How Do I Identify a Great Franchisor?
As a newcomer to Canada, you may have decided that you would like to buy a franchise. You have been resourceful and have researched the franchise brand, including the quality of the product or service. That research is critical. But, have you done in depth research of the franchisor? You have to assess the franchisor to make sure that you partner with a great franchisor. Here are three important signs that identify a great franchisor.
Three Key Signs of a Great Franchisor
Franchisors are selective about who they choose to represent their brand. You should be selective too. If you’re exploring franchising opportunities, you likely believe in the success of the franchise model. That business success will grow when the franchisor demonstrates:
- Strong leadership and vision
- Positive relationship with their franchisees
- Support for their franchisees
1. Leadership and Vision
The franchise leadership team sets the vision for what the business wants to accomplish and how they they will accomplish it. So, you want to have a clear understanding of what their vision is and how they will achieve ongoing success.
You want to know:
- Who are the leaders and what role do they play in the company?
- Do they have the relevant skills and experience to contribute to the company’s success?
- Does their leadership style inspire you to follow their lead?
- Do they demonstrate passion for the company and the brand?
- Do they lead with values that are similar to your values?
- Do the leaders have a clear vision for the company and the brand?
- Do they have a clear understanding of the marketplace and industry trends?
It’s important to get to know the leadership team and have a meaningful conversation with them to determine that you’re confident with their leadership.
2. Positive Relationship with their Franchisees
The Franchise Agreement lays out the roles of the franchisor and the franchisee, but the type of relationship that they build is much more important. A great franchisor will demonstrate a positive relationship built on trust and open communication with their franchisees. This will also lead to greater business success for both the franchisor and franchisees.
To learn about the quality of the franchisor and franchisee relationship, talk to current and former franchisees in the system. This will give you information about their experience and the quality of the relationship.
You want to know:
- Do franchisees describe their relationship with the franchisor in positive terms?
- Does the franchisor ask for input from their franchisees related to marketing strategies, new products or services, or other operations issues?
- Does the franchisor listen to input provided by the franchisees?
- Does the franchisor have a Franchise Advisory Committee or Association that is made up of franchisees and management?
- How does the franchisor resolve disputes with franchisees?
The Franchise Disclosure Document provides the names of both current and former franchisees in the system. Speak to as many franchisees as you can to get a balanced picture of what the relationship is truly like.
Franchisees can offer meaningful insight and guidance based on their franchising journey. Be prepared to ask any questions that you have, and to listen to what they have to say.
Based on their feedback and what you know about yourself, you can decide if this is the type of relationship that is important to you and if it will meet your needs.
3. Support for their Franchisees
Based on your self-awareness, interests, and skills and knowledge, you know what you have to offer the franchisor. You know your strengths, and you also know where you may need additional support.
For example, if you have a strong marketing background you may appreciate a system that encourages owners to take a greater role in promoting their individual franchise. However, you may be less confident selecting strong managers and would appreciate more guidance related to recruiting and selecting managers. A great franchisor provides support to their franchisees.
You want to know:
- How much support does the franchisor provide related to initial and ongoing training?
- What does that training cover?
- What is the quality of their training tools and resources?
- What does their marketing and advertising support include?
- What additional support does the franchisor provide?
Franchisors like to hear that you know about the product or service that they offer. However, they’ll be even more impressed when you can show them what you know about their: leadership and vision; positive relationship with franchisees; and support they provide to achieve business success.
By gathering information and speaking to other franchisees, you can collect valuable information to ensure that you’re selecting a great franchisor.
If you’re a newcomer to Canada and exploring franchising as a business opportunity, we want to help you make an informed decision by providing you with:
Whatever your decision, our Franchising for New Canadians program can help you decide if franchising is right for you!