A few months ago, we decided to reach out to past participants of the Franchise Pre-Entry Education Course to find out how they were going on their franchise journey. The answers came back and it was eye-opening to read their real, honest opinions of franchising. While their perceptions don’t all paint a pretty picture, they do present franchisors with an opportunity to be better, to service potential franchisees better and to change the way the industry is perceived.
Of the participants, 15% were franchisors, 75% were potential franchisees and 5% are now franchisees, the remaining respondents were franchisor employees or franchising industry professionals who did not belong in any of the four main categories.
Here’s some of the things we noted…
Perception is everything and the media’s influence is bigger than we think
Interestingly, the spread across how people perceive the franchising sector is quite even. 26% believe the state of the franchising sector is overwhelmingly negative, 26% believe it is overwhelmingly positive and 47% consider it neutral. A quarter of respondents suggested it is not franchising itself but the media’s fault bringing the sector into disrepute.
How many good news stories do you hear about franchising every week? They seem to be far and few in between despite the fact that they could do the entire sector some good. Sharing your own franchise good news, positive, uplifting stories on your brand’s social media channels, newsletters and running them as press releases is something that could help the public and potential franchisees to rebuild their faith in the sector and improve the relationship between franchisor and franchisee.
Transparency can improve…
Some of the reasons respondents haven’t proceeded with becoming a franchisee were; uncertainty of costs, fear of hidden fees and not being sure if the offer is believable. If we think about the media coverage throughout 2018, transparency seems to be a reoccurring issue. So how can your recruitment process improve this?
What facts, figures and information do you give your potential franchisees? Do you provide extensive information or just the bare essentials? Do you treat them like a valued and potentially important stakeholder or more like a sub-ordinate? Building trust starts from the very first interaction so make sure you provide comprehensive and truthful information right from the first discussion!
People want proof
A common concern and one of the reasons potential franchisees hadn’t progressed along their journey is that they weren’t provided with enough detailed information by franchisors. Things like why a site was (or will be) selected, how the previous franchisees were performing – their struggles and successes and where return on investment will sit needs to be detailed clearly… with proof.
When you present to potential franchisees, how extensive is the information you are sharing with them? Do you have case studies and indicative returns? Do you actively encourage them to talk to other franchisees and seek out their advice, thoughts and wisdom?
More education and support for franchisees is needed from the start…
What do your potential franchisees actually know about franchising before they become a franchisee? Some respondents feel they don’t have adequate education and support from the franchisor to assist them in making the decision and after all, it’s in your best interests too!
One of the franchisors who responded shared that encouraging potential franchisees to do their due diligence is critical and helping them along the way doesn’t do any harm. So, when you’re talking to your potential franchisees what advice do you give them? Do you have a list of recommended due diligence steps for them to follow? Do you advise them to seek legal and financial advice before committing? Do you support them and recommend or offer any pre-investment education like our Buying a Franchise Guidebook?
As a franchisor, your franchisees are your biggest asset and looking after them well, right from the beginning is so important to both of you.
Recommend to all your potential franchisees to read the free Buying a Franchise Guidebook which is a summary of the previous free franchise pre-entry program.