Reflecting on the franchising journey so far

Tania_KatsanisThis month, Tania Katsanis of Flowers by Fruit shares what she has learned about recruiting franchisees for a brand new franchise in a business climate that favours the tried and tested.

Hi everyone, welcome back. In this post I will try and reflect on the journey and more specifically on the recruitment of potential franchisees.

We are definitely in challenging economic times, which means people are treading with caution when it comes to looking for a career or life change. Flowers by Fruit has had interest from a few potential franchisees, some of whom are simply not the right fit for this business and others who have shown interest but have not followed through past their initial phone call. So we’ll keep on looking and we’re happy to wait for the right people.

The biggest challenge that any brand new franchise faces is people want to see that others have succeeded at being a franchisee first before they also take that leap of faith and since Flowers by Fruit has no franchisees at this point, it can make potential new franchisees nervous. This is understandable as there is a lot at stake for them. I should know, after all I gave everything up to start Flowers by Fruit, the biggest risk of my life - but it has paid off.

Tania Katsanis

The key point to remind anyone who is considering going into business for themselves or even buying into a franchise is that the success of that business is reliant on your commitment to that business. The advantage of a franchise is that you have the expertise and support of the franchisor to help you. However, you must not think for one second that a franchise means you can sit back and watch it grow without the investment of hard work, commitment and dedication. It would also help if you possessed a touch of passion. The first 18-24 months are critical to establish that business.

I learnt fairly early on in our recruitment process and from the first couple of interested people, that although they loved the idea of Flowers by Fruit as a business, they were nervous at being the first franchisee to take on the challenge and after about the fifth or sixth phone call I knew I needed to do something. Understanding there may be some apprehension, we are now offering incentives to appoint pilot franchises willing to come on board as the first franchises and offering them 50% off their initial franchise fee.

This offer is limited to the first Egg (Edible Gift Guru) and the first three Creation Centres. We’re hoping that this incentive will attract the right people to the business, and, as and added advantage of being a pilot is that you will have an influence over the future shape of the business sytem.

I am as excited as I am nervous about this new phase of the business as the success or failure rests on the ability of my team and me selecting the right franchisees to join.

I know that I will be overly cautious in selecting the first few franchisees, but I guess I can liken that to a mum leaving her baby for the first time at day care. I prefer the “better to be safe than sorry” philosophy here. So whilst on this journey of looking for the right franchisees, I must remember to;

a)      Take my time in choosing the right franchisee – be patient.

b)      Put myself in the shoes of a potential franchisee and offer them the information I think they need to know to help them make an informed decision

c)       Remember my life outside of Flowers by Fruit and spend time with my loved ones.

That’s it from me, thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I hope it has been useful to anyone considering a franchise or looking for franchisees.

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