Managing Franchise Recruitment Like It's Covid-19

Managing Franchise Recruitment Like It’s Covid-19

Franchising is global. Thousands of franchisors on almost every continent go to work each day trying to grow their brands. No franchise brand can be successful without recruiting new franchisees. And, based on current data, we know that most franchise companies are not winning at recruitment.

Covid-19 is global, too. It doesn’t care about boundaries, politics, race, gender, etc. With no mass-produced treatment or vaccine, the definition of success is to prevent the spread of the virus. Prevent the spread and you prevent infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Again, based on the data, some countries are having more success preventing its spread while others are failing badly.

What does it take to win at franchise recruitment these days? Some of the same things it takes to beat Covid-19, including:

Leadership. Winning always starts with effective leadership. The root cause of excellent business performance is the drive, desire, and vision of its leaders. Whether Covid-19 or franchise recruitment, there should be a true commitment to the following components.

First step. Admit you have a problem. Before you can change the trajectory of a virus outbreak or recruitment results, you must accept the current reality before you can change it. Denial of a problem or a poor result is a guaranteed approach for continued failure.

Plan/strategy. No company or country has infinite resources. This means leaders must figure out how to win with the resources available. Sure, it would be great if we had a Covid-19 vaccine today, but we don’t. Experts tell us it could be many months for a vaccine, or possibly a few years. Franchise executives need to approach recruitment the same way. If they wait until they have all the resources and the timing is “right,” they’ll be waiting a long time.

Trust the data. Metrics and analytics won’t always give us the right decision, but they sure help. Said another way, if you’re leading and guiding without considering what the data is telling you, good luck on success. Most franchise companies don’t have the right data they need for key recruitment decisions – and the ones that do often don’t know how to properly use it. Much of the continued spread of Covid-19 is due to not having, ignoring, or not trusting the data.

Only one agenda. The only agenda for fighting Covid-19 should be the one that will reduce the spread and buy time until treatments are developed. The only agenda for successful recruitment should be to find and sign more quality new franchisees. That’s it. Period. Any other agenda will compromise success.

Real passion and commitment. Every franchise leader will say they want to increase recruitment of new franchisees, but most never do. Small-business owners will say they want to grow sales, but most never do. Why is this? Well we’re back to where we started: leadership. Countries with leaders who have been the most passionate and committed to reducing the spread of the coronavirus are getting the best results.

I realize franchise recruitment isn’t life-and-death. Covid-19 is. How many franchise brands with a proven business model, strong Item 19, experienced support team, solid financial resources, and more are losing at recruitment? It doesn’t make sense. Effectively, a brand is dying when it can’t recruit new franchisees.

So what does all the above mean? Why does it matter? Nearly 50 million U.S. citizens have lost their jobs. This is unprecedented. And while tragic, we must ask ourselves how many are going to look at small-business ownership for the next chapter of their life? Is your recruitment program ready?

Let’s go to work!