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Franchisors Should Spend More Time Interviewing Candidates

Published 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:

  1. Why have you selected our franchise opportunity compared to others (and which others)?
  2. What are the skills and experience you have that will make you successful as a franchisee?
  3. What are your financial goals from operating this franchise?
  4. Have you done a business plan and financial projections?
  5. What business experience and skills will you bring to this franchise?
  6. How do you plan to develop your market? Attracting customers?
  7. Do you have a key person who will assist you in the franchise operation? What are their qualifications?
  8. If necessary, can you source additional working capital?
  9. How many of our existing franchisees would you like to speak with? Any preference geographically or in franchisee tenure?
  10. 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.

About the Author: Ed Teixeira
Ed Teixeira is a recognized franchise expert with over 40 years’ experience in the franchise industry. He has served as a corporate executive for franchise firms in the retail, manufacturing, healthcare and technology industries and was a franchisee of a multi-million-dollar home healthcare franchise. Ed and Richard Chan are the authors of a new textbook, Franchising Strategies: The Entrepreneurs Guide to Success, to be published on July 1st by Routledge on July 1st. He has participated in the CEO Magazine Roundtable Meetings with business leaders from around the country and has spoken at a number of venues including the International Franchise Expo and Chinese Franchise Association in Shanghai, China. Over the course of his career, Ed has been involved with over 1,000 franchise locations and launched franchise concepts from existing business models. Ed can be contacted at [email protected]

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