When a franchisor sells the rights to be part of their brand, they have to be sure that they are selling to the right person: somebody who will fit in and, if possible, even improve the company's standing.
If you want to be that person, you have to make the most of the limited opportunity you will get to present yourself to the franchisor.
Before you prepare your application
Do your homework. If you're presenting an existing concern for consideration, identify all those qualities that your current business and the franchise share.
These will probably be the usual things that make your business desirable, such as reliability, quality of provision and being an equitable employer, but you can only really pinpoint any commonalities by researching the franchise.
Structuring your presentation
You will need to pitch your proposal to the franchisor in the form of a presentation. To achieve the desired result, this should inform the franchisor about the ways in which accepting you as part of their franchise family will benefit the existing structure; this is where your research will pay off as you can highlight those very properties that you know they look for in a franchisee.
Be concise and direct as you paint them a picture of a future company that is enriched by what you have to offer.
Practising for your presentation
The more relaxed and well-informed you are during the presentation, the more convincingly you will be able to make your case. The key to being relaxed is to have practised the presentation until it requires no effort, so you should write it well ahead of your appointment; this will give you time to learn it, almost as you would learn a script.
However, you should be prepared for any questions that may arise from your presentation; put yourself in the franchisor's shoes and try to foresee what they may ask. Know your main points inside out, so that if one of them is covered in the answer to a question, you can move on without repeating yourself.
Dos and don'ts
To devise a strong presentation,
Be specific about how you can add value to the franchise.
Be honest about your achievements and abilities.
State your case coherently, making relevant points in an assertive and non-repetitive way.
Prepare a concise overview of your company, so that they understand the context of your pitch.
Rely too heavily on notes. This detracts from the presentation, preventing you from making strong eye contact. It also gives the impression that you are not thoroughly familiar with your own business.
Neglect your appearance. Dress to impress, without being too ostentatious.
Try to fill silences with unprepared statements. The franchisor may interpret this as anxiety and worry about how you will cope in a crisis.
Go in to too much detail about the specifics of contracts or operating procedure. A good franchisor will already have these in place, and you’ll have time to review any license agreements prior to purchasing the franchise.
When you research a company, you will discover whether it is right for you as well as being able to determine whether you are right for it. If you truly believe that you can bring a positive dimension to a franchise, you should have very little difficulty vocalising that belief.
If you don't know whether you and the company are a good fit, you should keep looking. When you find the right company, everyone will benefit.
Next essential read: The franchise agreement.