Franchisee Matchmaking: How Franchisors Attract the Best and Brightest

By Beth Caron

I recently attended a franchise broker conference. It was a great opportunity to meet with these professional “matchmakers” who help bring together prospective franchisees and franchisors.

Approximately 20% of new Great Clips franchisees come from franchise brokers, so these events are a great opportunity for me to meet these valuable business partners to find out who they’re talking to, and to help them better understand our walk-in hair salon concept and who we’re looking for as prospective franchisees.

These face-to-face interactions keep Great Clips top-of-mind, so when a broker talks to someone who might be a good fit, they’ll think of us first—not another salon concept or even a non-haircutting brand that has a similar candidate profile.

Yes, it’s a competitive process to identify and recruit the best franchisee candidates, and it’s something we take very seriously! Writing this blog post reminded me of a series of articles we posted several years ago about the process of becoming a Great Clips franchisee, starting with franchisee recruitment.

In the spirit of Throw Back Thursday (which is a throw-back concept in and of itself!), here are some of the highlights of the original article (full article here).

I want to be a franchisee: Step 1 — Franchisee Recruitment

Every franchise business wants to attract the best and the brightest to their systems. But it’s not just about getting candidates who have the right set of business skills or financial profiles. It’s also about getting candidates who are right for that particular business model. That’s why franchise companies invest significant resources into the process of identifying, evaluating, and qualifying prospects. But first, you have to attract people to your franchise brand—in other words, recruit prospective franchisees. That generally happens through three different paths: referrals, brokers and advertising.

Referrals: It’s who you know 

Referrals are one of the most successful ways of recruiting new franchisees because it’s an indication that the prospect is already familiar with your business and that they like it well enough to consider investing in it.

This is the primary way new Great Clips franchisees come into our system—approximately 40% of new Great Clips franchisees are referred by existing franchisees or salon employees…. Referrals are well regarded by most franchisors, especially when the referral comes from an existing franchisee. It’s an indication that someone who intimately knows the brand thinks this person might be a good fit with the company’s values and goals.

Brokers: Franchising matchmakers 

Sometimes known as a franchise consultant, a broker acts like an executive recruiter or a matchmaker—bringing together a prospective franchisee with a franchisor. Brokers help people learn about the franchise industry, and figure out what might be the best option among various franchise options by reviewing the candidate’s financial resources, interests, and experience….

Advertising: Making an impression 

The goal of advertising is to attract the attention of individuals who are looking into starting or buying their own business, so the key is to be seen by the right people at the right time and in the right place. One way to do this is through paid advertising—placing ads online or in business related magazines or newspapers.

There’s also unpaid advertising, including storefront signage, community involvement, trade shows, company websites, and social media (like this blog or a LinkedIn group).



That’s this week’s TBT! What else do you want to know about what it takes to become a franchisee?

There’s a lot of great content on this blog, especially for prospective franchisees. Click around to find articles about what it takes to become a franchisee and what your life might be like if you decide to become one (here, and here). Want to know more? Give me a call!

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