Jeff Oddo, President, City Wide Maintenance
Onboarding quality franchisees is essential for building a successful franchise system. One of the ways to do this is to attract and find the right franchisee who can help the organization grow more quickly and efficiently. Experienced, proven franchisees can help promote franchise lead generation, increase overall franchisee satisfaction, enhance training and support programs, and provide strategic guidance and direction for the entire franchise system.
The opposite is true as well, as recruiting the wrong type of franchisee can keep the system from achieving its goals, or have even worse ramifications. Whether the franchisee is undercapitalized or ill-suited for managing a business, recruiting people who are not a fit for your franchise system can cost money, time, and resources.
It is essential to have a plan in place to attract knowledgeable operators with a proven track record of success. The franchisee recruitment process depends on building the company’s online presence, creating a clear set of shared values and principals, and establishing franchisee referral networks.
Building an Online Presence
Many prospective franchisees visit the company website, social media channels, and other online domains before reaching out to engage with the franchisor directly. It is important to manage and monitor the pages regularly to guarantee the company’s online presence reflects the business’ values. With so much information at our fingertips, an engaged franchise prospect may spend hours researching your company; for this reason, it is important to make sure the information you have available to them is engaging.
These pages should be geared toward franchisees, whether it’s a franchise development web page or franchise development specific social media websites (Facebook and LinkedIn). Allowing your prospects to get the answers to their initial questions will help them have faith in taking the next step of reaching out to engage in your process directly.
Creating a Clear Set of Shared Values and Principles
When a franchisor’s values and principles are clear to franchise investors, it is much easier to gauge if a long-term partnership is possible.
In my case, 20 years ago, I knew that a foundation in God would be important to my business. I wanted to build an organization that used this strong foundation to build its values and mission statement in order to work with our stakeholders towards mutual success. Over the years, this one principle has steered me toward franchise investors who have a similar set of values.
I encourage others to truly search to find what is meaningful to them, write down what they stand for, and formalize them into a clear set of values and principles which can then be shared throughout your system.
Establishing Franchisee Referral Networks
Word-of-mouth referrals from existing franchisees are one of the most effective and easiest ways to attract the right franchisees. It is critical to identify who in your system you want more of– a track record of success and a positive attitude are attributes you should rely on heavily. Consider adding a clause to your FDD about a referral program, with an agreement to participate in franchise promotion opportunities. It can also be beneficial to create a VIP referral program that provides incentives and rewards for franchisees that embrace franchise development efforts by sending referrals. Be sure to recognize franchisees who send you candidates that end up joining the system– it’s a powerful and proven motivator.
Selecting the best franchisees to grow and develop your network directly correlates withthe health and longevity your business. With this being said, it is important to ask yourself – is what you are doing today helping or hurting the long-term success of your organization?
About the Author
Jeff Oddo is president of City Wide Maintenance and the founder and president of City Wide Franchise. City Wide is a building maintenance management company with more than 40 locations based throughout the United States. To learn more about City Wide, visit: http://www.gocitywide.com/. To learn more about available franchise opportunities, visit: http://www.citywidefranchise.com/.