Six Ways to Predict Franchisee Success

Years ago an enthusiastic client, Grant Garroway, asked if I could develop a tool to help him to assess the future performance of potential franchisees.

Grant was the recruitment manager of an established franchisor and had a wicked sense of humour.

"You're a smart guy" he quipped. "Perhaps you could develop something the candidate puts his finger into and it prints out a detailed profile of how successful they will be as a franchisee."

We both laughed at this ridiculous idea. But I did take up the challenge of finding a tool that could help clients wanting to understand how to assess the suitability of prospective franchisees.

Why employee measures don't work on franchisees

As a psychologist I had access to wide range of assessment tests and research.

What I discovered is something most of you already know. Being a franchisee is very different to being an employee. This meant the traditional employee assessment tools didn't work very well on franchisees.

In fact I found a negative correlation between some of the most common measures, such as intelligence, and franchisee performance. I guess sometimes smart people just think and question too much when they should be just getting on with things.

Some 15 years later, I've learned a thing or two about franchisee recruitment and performance. Here's a few gems we've discovered through our research on thousands of franchisees.

1. The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. So if you want to know whether a person will take initiative or cope with pressure, find out how well they have done this in the past.

2. Most franchise recruitment managers talk too much in meetings with franchisees. If you want to learn about someone, ask good quality questions and listen carefully.

3. The extent to which a franchisee has people in their life that care about them, will have an enormous impact on their motivation, ability to deal with the challenges of the business and their ultimate performance.

4. A franchisee's attitude to your brand and culture, what we call their level of "brand passion", will have a highly significant impact on their engagement with your franchise programs as well as their sales and profit performance.

5. The only way to get an accurate view of someone is to look at them from three different angles, a technique known as triangulation. And the three best techniques to use are a carefully worded application form, a self assessment profile and a structured interview.

6. While personality tests are poor predictors of business performance, some traits such as optimism, achievement drive and the ability to connect with people are good predictor of performance.

Until next time,

Greg Nathan

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