There are many individuals running successful small businesses who decide that franchising their concept is the best way to grow. With the assistance of franchise counsel and sometimes business consultants, they develop a business model and create the appropriate franchising documentation; registering their franchise disclosure document (“FDD”) where necessary. At this point they enter into the most crucial phase of franchise development: identifying and attracting the right people to become franchisees of their new systems.
At this stage, many franchisors find that there is an art to finding the right match. We spoke to a new franchisor that this firm represents, Jason Puleio, about his franchise concept, The Barker Lounge, a dog daycare center and boarding facility offering full service dog care in large, “cage-free,” climate-controlled facilities. The Barker Lounge plans to have 4 or 5 franchises developed this year.
Jason tells us the main component to identifying the right candidate for a franchisee is transparency – a totally honest approach. He makes the candidate aware from the start that his system is growing at a deliberate pace and that he is willing to wait for the right people. Jason provides interested parties with everything that they ask for in terms of information and guidance. And as the candidates are checking his operation out, he is simultaneously checking them out. Jason is looking for someone that is passionate about dogs, it simply won’t work otherwise. He wants franchisees who are going to love the work.
Jason says that he is breaking with convention and finding most of his interested parties in non-franchise environments. Rather than trolling the big franchise business conventions, he is meeting people through industry connections, such as pet shows and animal rescue organizations. That is where he can find the type of people who are willing to commit to Jason’s carefully developed brand of dog care.
A franchise system will ultimately succeed or fail with the quality of the franchisees running the system’s operations. Jason’s hands-on approach to developing his system from the ground up, with committed, passionate franchisees, describes a formula for success.