Franchise Recruitment and how it is changing [Part I]
Finding and placing franchisees into a franchise system has always been about advertising spend, cost per lead, comparing channels by lead output and chasing people endlessly via the phone to try and get a face to face meeting. A sort of cat and mouse, catch me if you can activity.
This has made the recruiting of franchisees highly expansive in terms of cash and time. All franchisors have done it and most, if not all, have a love hate approach to it.
Historically there have been five phases in recruiting franchisees:
For anyone to consider self-employment via franchising there must be a desire to take ones career into one’s own hands. As a rule of thumb people making this move are dissatisfied with their current situation and aspirational about their career and future though self-employment. Once someone has identified that employment is no longer for them then the journey of discovery will begin.
2. Awareness[caption id="attachment_149" align="alignright" width="154"] Franchise Intelligence & the bfa[/caption]
Since 2009 when the recession hit the UK economy there have been a high number of people starting up in business. For franchising to come into consideration they must be aware of the format. The British Franchise Association (bfa) works to build awareness and protect the reputation of franchising. All those active in franchising can promote the sector via providing exceptional services and being educators to clients, friends, family and contacts.
Anyone considering self-employment via the franchise route will almost always go to the internet as a first stop for information. Via websites such as the BFA’s site and ours (SelectYourFranchise.com) anyone considering franchising will find a wide range of useful content.
There is one limitation to this content however and that is that it is exclusively controlled by the sellers. It is therefore useful yet the voice of the franchisee and the franchisee’s clients are seldom heard via these sites.
This has the effect of informing the audience yet leaving them somewhat sceptical as there is a lack of collaboration and, on the whole, only good news which may seem unrealistic. Further information is therefore sought. Historically the next steps available to get more information were controlled by the seller alone. This is now changing.
Historically would be franchisees were faced with only seller content. They either believed it or they didn’t. They had one option and that was to make direct contact with the seller via form or by phone. Today things have changed.
4. Follow up
Endlessly chasing franchise enquiries is hard work. 90%+ of all enquiries are lost at this stage. Primarily this is because much is required by the franchisor at the point of enquiry and that is often too much for the prospect. Franchisors will often require would-be franchisees to fill in extensive application forms, non disclosure agreements and travel many miles for a discovery day. These requests are mostly rejected by the would-be franchisee as too little confidence in the brand and its officers at the point of enquiry exists. Let’s face it; there are very few franchise brands in the UK that are household names. It is little wonder then that there is such a high fatality rate before a meeting is achieved in the franchise sales process.
At the point of selection and awarding of a franchise most franchisors do very well. As a rule one in four people that a franchisor meets will go onto being awarded a franchise.
Clearly franchisors do well when they are in control of the process and where they are able to build relationship trust. The main failure in the historic process of recruiting franchisees falls in the area where aspiration is high yet trust is low – Between contact request and meeting. The valley of mistrust where many enter and few exit!
Connect with Nick Strong
Franchise Intelligence Managing Director
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