In part one of this series, we talked in-depth about how to find the right franchisor for you and also highlighted the benefits of business ownership in the staffing industry specifically. In this next article, we will go into more detail about finding the right location for growth, what franchisors are looking for in a franchisee and taking the next steps toward franchise ownership.
Finding the Right Location for Growth
Many businesses today still require you to have a brick-and-mortar location. Most franchisors are willing to assist you with selecting a location. They’ll look at key factors such as traffic counts, accessibility, landmarks and visibility. If you’re working with the general public, you want a location that is easy to find, has convenient parking and has neighboring tenants with similar clientele. Your franchisor will often have an in-house real estate firm or a relationship with a real estate partner who can assist you with selecting and building out your location to bring it to acceptable standards.
Expansion, either within a current location or a new branch, becomes the next opportunity as your business grows. You can ask a franchisor for demographics and sales data for an area to determine if demand warrants your time and energy expanding. Consider the Who, What, Where, When and Why to determine the rationale of your expansion and whether it may be more appropriate to expand upon an existing location. When aiming to expand, you’ll need strong leadership in your existing business to keep the momentum going while you focus on the new branch.
What Franchisors Are Looking for in a Franchisee
First and foremost, franchisors are looking for someone who fits their organization’s culture and is enthusiastic about the business they might enter into. Most franchisors want individuals who are truly invested in a long-term vision for growth and have the capability to uphold the brand’s reputation.
There are logistical requirements as well. Prospective franchisees must have the hard skills that it takes to run a business, such as finance and accounting, planning, people management and time management skills. In the staffing industry specifically, strong communication skills and a solid sense of ethics are also essential, as franchisees must be able to develop long-standing, mutually beneficial relationships with client companies. In addition, franchisors look for the willingness and ability to adapt and learn as you grow with the business. That flexibility is essential to a franchisee’s ongoing success within the system as the organization responds to industry, regulatory, and cultural changes over time.
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Franchisors also recognize that plans can change, and running an independently-owned location isn’t necessarily a lifetime commitment. They look for potential franchisees who have an exit plan once they’ve enjoyed a successful run as a franchisee and are ready to start their next chapter. A succession plan could mean maintaining the location so it attracts a handsome resale price or planning for children or business partners to take ownership once they’re ready.
This is why the discovery process is such a vital process in pursuing franchise ownership, regardless of the organization or industry. Franchise discovery allows franchisors to understand what background a prospective franchisee is coming from while also allowing the franchisee to become familiar with every aspect of the business. Franchisors can get to know candidates through workshops and meetings, establishing that ongoing supportive relationship as the franchisee grows their business plan with the company.
Taking the Next Steps
Aspiring business owners owe it to themselves to explore franchise opportunities. Aligning with a large, resourceful company that shares your values, provides assistance and offers the benefit of fully getting to know their company before you invest in your own location presents a unique opportunity to maximize your profitability. Furthermore, a franchisor’s network of support presents a unique opportunity to expand your business even faster.
For those interested in taking the next step towards franchise ownership, spend time researching industries that are of interest to you and identify the top brands within that industry. Connect with existing franchise owners and members of the company’s executive team to get a realistic understanding of what it takes to get started and from there, evaluate which brand best aligns with your experience, personal values and your “why.” You’ll likely find that franchise ownership provides the freedom you’re looking for with more support and less risk.