This is an age-old question for new franchise systems. Should I hire a full-time salesperson, should I hire a franchise broker or should I sell my franchises myself?

In our experience, in the first year of the life of a new franchisor, there is nobody better to sell the franchise than the founder of the company. There are lead-generation firms that can help you generate leads, but most start-up franchisors have a pipeline of people who have asked them about franchising. You know your business better than anyone else, and you are the best one to explain that business to prospective franchisees, and just as importantly, determine whether the prospect is likely to follow your system and be successful in the business.

It is critical to a startup franchisor that its first franchisees are successful as they serve as your references, good or bad, to future franchise prospects. You also have to work with the people to whom you sell your franchise on a regular basis, and you will likely be more selective than a commissioned salesperson. If selling franchises is not your forte, see if there are others among your existing staff who have the skills to either make the initial offering, bringing you in to close the sale, or to close the sale after you have explained the opportunity to prospective franchisees.

Selling franchises takes time. It involves sorting through leads who have no financial wherewithal to start a business and people who seem to be “professional shoppers” and not “buyers.” It will take you away from your existing business. It is not something the founder or entrepreneur should be doing forever, but, it is our experience in the early stages of the life of a franchise company, that the founders must be involved in the sale of franchises as they are the ones who have to live with the results of these efforts.