Franchisors Should Spend More Time Interviewing CandidatesPublished on February 23, 2022
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As a franchise executive for over forty years, representing various franchise brands, I’ve interviewed countless franchise candidates who had been qualified based upon initial criteria including their financial and business credentials. As I look back on my role leading the franchise development process, I recall spending more time selling the franchise rather than probing deeply into a candidate’s qualifications. In retrospect, there are times when I could have asked more questions, however my focus was on completing the transaction. Looking back, I recognize the risk of not examining a candidate’s qualifications and their objectives more deeply.
Once an individual is initially qualified, the franchise process moves to a seller and buyer relationship. However, what is unique to franchising is that once the franchise candidate, in the role of buyer, agrees to invest in the franchise, it’s usually the beginning of a long-term association. Franchisor leadership has an important obligation to the candidate, the franchise organization, and their staff, to diligently qualify a franchise candidate before moving to close the transaction.
With all due respect to third-party services that test a candidate’s qualifications, supplementing that process with in-depth interviews will enhance the results.
Following are ten questions that should be asked of every potential franchisee once they’ve been pre-qualified:
- Why have you selected our franchise opportunity compared to others (and which others)?
- What are the skills and experience you have that will make you successful as a franchisee?
- What are your financial goals from operating this franchise?
- Have you done a business plan and financial projections?
- What business experience and skills will you bring to this franchise?
- How do you plan to develop your market? Attracting customers?
- Do you have a key person who will assist you in the franchise operation? What are their qualifications?
- If necessary, can you source additional working capital?
- How many of our existing franchisees would you like to speak with? Any preference geographically or in franchisee tenure?
- Is there any additional information or answers we can provide you?
When franchisors devote the proper attention and focus on a franchisees qualifications and objectives there is a greater chance of a win-win situation.