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Attracting Franchisee Candidates in Today's Competitive Market

May 27, 2019
Finding a qualified franchisee candidate to invest in your franchise can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. The franchise market is composed of some of the world’s most established companies spread across various industries: fast food chains, hotels, and car rentals. 

As franchisor, one of the first things you must do is narrow down your franchisee profile. Just like a regular business would identify a buyer persona, you must identify your ideal franchisee candidate. The more detailed the profile, the easier it is to target them. These are some of the things to consider when narrowing down your franchisee search:

Geographic Area

Where would you like to expand? This will determine the area you will target your franchisee candidates.

Key demographics and interests

Age, gender, marital status, children, hobbies. Patrick, 49, who is married with children is most likely to spend his Friday nights differently to single Sally who is 28. Narrowing down your demographics and their potential interests can help you target them more effectively.

Goals and objectives

Do not make the mistake of only considering the needs of your franchise. Think about the goals of your franchisee candidates. What would they like to achieve by buying-in a franchise? What can you offer them?

Experience

Is it necessary for your ideal candidate to have prior industry experience? If yes, you could utilize LinkedIn targeting based on prior work experience or target them at industry-specific events and trade shows.  

Financials

What is the buy-in for your franchise? How financially secure does the candidate have to be? Think liquid assets and net worth. Stricter financial requirements lower your risk but make it harder to find the right candidate.

After you have successfully narrowed down the ideal candidate profile, how do you ensure they choose you over other franchise opportunities? While investing in SEO and PPC will undoubtedly generate traffic to your website, the content of your website is crucial. Potential franchisees want to invest in a strong, recognizable brand. Your brand identity must be clear and consistently communicated across all channels, including social networks. Make them want to be part of your brand.

Show them what you bring to the table. As any investor, franchisees want to see a good return on investment. Share the numbers, but do not overpromise. You need to show them you have a short-term plan on how to get them started and a long-term plan for achieving the promised numbers.

The more support you provide, the more value potential franchisees will see. Remember, they are looking to invest in a proven formula that will relieve them from the common pressures associated with starting a new business. One of the most common challenges franchisees face is the lack of marketing support from HQ. 

Learn more in our blog: 5 Marketing tips for Franchisors

You could support localized marketing efforts in a cost-effective and efficient way by using smart marketing tools like a DAM (Digital Asset Management). More advanced DAMs would enable you to store several, commonly used templates for brochures, posters, or social media posts, and give your franchisees the freedom to edit them to create on-brand marketing materials. This will also create brand consistency across the whole franchise, resulting in a stronger brand identity. Make sure your franchise package includes sufficient training. On-site staff training, workshops, online training manuals, and seminars will increase the value of your franchise for potential franchisees.

Offering additional services, like legal and assistance with finding an appropriate location, can also set you apart from other franchise opportunities. Most importantly, remember that potential franchisees will only be convinced if they see you have a clear strategy and vision for the whole franchise.

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