You just know, don’t you?

A friend of mine who works in franchise recruitment, rather sheepishly, told me a story recently about one of his franchisee recruits.

Remember the old adage – As a franchisor you award franchise territories, you don’t sell them.

Remember the even older adage – Franchising is all about the system.

Well, my friend forgot both these assertions over the period of just a few weeks. Here’s the story:

A guy wanted to buy into my friend’s franchise network. In fact, he was desperate to join; he was well capitalised and ready to go. Now, the standard recruitment process, in a nutshell, worked like this:

  1. Inbound telephone call
  2. First meeting
  3. Telephone questions
  4. Second meeting
  5. Sign up

Here’s what actually happened in this case:

  1. Meet for coffee to discuss the franchise
  2. First formal meeting
  3. Second meeting for coffee to discuss changes to the franchise agreement
  4. Third meeting for coffee to discuss how he might do things a bit differently and how the franchisor could use his services for Data Set Analysis
  5. Second formal meeting
  6. Various discussions with solicitors, accountants and friends
  7. Travel to franchisee to complete documentation and sign up

I vaguely remember my mate telling me the story as he was going through the process and it becoming a personal challenge to sign the guy. A clear case of: got a cheque book? Got a pulse? Okay, you’re in!

I also remember warning him that this had disaster written all over it.

The thing is your franchise recruitment process is just that – a process to be followed and if potential franchisees try to buck the process it gives you a clue as to how they will be if they join… they’ll want to change things and that’s just not franchising.

‘So,’ I asked my mate, ‘How’s things?’

‘Okay,’ he replied, ‘Except I’ve got this guy who’s put black sofas in his office when our corporate colours are green, he’s not promoting his business like we suggest, his sales aren’t as good as a result and he’s blaming me.

Hmmm… without wishing to sound very smug, I told you so.

No, that’s not true… I’m quite happy to sound smug!

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