Not all franchisees are created equally, thinks Dr. John P. Hayes

“I have 15 franchisees and they’re all different,” an emerging U.K. based franchisor told me during The Franchise Show in London. “They’re mostly good franchisees, but some perform better than others. I’m worried that the next 15 franchisees will be just as different. What can I do?”

“You can sell your next 15 franchises to people who you know make the best franchisees,” I told him. “The real problem is that you don’t know who makes the best franchisee for your business.”

It’s a problem for most franchisors and it gets progressively worse as franchisors expand internationally especially due to cultural differences that impact behaviors, expectations, and values. It’s a costly mistake to sell franchises to the wrong people. The wrong people under-perform, they don’t support the franchise brand, and they’re more likely to create legal challenges.

Most franchisors sell franchises to the wrong people because they don’t know any better. Ask a franchisor to tell you the personality profile of their ideal franchisee, based on actual performances by existing franchisees, and most can’t do it. They’ve never assessed the personalities or behavioral traits of their franchisees, before or after selling a franchise, so they just don’t know.

Most franchisors have polar opposite franchisees. The franchisees who generate the most money for themselves and the franchisor are at the top of the performance scale. The low-end producers, who complain and never seem to “get it,” and who require inordinate time and support, are at the bottom of the performance scale where they cost the franchisor money.

“We train all our franchisees the same way,” says the franchisor. “We give them the same support and tools. We make sure they have sufficient money to start the business. And yet, they all perform differently. Why?”

Hopefully the answer is now obvious. Franchisors cannot eliminate the bottom of the performance scale, but they can upgrade it! Upgrading begins by assessing existing and future franchisees. Franchisors should determine the right personality mix for their franchise and sell to those people.

There are numerous personality and behavioral profiling tools available to assess franchisees. A good example of one that’s free can be found at Use it!

Prof. Dr. John P. Hayes is the Titus Chair for Franchise Leadership at Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida. He tells more stories at and on the How To Buy A Franchise Show.



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