Written by
Matt Frentheway

4 Must-Have Qualities to Attract Top Franchisors

While you're scrutinizing a franchise, the franchisor is also scrutinizing you.

Believe it or not, franchises are pretty picky about who they will pick to be their franchisee. If you run across a franchise that is not picky, you should run the other way.

What Franchisors Are Looking For

It might go without saying, but the best franchisors are looking for the best franchisees.

Franchisors are entrusting you with a part of their life's work – their brand and their business.

They're looking for people who will:

  • uphold the brand
  • align with their values
  • follow their operating style
  • enhance the franchise network, and
  • maximize profits (of course! 😂 )

Given this, your goal is to show that you're the best person in your region to put their logo up on the location, and the best person to run the business in your territory.

So, what makes a franchise candidate stand out?

There are four non-negotiable qualities that will make you irresistible to top franchisors. Let's explore them!

1. Commitment

Your value as a franchisee isn't measured solely by your financial capacity.

Franchisors also care about your personal commitment to their brand. To be specific, I'm talking about an actual emotional attachment. Let me explain.

Even if you're buying a car wash franchise (nothing wrong with that, but I'll pick on it for a minute), you still can genuinely have a personal commitment if you believe in the business service, the leadership team, and the network of franchisees.

So, how do you show a personal commitment? Simple: You have to do the work that leads you to truly believe in the business you're buying.

Be proactive and responsive in all your interactions. Show that you're deeply interested in becoming a part of the network.

  • Thoroughly review the materials the franchisor gives you.
  • Call up the references the franchisor shares.
  • Come to Discovery Day and engage during the evaluation process.
  • Read the FDD. (Check out our super in-depth guide on how to read this document critically.)
  • Ask insightful questions that show you have really investigated the business model.

Think of it this way: If you were starting your own business from scratch, you would put your metaphorical blood, sweat, and tears into it. As a result, you'd have a personal commitment to your business, not just a financial commitment.

The franchisor wants to see that you have that same kind of commitment to the business you're buying. Because when you deeply commit to the business, it will show in the work you put in and the results you achieve.

That's good business for you and the franchisor.

2. Competence

You and the franchisor are both going to be reliant on each other for mutual success and profitability.

We gauge people's competence by their professionalism.

  • Your appearance
  • Your attitude
  • Your professionalism during meetings, whether in-person or virtual

You need to be professional with everyone you connected to the franchise.

  • Dress appropriately.
  • Be punctual.
  • Be courteous.
  • Be timely with all interactions.
  • Follow the franchise's process in learning about their company. (Don't try to jump ahead.)

Prepare to visit the franchise headquarters to meet with the leadership team if needed.

In short, show the same professional competence that you expect from the franchisor.

3. Consistency

Since franchisors are in it for the long game, they expect the same from you.

You want to demonstrate that you're prepared for a decade-long commitment, and that you'll fulfill all your contractual obligations.

But... how can you possibly show what you'll do in the future?

It's simple: Make a good impression.

  • Follow through on all your promises and deadlines.
  • Make yourself available during business hours.
  • Show integrity in all your dealings.

4. Credible History

Franchisors welcome candidates from diverse backgrounds. However, a foundation in business management and financial literacy will not come amiss.

The good news is, you can demonstrate this in different ways.

I've helped people who are veterans, nonprofit leaders, C-suite execs, and homemakers. No matter your situation, your resume should highlight:

  • Career progression and leadership roles
  • Tangible achievements and results in previous positions
  • Effective team building and budget management skills

Like it or not, the franchisor is also going to look at your personal financial health.

Franchisors prefer candidates with strong financial records. Your financial health shows your management skills. It also indicates that you're probably going to be successful sustaining your business without succumbing to personal financial pressures.

How to Be the Perfect Candidate

Now that you know what franchisors are looking for, here's exactly how to show up and get the franchise you want.

Research Before You Reach Out

Before you make contact, research the franchise and make sure there's a genuine fit.

  • Investigate their business model, market position, and reputation.
  • Learn their brand values and business philosophy.
  • Prepare informed questions that go beyond the surface. This will demonstrate your knowledge and interest.

Demonstrate Alignment

Demonstrate your alignment with the franchisor's brand and culture.

  • Share relevant experiences that highlights your ability to enhance their brand.
  • Discuss how your personal values and business philosophy aligns with theirs.
  • Present ideas on how you can contribute to the franchise's growth while respecting its established path.

Show That You're Prepared Financially

Franchisors need to know that you're financially prepared. Be ready to:

  • Present a realistic financial plan on how you will fund your business. By the time you get to Discovery Day, you'll want to have a clear plan in place. (You can talk to a franchise consultant or someone who specializes in funding franchises to choose the best financing options for you.)
  • Show evidence of your financial stability. A franchise will look to see that you meet their requirements for net worth and liquidity.
  • Discuss how you plan to meet financial obligations, especially in the early stages of your business.

Be Honest

Don't inflate your capabilities, accomplishments or financial situation. Franchisors conduct their own due diligence.

If there's a mismatch, it's better to just allow the franchisor to see that. It will save you both the trouble of going further in the process.

Partnership Is a Two-Way Street

Franchising is a partnership.

To win a top franchise, you need to demonstrate that you'll be a valuable addition to the franchise network. So...

  1. Do your homework to show your commitment.
  2. Show up professionally to show your competence.
  3. Follow through to show your consistency.
  4. Showcase your achievements and financial readiness to prove you have a credible history.

The awarding process is your opportunity to shine!

As a franchise consultant, one of the services I provide candidates is to make warm introductions to your franchise matches. That way, they'll "roll out the red carpet" for you.

I'll coach you on how to make a solid impression on the franchises you evlauateat each step of the process. It's up to you to follow the process I outline.

As a final note, it's easier for me to confidently recommend you to a franchise when you are a good franchise candidate. So, if you schedule a strategy session, please show up on time. 😉

Matt Frentheway

As a successful franchisee and entrepreneur, I can help you find the best opportunity to realize your dream of being a profitable franchise owner. Using my proven process as a franchise consultant, we’ll define your goals, narrow the field, and select the best franchisor for you to achieve financial freedom.