The franchise evaluation form is a critical part of the franchise sales process which is not only necessary as part of the sales process, but is critical in order to make good business decisions as to who should be allowed into your franchise model. So what makes for a good franchise evaluation form and how do you build your franchise evaluation model so that you are screening out the poor performing franchises and accepting only the top potential franchise candidates? To Franchise a business successfully, you need great franchisees. It is much easier to weed out franchise candidates up front before they get into your system then it is after they’ve bought and you realize they don’t have the skill set or the money to do the business.
1. Start with your franchise buyer profile and understand clearly who you want to target and what qualifications that buyer should bring in order to qualify for your franchise opportunity. Know the characteristics, traits and capital needed for them to be able to open and start your franchise.
2. Develop a franchise sales process that takes into account these requirements for franchise buyers. The advertisements, messaging and overall franchise presentation should echoes the target buyer profile and incorporates as many qualifying factors into your messaging as possible.
3. The franchise sales personnel should know and understand the franchise evaluation form and incorporate this tool into their sales process. It should be used as a qualifier not only to determine whether the buyer has the capability to open the business, but also whether they are engaged enough in the sales process to fill out the form and return this to the franchisor. We generally recommend that there should be a hard stopping point in the sales process where the franchisee is not permitted to move further into the franchise sales stages until they complete and return the form.
4. Forms can be electronically sent and many times can be incorporated into your website to achieve the same results as you would if sending via a PDF.
Examples of Franchise Evaluation Forms in both formats, the PDF download/print/fill out form (http://franchisinginformation.dunkinbrands.com/apex/DUNKIN_Opportunity_Interest?Cntry=&Brand=)
5. Franchise Evaluation Forms should ask the obvious question of how much money a particular buyer has to be able to invest in the franchise business, but should also take the questions deeper. As a franchisor, you should want to know the candidate’s background, experience, work history, where their capital is (retirement, stocks, bonds, home, etc). You want to have some aspects to the application that are open ended and allow for the buyer to tell you about themselves and their reasoning for being interested in your franchise brand.
6. Franchise Non-Disclosure Agreements are typically included as part of the Franchise Evaluation Form as well and can be incorporated into the franchise sales process. You should ask your franchise attorney how this is permitted to fit into your sales model dependent on your state or market and what franchise regulations may exist.
7. Keep your evaluation forms on file. These can be used for reference for both good and bad franchisees to help determine more accurately who you should and who you should not be focusing your franchise sales efforts on. Also, in cases of franchise litigation or lawsuits, you will be able to use these forms as evidence that you qualified a franchisee before awarding the franchise to them.
All together, the franchise evaluation form needs to be an important part of your sales process and overall recruitment strategy. Be critical of the candidates who are coming into your system, they are being provided an opportunity to grow and build a business using your system and intellectual property. It is their job to convince you that they have what it takes to add value to the company and the family of franchisees you are building.
For more information on how to develop your franchise sales processes or how to develop great franchise evaluation forms, contact us: