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Tips on becoming a franchisee

Franchisors look at many things before taking on franchisees. Arnaud Garcia of Vom FASS explains how you can impress your potential franchisor

Building a successful franchisee is not just about money. It's about creating a winning partnership with a franchisor. After all, finding the perfect ambassador for their brand is no easy task.

The franchisor will be looking for specific personal attributes that allow them to build this relationship successfully.

In order to be successful there are a few key elements to consider:

Enthusiasm for the brand Firstly and most importantly, applicants will need to be passionate about the company to be successful. The person responsible for recruiting franchisees will be seeking people with a great enthusiasm not only for the concept but also for the future of the company as a whole, and this means a substantial amount of homework before that crucial first meeting.

In the same way you would prepare for an interview, franchisors will expect franchisees to have an understanding of the market, location/territory, competitors and as well as the history of the company itself.

Even if you haven't been asked to provide a business plan it's advisable to put something together outlining your goals and ideas for the business. At some point a communication plan will also be necessary to reveal how you intend to raise the profile of your company amongst potential clients or customers.

Sometimes franchisors will have their own PR or marketing company who may assist with this process, but it's always good to show willing from the start.

Expect a realistic turnover   There's no getting away from the fact that at some stage talks will turn to the financial aspect of the business, such as profitability, wages and initial input.

The key thing to remember here is that the maths should be discussed right from the outset. Even the best business relationships can turn sour, and often it's down to money.

It's important that both parties are fully aware of the cost implications and enter in to an agreement with their eyes wide open.

This means putting a detailed plan together predicting profit, assessing target turnover figures and of course agreeing the initial input and sourcing financial support where it is required.

A realistic turnover, particularly when the company opens, will enable you to manage both your own expectations and those of the franchisor.

Franchisees are intrapreneurs Franchisees are not usually entrepreneurs, although they will have the same forward thinking approach to their business. They are, in fact, ‘Intrapreneurs'.

Intrapreneurs are entrepreneurs within an organisation and will want to succeed both as an individual business and as part of a larger team. Many people talk about the relationship between a franchisee and franchisor as a ‘marriage' or ‘partnership'.

In fact, it's more of a parent/child relationship. The parent, or franchisor, is expected and should be willing to nurture the child (or franchisee) and provide support and assistance through each of its growth phases – from those first steps to a point where franchisees become less dependent and are granted a certain degree of autonomy.

However, it should also be remembered that as a franchisee you are not running an entirely independent business. There will be certain boundaries, standards and guidelines that must be adhered to.

Again, it's good to be aware of these at the beginning of the project so don't be afraid of bombarding a franchisor with questions, it will enable them to distinguish you as serious contender.

Communication is key   The foundation for a great relationship with a franchisor lies in successful communication.

Without it, the business will undoubtedly struggle. It's a good idea to put a plan together to ensure regular meetings and discussions with your franchisor and to formalise the team reporting system.

Don't make the decision lightly   Finally, if all goes well remember that taking on a franchise is a life-changing decision. Meeting the franchisor, seeking out locations for retail business, putting together a communication plan all take time and are just a few of the necessary steps for building the business.

Once you are preparing to launch the business, ensure you are completely convinced by the franchisor as well as the brand. Extreme commitment and dedication will ensure you are a great success.

On behalf of Vom FASS and other franchisors we wish you the very best of luck in finding the key to your future. It's a long and exciting journey to success!

Arnaud Garcia is Vom FASS' Franchise Sales Manager.


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