It’s not smoke and mirrors… it’s all about talking with people inside your franchise network, to discover how to connect with people outside it, and attract them in.

Attend any franchising networking event, and chances are you’ll have similar conversations about franchise recruitment as you work the room: “How’s recruitment?”, “How many leads are you generating?”, “What’s your cost per lead?”.

The challenge, as the franchise industry grows, is realising everyone is, essentially, fishing in the same pond to when thinking how to recruit franchisees. Different investment levels, different sectors, different formats – all trying to attract the same leads. Whilst you may know the best platforms to attract prospective franchisees… wouldn’t it be great if there were more ponds to fish in which weren’t so crowded with others hoping for the same catch.

Well… here’s the thing: There are!

You just have to work harder to identify where the other ponds are, and move in a new direction – especially if you want to land THE big catch! You want the franchisee who will exceed all others, the one who will rise to the top of your network and become a top performer. But, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s easier to do what you’ve always done to get what you’ve always got. Then complain at the next networking event – poor quality, tyre kickers, leads competing with other brands!

Aim for quality not quantity

Sure, having tons of leads feels good… but sifting through the krill to fish out the right candidates can be time consuming, without much yield. And you are continually trying to jump on your leads before your competitors get to them, in the same way a flock seagulls fight over a scrap of food!

The danger of seeking to connect with every lead, or anyone who even sniffs at your franchise, is the real potential of recruiting the wrong people. Someone with the wrong, or missing skills, wrong personality, lack of relevant experience. They end up underperforming and the support you give them never quite seems to bring them up to optimum performance.

This is why it’s better to look for, and connect with, future top performers. This can take longer to recruit but it can be a gamechanger, with the result being recruiting stronger franchisees. Slower network growth leads to higher network revenue in the long run. But, how do you aim for quality? By understanding who your ideal franchisee is and working out where they are.

Creating your ideal franchisee persona

Within your existing franchise network, you will very likely already have your ideal franchisee. They are easy to spot-  your top-performing franchisees. And here’s the thing: if you were to put them in a room together, you’d soon discover they have similar personality traits, maybe even career experiences. And, it wouldn’t take long before they start to strategise, discussing how to build their businesses – the steps taken, or needed, to move to the next level of success. They become their own Peer to Peer group. Such is their shared drive and passion for their businesses.

By digging into their mindset, understanding what makes them tick, you can start to build your ideal franchisee persona. Do a DiSC profile on them or a Calliper profile.

Ask loads of questions. Draw out things like your franchisees’ background, skills and experiences, their values, goals, and ambitions. What are they like to be around? What’s their communication style? What about their personality traits and interests? The more detailed your persona, the clearer you and your team will feel about who you’re looking for.

Then – and here’s the key – begin to discover where they used to hang out, to identify where people like them could be hanging out. Which social media they use, online communities they belong to, offline media they engage with, trade expos they attend. This list can go on and on. What is interesting is that very few will read franchise trade press. Many will not know what a franchise opportunity is. So heading to where your ideal candidate hangs out is crucial, when considering how to recruit franchisees.

Outside-the-box strategies

We’re living in an exciting age, where technology can literally put differing adverts in front of people which resonate with them through targeted campaigns. And they’re different to what their friends/neighbours will see. Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok and even TV, yes TV.

It’s important to have a clear picture of who we’re talking to. If you have a big investment franchise, there’s no point in your adverts appearing in front of someone with less funding looking for a smaller opportunity to fit around their lifestyle.

This also helps with working out where new to try, as you aim to speak to the right people. For example, if you are an education franchise, and have identified teachers and ex-teachers as your ideal franchisee, have you considered where they might be found? How about “teacher community” pages on Facebook? Being part of those communities will put you front and centre of your ideal candidates. A targeted approach of this kind reward you with stronger leads, with the right person joining your network.

What are you doing differently?

So ask yourself, when thinking about how to recruit franchisees, ‘What am going to do differently, to find the people who will fit perfectly into my franchise network and become top performers?’ Will you keep doing what you’ve always done… or find a new pond which is filled with ideal prospects, some of whom will turn into strong leads ?

Pinnacle | Franchisee Growth Experts | Tim

Tim Morris has more than 30 years experience managing and supporting franchise operations around the world. He has a success record of driving sales and profits, managing multi-site units, as well as positively influencing individual franchise owners in franchise B2B and B2C environments. Tim has seen particular success supporting groups of high performing franchisees in peer group settings. He has managed teams developing and implementing sales and marketing strategies. With senior leadership experience, he has achieved 80% growth in net profit through motivation and development of teams. From assisting with the expansion of an international franchise brand to heading up the support functions of both national and international franchise systems, he has been instrumental in the growth of hundreds of franchisees. His proven success record comes with a passion for ‘360 business development’ and his unique perspective empowers franchisors and franchisees alike to get the very best from their partnership.