What makes you a good fit to be a franchisee?
In a previous blog "When We Say No", I talked about one of the hardest parts of my job as a franchisee recruiter—when I have to say, “No,” to a prospect. There are many legitimate reasons for having to make that decision, but the decision may seem arbitrary, even unreasonable, to the person who had hoped to join the organization.
Explaining that decision gets even more difficult when it isn’t because of a cut-and-dried reason—not enough financial resources, the prospect doesn’t live in an open market area, the business responsibilities conflict with a current job or personal obligations…things like that. Sometimes I simply have to say, “We don’t believe this is a right fit.” Ouch, right?
We want every owner to be successful. But not everyone—no matter how successful in another career—is a good fit for franchise ownership. We invest a lot of resources—financial and personal—in the process of identifying, evaluating, and qualifying a prospect, and then helping them get off to a great start. It’s not enough to be financially able to buy a franchise. As in any important relationship, there has to be a temperamental match, as well.
Much of it comes down to culture-fit—how well people who work for a company fit into the culture of that company. My boss, Great Clips COO Rob Goggins, explained how important this is in an article published in Franchising World:
"Culture-fit is not nearly as black and white as other qualifiers such as financial resources or professional skills, but it’s arguably more important. If there is a good fit upfront and we’ve identified and recruited the right person, then odds are good it will be a harmonious—and profitable—long-term relationship.”
Joel Libava, known as The Franchise King, puts it this way in an excellent article on “fit” in Entrepreneur magazine:
“It is so important for people to figure out before they even start looking around if they are really right for franchising. …People think all they have to do is write a $35,000 check for the franchise fee and get $100,000 from the bank, and then they'll be rockin' and rollin'. You have to make sure you have the right traits and characteristics needed for franchising, or you're going to fail.”
Libava encourages people who are looking into becoming a franchisee to answer some of these questions before signing on the dotted line:
• In a franchise business system, it's common to have very detailed operations manual. Will you follow it closely?
• As you look back on your work life, would you consider yourself to be a rule follower, or are you a person that tends to make your own rules, to achieve the desired results?
• Does your spouse, partner, or significant other know about your interest in franchise ownership?
These questions help both sides see what’s important and what’s at stake. Our application process is a mutual assessment to see whether the potential franchisee and Great Clips are a good match. Typically, this takes six to eight weeks. But even before that, it’s valuable for a prospect to think carefully about what it takes in terms of personality and skills needed for success. Part of that process is our six-question Owner Quiz to help decide whether Great Clips is the right partnership for both parties.
Great Clips has built its success by helping salon owners be as successful as possible—we want what’s best for them as well as for the Great Clips brand. Libava is a big supporter of this kind of commitment to individual success. He points out that Great Clips turns away more prospective franchisees than any other franchisor he’s worked with. “They have the courage to do that. A millionaire may come in wanting to buy a franchise, but they’ll say, ‘Sorry, you’re not a fit for our culture.’ … It’s not only about being picky, but about being realistic.”
The bottom line is that we are looking for people who have the right combination of skills, desire, and characteristics to succeed in this business of owning and operating a haircare salon. Are you that person? Give me a call and let’s figure that out!