of the interview process you are asked whether you have a plan to leave: an exit strategy. Some franchisors like to see if you have a plan or goal that you are working to, such as 15 years to build the business then sell and retire. You may not have a clue at this stage, but it’s worth thinking about as it will help you plan what you are looking to achieve.
Whether you choose to join a franchise or not make sure that you take your time in the recruitment process. Be sure about what you want and don’t be afraid to ask difficult questions. Good franchisors will be encouraged if they see that you are taking this seriously and won’t want you to go any further if you don’t know what you are committing to. Franchising provides successful robust opportunities to run your own business with a tried and tested formula, upfront training and ongoing support. It has produced countless success stories, but all of these follow good levels of research and hard work.
The bfa have developed seminars, various free resources and key questions to ask franchisors. Visit the bfa website to find out more: www.thebfa.org.