Experts will tell you the most important thing when you consider franchising your business is to do “X” or to check out “Y” or be certain you have “Z”. For me, rule number one is not unique to franchising but something I told each of my three children as they were growing up: Rule No. 1 is to “choose carefully”*. It is good advice in life – choose carefully before going down this path or that one. It is particularly important for a franchise company.

Choosing carefully is important to franchisors at several junctures, including whether or not to franchise and choosing the right advisors to help you design your franchise program. However, it is most important when choosing franchisees. If you choose the wrong person and your first franchisees fail, there will likely never be future franchisees.

The right franchisee is not necessarily the same for every system. You need to determine the qualities you want to see in a successful franchisee and then resist the tendency to award a franchise to people who can write a check but do not have the qualities you want in a franchisee. Steve Murphy, President of Franchising for Winmark Corp., the parent company of Plato’s Closet, Once Upon a Child, Play It Again Sports, Style Encore and Music Go Round, wrote in the November 2018 issue of Franchising World:

“The wrong franchisee may be someone who prefers to do things their own way, has a poor work ethic, lacks passion, is not committed to the business, or does not care about your vision for the brand.”

Steve’s article will give you other thoughts on important considerations for start-up franchisors but never forget Rule No. 1 – in franchising and in life, “choose carefully”.

* For anyone having teenagers or preteens, and who might be interested, Rule No. 2 was “stay in school” – the more education you can get the better. Rule No. 3 had to do with politics, where reasonable minds will differ, so I will spare you my political leanings.