Finding and signing the right franchisees has never been more important. As you look toward your goals for new franchise owners in 2021, it’s important to know exactly who you are looking for so that you can grow your system with the right people.
Franchisors often say the most important consideration is finding franchise owners who are the right “fit.” How you determine that depends heavily on your business model and the values that are most important to your company.
So, where do you begin to find your ideal franchisees?
Do they fit into your industry?
A good place to start is to think about your business model and what kind of people generally are attracted to your industry and your franchise system.
Pearle Vision, for instance, is an optical franchise that operates at the intersection of healthcare and retail. Having eye doctors under the same roof as the retail operation has been a cornerstone of our business model since the first Pearle Vision opened in 1961. Eye doctors and opticians – the technicians who fit and dispense glasses – are natural candidates to become franchisees. Because of their training and chosen careers, we know that optometrists, ophthalmologists and opticians are knowledgeable about and invested in the vision care industry. They most likely are familiar with the Pearle Vision brand, too.
We also market our franchise opportunity to an investor persona. Investors interested in the healthcare industry seek franchises that have scalable business models so that they can quickly grow their business. For example, our systems and processes make it possible for franchise owners to successfully run their business without a background in the optical industry.
Investors are likely contenders for multi-unit agreements, which are attractive because they offer reduced fees and exclusive territory rights. Additionally, multi-unit agreements in strategic markets are important vehicles of growth for the franchise system.
Do they share your values?
Another key consideration for signing a franchisee who is the right fit is whether they share your values. Whether your company has articulated core values or you operate according to principles and priorities established by your founder, a franchise’s values system is an important component in identifying your ideal franchisee.
At Pearle Vision, we know our ideal franchisees are people who embody the same values that our founder, Dr. Stanley Pearle, had when he opened the first Pearle Vision. We look for entrepreneurs who share our passions for expert care, trust and personal service. Successful franchise candidates are those who are dedicated to building strong businesses that provide genuine eye care.
If a candidate cannot commit to upholding your company’s values, that should make it easy to determine whether they are the right fit for your franchise. Disagreement about values is a deal-breaker.
It would be easy to award a franchise to every candidate who meets the most basic financial requirements, but it’s not always the best thing for your system. Knowing who your ideal franchisee is and ensuring that a candidate is a perfect fit are essential to growing your franchise the right way. If a candidate does not meet your standards, it’s much better for you and the candidate to realize that before they join your system.
Josh Robinson is vice president of licensing & development at Pearle Vision and is responsible for defining and developing business strategies to grow the Pearle Vision franchise system. He has more than 20 years of experience supporting franchisees and helping them optimize the performance of their businesses.
Pearle Vision proudly offers a discount of 20% off the franchise fee to honorably discharged U.S. veterans who wish to join the roster of Pearle Vision EyeCare Center licensed owners.
Pearle Vision also is a member of the International Franchise Association Foundation®’s VetFran® program. VetFran was established after the first Gulf War to build a network of “brands that voluntarily offer financial discounts, mentorship and training for aspiring veteran franchisees and veterans seeking employment.”
For its exceptional commitment to military veterans, Pearle Vision is ranked No. 47 on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2020 Top Franchises for Veterans list.