13 Franchise Development Experts on Great Franchisees

One of the best ways to determine whether or not you would make a good franchisee in general — rather than determining your match with a specific kind of franchise — is to look at the attributes that franchise development experts are looking for.

“Franchise Development” Experts?

They go by a bunch of different titles, but basically we’re talking about those people who have the job of, well, developing franchises. That means they put together the system franchisers sell to franchisees — which means they know better than anyone what their company needs to see in a franchisee in order to make headway into the marketplace. So what do they say? Let’s look at some quotes.

Franchise Developers Want…

  • Philly Pretzel Factory: “Someone who is willing to follow a system. We want someone who has the entrepreneurial spirit, but they have to understand that we have a proven model here.”
  • Mr. Handyman: “If you don’t have all the capital required to get to break-even, the first part of launching your business will feel like everything is going well. However, when you run out of capital, the banks won’t lend you anymore, because you are now at the highest point of risk.”
  • Cinnabon: “Passion and enthusiasm in being a small business owner, and having the go-getter mentality… You’ve got to like people to do business at Cinnabon.”
  • Merry Maids: “We’re not looking [so much] for somebody with a certain net worth or a certain background as we are for someone who really wants to jump in and get directly involved in developing a business.”
  • French Fry Heaven: “Do you understand what you’re getting into? Do you understand the work this is going to take? Do you understand it’s going to be hard?”
  • Snap Fitness: “Somebody who is a fitness nut: a personal trainer, somebody who comes from running a health club themselves. The economics of it are second.”
  • 1-800-Dry-Clean: “[Franchisees] must be willing to work harder than they have ever worked in their lives…There is no ‘easy’ business or franchise, despite what many believe. All startup businesses are hard work, and starting a franchise, while it has much less risk than a non-franchise startup, is still hard work.”
  • Burrito Box: “Big time: somebody who is in to marketing…. The focus is on the human connection with the customer. That’s what we don’t have. The machine doesn’t have that.”
  • The Maids Home Services: “If someone does not have the financial wherewithal to do this, we’re not doing them any favors by squeezing a square peg into a round hole. They need to find a different business model that doesn’t have the same financial requirement. Also, when we feel that someone isn’t really willing to follow our system, we have to address that right away upfront.”
  • Expedia Cruise Ship Centers: “People that would be team leaders. Our franchise partners… recruit, train, mentor and motivate a commission-based sales team. So, the larger their team, the better trained and coached they are, the more successful they will be.”
  • HipPOPs: “We’re looking for somebody who is a go-getter… somebody who is involved in their community, someone with a really strong work ethic. What we’re not looking for is someone looking for a get rich quick scheme.”
  • Happy & Healthy Products: “Somebody part time, because we want to slowly build it. We want it to fit into their lifestyle, instead of taking it over.”
  • Molly Maids: “If I’m talking to people who have already put thought into what they’re looking for, that’s a very good sign…if people don’t know what they’re looking for beyond the fact that they just want a change, it’s much more difficult.”


The Essentials

As you can probably see, these break down into a few basic attributes that come up over and over again. If you have the financial backing, if you’re willing to follow a system but do it with dedication and enthusiasm, if you’re willing to work hard — genuinely hard — at making your franchise work, and if you have the leadership and marketing savvy…you have what it takes to be a massively successful franchisee. All you need now is to be matched up with a franchise that will match your skills, interests and budget, and the easiest way to sift through the hundreds of opportunities out there is to work with a franchise broker.

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