It has been my experience that the franchisee territory does not receive enough analysis by some franchisors. While the type of territory, whether open, protected, or exclusive, is an important consideration for a prospective franchisee, the market potential is equally important.
A Strategy to Enhance Franchisee Recruitment
By Ed Teixeira
Franchise Consultant, Author, Franchise Executive and Former Franchisee with 40 years of Franchise Industry Experience.
To grow a franchise system a franchisor must have qualified franchise leads that can turn into viable franchise candidates. Whether a franchisor generates their own leads, uses Lead Gen portals, or receives franchisee prospects from other sources, acquiring franchise leads is only the start of the franchise development process. The franchisee prospect needs to be motivated by a franchise opportunity before proceeding to the next step in the process.
To achieve this objective the strategy employed by most franchisors is to cite the demand for the franchise’s products or services, in addition to franchisor training, support and a financial performance representation. However, these benefits exclude one of the most critical requirements of any franchise, the quality of the territory the franchisee will acquire as part of their franchise investment.
Not enough emerging and mid-sized franchisors emphasize in detail, how it analyzes, identifies, and determines the territory a franchisee will be granted. Although this subject is typically covered at the early stages of discussions between the franchisor and a franchisee prospect, it has been my experience that the franchisee territory does not receive enough analysis by some franchisors. While the type of territory whether open, protected, or exclusive is an important consideration for a prospective franchisee the market potential is equally important.
1. Franchisors should devote more resources and place more attention on how they identify and define a franchisee market and present this information at the earliest stages of the franchise process. This strategy may require a franchisor to invest additional resources into identifying and defining franchisee territories.
2. Franchisors should avoid utilizing surface metrics to define a market. For example, a home care franchisor may use the number of residents over 65 to define a market, yet that alone won’t indicate how many in this market segment can afford to pay for home care services? The same rationale relates to home restoration services. In addition to identifying the number of single family homes in a territory, the age, size and proximity of homes to potential environmental threats should be considered.
3. Invest in using an experienced market research firm to identify an ideal market profile to serve as the basis for identifying and defining franchisee territories. This approach will benefit the franchisor and its franchisees by maximizing opportunities for brand growth.
4. Some franchisees will request a territory based upon proximity to their residence and certain demographics. Franchisors should avoid accepting a franchisees choice of territory out of hand, without a detailed analysis of the territory. Otherwise, a franchisee that experiences poor sales may attribute the problem to their territory and place the responsibility on the franchisor.
In order to attract qualified franchise candidates franchisors should devote the necessary resources to defining franchisee territories and its market potential and present the franchisee territory as a major feature of the franchise opportunity. This feature of the franchise opportunity should be introduced at the beginning of the franchise presentation process.
About the author:
Ed Teixeira has 40 years experience in the franchise industry as a franchise executive and franchisee. He is the co-author of the new textbook; Franchising Strategies The Entrepreneurs Guide to Success published by Rutledge. Ed’s franchise experience includes the retail, manufacturing, home health care, medical staffing and technology industries. Mr.Teixeira has franchised brands in Asia, Europe, and South America. He have lectures at Stony Brook University Business School on the subject of Franchising and been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Bloomberg, Franchise Times, Franchise Update, New York Newsday and Long Island Business Review. Am available for Expert Witness testimony.
He has written and published The Franchise Buyers Manual a comprehensive guide for people considering buying a franchise. Ed is an Industry Partner of Stony Brook University and member of the Advisory Board Pace University Lubin School of Business and was qualified by the International Center for Dispute Resolution and The Business Broker Press as a franchise expert.