4 Personality Types that Make Good FranchiseesSome people are naturally suited to running a franchise — and others aren't.
Operating a franchise requires working hard, solving problems and managing people. But it’s not the same as owning a stand-alone business — and some people are better suited to one model of business ownership than the other.
A study from 2009 that found openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism are some of the dominant traits among franchisees.
Franchise companies have caught on to what makes good franchisees tick, and some even use personality assessments to vet candidates.
Here are four types of people who may have a better-than-average chance of successfully owning a franchise.
“If you like setting your own rules, you might not like franchising,” said Mark Siebert, founder and CEO of iFranchise Group and author of “How to Franchise Your Business.” When you operate a franchise, he said, “you’re an independent businessperson, but that independence extends to the way you run the business — not the brand.”
According to Siebert, franchisees have to follow recipes, training protocols and other procedures to a T, which can be difficult for more creative types to swallow.
Robert Stidham, president of Franchise Dynamics, a franchising sales outsourcing firm, echoed that thought. “People who are very entrepreneurial and have difficulty in following systems, processes or rules don’t do well in franchise systems,” he said.
Owners in every customer-facing business should like working with people, but that trait is especially important if you own a franchise, according to Sam Hance, president and owner of StoneCoat, a Texas-based franchise with six branches.“We are all salespeople at the end of the day,” said Hance.
To deduce whether a prospective franchisee fits the bill, Hance said he asks them what they do in a room full of people, most of them strangers. “Do they only stay with the people they know or do they introduce themselves to the ones they don’t know?”
In business, good communication skills are essential. But they may be more essential when running the business boils down mostly to managing rather than innovating. Since parent companies of franchises set the business model and make many decisions for the brand, franchisees are expected to communicate and execute, whether it’s training employees or keeping people in line.
“As a franchisee, your main responsibilities are going to be managing, hiring, training and firing staff, so you better have people skills and understand which employees you have to push, and which you have to reassure,” said Dan Grandon, president of Closet Factory, a franchise with 45 locations.
Stand-alone business owners call their own shots (and live or die by their decisions). But franchisees must be comfortable operating within a larger organization, noted Mary Jane Riva, CEO of Pizza Factory, a franchise with 113 locations on the West Coast. Loners do not make good franchisees, she noted.
“Those that come into the system with an ‘I know it all’ attitude, are quick to blame others for their mistakes or want to go rogue aren’t good fits,” she said. “There are a lot of other franchisees that have their investment at stake and what one franchisee does could have detrimental effects on all of us.”
Additionally, owning a part of a franchise means relinquishing some control of your business and the decision-making that drives it to your parent organization.
“You want to find people who you know will trust your system,” said Grandon. “This can be a difficult adjustment, so you want to make sure potential franchisees are flexible and willing to trust that you’ve given them all of the tools they’ll need to succeed.”