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Pitching Yourself to a Franchisor

Choosing a franchise that suits you is not the final milestone in your franchise journey. Standing out to a franchisor and preparing a sound application are the next steps, and this guide will run through how you can do that.

sell to franchisor

How Will You Stand Out to the Franchisor?

Let’s run through some important points to remember before you find the right partnership and begin your application process.

Impressing the franchisor involves doing your homework on the franchise and wider franchising industry, as well as foregrounding your most relevant skills, experience, and qualifications on your resume and on LinkedIn.

You should also practise your interview technique, rehearsing your pitch for why they can trust you to faithfully implement a tried and tested formula, and recount examples of how you’ve successfully solved problems or handled crises.

To really stand out, you first need to listen to what the franchisor wants from its franchisees.

Ask questions about the franchisee role, the business model and the brand’s place in its industry at discovery days, trade shows and other contexts.

Demonstrate a willingness to work long hours initially or recount an example of how you’ve previously delivered a project to a tight deadline in difficult circumstances.

No avenue is more useful for understanding the franchisee role than speaking to existing franchisees, especially given franchisors will typically introduce you to their most successful business owners.

Have a plan in place for raising finance, and your goals for the business and how you will achieve them. Be ambitious but also realistic, so your aims align with the franchisor’s objectives.

And, as important as anything, be authentic. The franchisor needs to work with you on a day-to-day basis. If you’re a bad fit for the franchisor, then the reverse is almost certainly true too. That’s why it’s crucial to find the right partnership.

The Importance of Finding the Right Partnership

A franchise investment is a partnership between the buyer – the franchisee – and the seller – the franchisor. And if either party winds up dissatisfied with the other, the venture may be headed for failure.

As such, both parties are incentivized to carefully vet the integrity, competence and suitability of their prospective associates.

If you apply to become a franchisee, then the franchisor will want to be sure of your business acumen and ability to faithfully follow a proven formula and consistently uphold their brand values and standards.

Similarly, you will need to assess if the franchise is a good fit for your goals and talents, and probe its marketing claims about training and support, projected earnings and growth plans.

Successful franchisors have effective processes in place for vetting franchisees. As a would-be franchisee, you should familiarize yourself with this screening process and fashion your own methods for choosing the right franchise and wowing the franchisor.

Thorough Research (internally and externally)

You should start by being honest about your own preferences, strengths and weaknesses.

Do you have strong customer service skills or exceptional attention to detail? Do you want to operate in a particular sector, prize flexible working hours or seek the opportunity to eventually own multiple franchise locations?

Then you can review franchise opportunities through the prism of this analysis and quickly settle on some suitable candidates.

Online platforms like BusinessesForSale.com, which feature information about a variety of franchises, are great for initial research, submitting queries to franchisors and arranging opportunities to meet them.

You can compare a wide range of franchise opportunities and filter searches by sectors, minimum investment level and franchise fee.

It’s also worth browsing franchise brands’ own websites.

When your interest becomes more serious you can attend ‘discovery days’, where franchise representatives and existing franchisees meet candidates to discuss the launch phase, day-to-day operations, the joys and challenges entailed and more.

They might invite business consultants, and representatives from financial providers and local or national business or franchise associations to offer different angles on what’s involved in buying and running a franchise.

There are also franchise events where dozens of franchise brands exhibit alongside each other. Franchise Events India and the Franchise Association of New Zealand, for example, hold regular events around their respective countries.

Franchisors should be willing to let you speak to existing franchisees – and be suspicious if they’re not – and there’s no better source of information about the franchise.

Relevant Skills and Experience

Pay attention to whether the franchisor favors – or will only consider – applicants with experience in the same or similar sectors.

This varies, depending to a significant degree on the nature of the role. For instance, Eazi-App’s drag-and-drop proprietary technology means you don’t need coding experience to build mobile applications for customers.

Often franchisors will seek particular skills and experience in certain roles – managerial or in sales and marketing, say – rather than experience in a specific sector.

What is common to nearly all franchises is an emphasis on character and personal attributes – like a strong worth ethic, integrity and an entrepreneurial mindset. This is because skill and knowledge gaps can be plugged with training and support, while character traits effectively cannot.

Nevertheless, experience in related sectors will strengthen your candidacy more often than not.

If in doubt whether you have the requisite skills, quiz the franchisor on their expectations, and think about whether you have transferable skills and experience – even if it might not seem directly relevant.

Preparing Your Franchise Application

prepare FS application

If your initial conversations with a franchisor go well then you may decide to begin a formal application process.

The precise nature of this process varies between countries and franchise systems, but two of the world’s biggest franchise brands offer fairly typical templates.

Subway, for instance, sets out 10 steps to franchise ownership, beginning with requesting a brochure before, if that gets your seriously interested, completing a franchise application form.

If the franchisor waves you through to the next stage, you then meet the local business development team, and subsequently review franchise disclosure documents (FDD). The FDD details day-to-day operations and the franchisor and franchisee roles and obligations, which helps aspiring franchise determine whether the business model is right for them.

The other six steps include conducting further research, securing financing, signing the franchise agreement, attending training, finding your location and, finally, opening your Subway store.

7‑Eleven, meanwhile, stipulates that candidates must be citizens of the country or have permanent residency and be at least 21 years old, pass a comprehensive background check, and not have any other potentially conflicting or disruptive business interests.

If candidates satisfy these criteria, they can submit their application, then discuss the application results with an account executive. If all goes well, they choose a store and consider whether to accept a formal offer set out in a franchise agreement. When this is signed, they’ll undergo launch training.

A successful application requires lots of research into franchising in general and the specific franchise in particular, and extensive preparation for any subsequent interviews – more on that later.

Financing the Franchise

It’s wise to plan how much cash you need to fund the franchise investment and how you might raise it – taking into account the franchise fee, launch costs and running costs in the start-up phase – as early in the process as possible.

Consider your savings, credit history and risk appetite before deciding which solution or solutions to pursue.

The franchisor might advise you on the costs entailed and on drafting a business plan to submit to banks.

For more information, it’s worth reading our guide on small business grants and their criteria, as well as our guide on loans to buy an existing business.

Take the Next Step and Launch Your Franchise

Franchising offers compelling potential benefits for both franchisor and franchisee.

But as we established at the outset, these benefits can only be realized if the two parties are a good fit for one another.

As an aspiring franchisee, you must be patient and thorough in finding the right franchise, before convincing the franchisor that you have what it takes to thrive when trading under their brand.

And this only requires the application of attributes – such as determination, business acumen and attention to detail – that you’ll also need to make a success of the franchise if the process successfully culminates in signing a franchise agreement.

If you decide you have what it takes to run a franchise, then BusinessesForSale.com is a great place to kick-start the franchise-finding process.

Finally, if you have any questions about how to use this site or to contact franchisors, read our FAQs or get in touch with our customer service team.