Convincing your franchisor that you are the ideal candidate

candidate franchise

To convince your franchisor, there are two fundamental prerequisites: the company must select you seriously and professionally (and not take you on because your money looks good), and you must test ALL the major companies in your target business sector (and not rush into the first one that comes along).

If you want to be taken seriously by the network developer, you need to adopt a number of attitudes: get involved from the very first step, be clear and transparent about your desire to join the network, and above all treat this mutual selection process as a team sport.

Selecting you with seriousness and professionalism

When looking for a franchise to match your business project, there are two obvious points that are often misunderstood and therefore poorly implemented by applicants.

On the one hand, the franchisor must look for you… select

Developer is still all too often a commercial function, generally subject to a bonus if a contract is won. This can impair the decision-maker’s lucidity. However, to validate the application, he needs to take the time to get to know :

  • The franchisee’s project: find out what they want, rather than what they need, based on their current professional and family life, and how they would like to create their future within the brand.
  • His or her career path: are the skills and aptitudes acquired during his or her working life in line with the requirements of his or her new job?
  • His objectives: does he want to set up several sales outlets, pass the business on to his children or manage it as a “good father”?

The first impression left by the developer must also be the right one

A good developer acts like a good salesman: he first determines his customer’s (the candidate’s) needs before presenting his sales pitch (for joining the company). Better still, he or she should think like a business manager, to facilitate your professional transition and anticipate your progress. For example, by adapting flexibly to your pace, without forcing or nagging. Or by drawing up a retro-planning schedule that takes into account the realities on the ground.

In line with the adage that is generally recommended to apply to the candidate first, the first impression must be the right one when contacting the Development department. Whether you’re an employee of the brand, a member of a company to which recruitment has been delegated, or even a shareholder in the network, the developer must be interested in you first and foremost on a human level.

Finally, the brand must offer you a balanced contract. High targets may be required by the retailer, particularly in terms of sales for the first year or short-term team building for a business to be started alone, sometimes with the possibility of early termination of the contract if they are not met.

Before trying to convince your future franchisor

On the other hand, when you’re looking to select a brand, study all the major brands in the sector:

  • The market, its evolution, challenges and prospects, as well as the skills and financial resources required to tackle it,
  • The franchise network: its reputation in the sector, its know-how differentiating it from the competition (under the banner or outside the network), its support for success (initial AND ongoing training, animation, communication, etc.), its mastery of the franchising profession…

It’s healthier to have an alternative solution in case a brand refuses, and quite simply, to put several networks in competition with each other.

By way of reciprocity, know yourself before you are screened by Development services, and in particular :

  • It’s essential to be transparent, even about the weaknesses of your application (such as a past failure in setting up a business). You should know, for example, that any banking network has the means to verify the claims made by a candidate entrepreneur through the information it holds at the time of application for a business loan. Conversely, discussions with the Development department can help you discover a talent you didn’t know you had, and help you put it to good use.
  • Carry out an asset assessment to study the economic feasibility of your project in relation to your personal situation, and thus determine whether your choice will be viable in the medium term. This is because it’s difficult to quickly obtain a salary equivalent to your previous position, especially if you were a salaried executive.

A good first impression to convince the developer

From the outset, you need to show yourself to be professional and bankable: from the very first contact, you need to be able to imagine yourself as part of the brand, because if all goes well, you’ll carry the brand and become an ambassador for the network. It’s up to you, too, to make a good first impression! This is all the more true when you consider that, every year, a fine brand generally receives several hundred requests for information (applications, so to speak), and that their conversion rate into franchisees remains extremely low (generally… between 1% and 5%!).

You should now give your full attention to filling in the application form ethically, possibly in a telegraphic style expressing your strengths:

  • Precise coordinates,
  • A personal contribution that reflects reality,
  • Predispositions (real) to carry out the activity,
  • Interest in the concept,
  • The very nature of your know-how.

This will generate trust on the franchisor’s side, the basis for the mutual esteem required in your future business partnership.

The network’s responsiveness in getting back to you after you’ve submitted an application is a first indication. Less than 48 hours is a good sign. After 72 hours… Try another network!

For a meeting at a trade show dedicated to franchisee recruitment, the more you show that you’re prepared to become a franchisee, the more you’ll attract the developer’s attention. Otherwise, like any “tourist” visitor, you won’t get past the filters leading to a (real) first job interview.

First meetings with the brand

In the cycle of exchanges with the franchisor, which can be interrupted at any time, remain demanding with your future partner, without trying to force the seduction, while multiplying contacts (physical, telephone, videoconferences) with the brand. Be curious and clear-headed, without letting emotion dictate your choices.

When dealing with your retail contacts, you need to give particular thought to the following points:

  • Arguing three key points: Why create your own business? Why choose the franchise system? Why choose this brand?
  • Personalize your sales pitch: beyond the “need to realize your potential” or the “desire to set up your own business”, reveal the meaning of your approach (earning money, a second career more in line with your own values…).
  • Don’t embellish the situation with invented experiences or fabricated expertise that will make you lose credibility: any intentional error in the information you communicate, particularly with the aim of evading the franchisor’s filters, may be considered a clause for cancellation or termination of the franchise agreement.
  • Keep in mind that the developer doesn’t make his decision alone: he relies on the opinions of the franchisor’s team and franchisees after your visits to the company’s head office or network outlets. You need to convince everyone, not just the person in charge of your file.
  • Brand values: These structure the franchisee-franchisor relationship. The stronger they are, the more the network’s identity is based on the support of individuals, company managers and employees, and not just on the quality of an operational manual.
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