“What do you look for in a franchisee?” is a question I’m always asking franchisors. And the most frequent answer from brands of all types is “The ability to network.” It doesn’t matter if the concept is a senior care service, a soccer camp, or a sandwich shop, franchisees must be willing to spend countless hours “selling” themselves at family functions, after church, even in line at the grocery store.
But networking isn’t a skill that comes easily to everyone. And as a franchisor, it’s not always easy to know if someone REALLY knows how to network BEFORE they become a franchisee. That’s why this tip (stolen from a recent conference) makes so much sense: Require prospective candidates to collect 1,000 business cards BEFORE they officially become franchisees.
This will force candidates to get out into their communities and begin selling their business before they’re even franchisees. It also gives them 1,000 contacts to reach out to on Day 1, and it gives you a good sense of their networking abilities and shortcomings.
A huge part of being a successful franchise brand is identifying franchisee weaknesses before they become problems. The more “tests” like this you can do before the doors open, the more successful you all will be—not to mention what all these new contacts will mean to your marketing lists