The importance of profiling

The importance of profiling

“To get a driver’s license, you have to pass the driving test. To get into college, you have to take the SAT. To get a small business loan, what test are you taking?” asks Marcus Lemonis, star of CNBC TV’s The Profit.

“There are no tests,” Lemonis continues. “It’s the most ludicrous thing. We make people take tests to be a doctor or a lawyer, but we don’t make them take tests to borrow money? We’re not putting any resources behind teaching people and giving them an education around the process.”

Lemonis makes a valid point, but in franchising there are at least some subtle as well as specific tests that can be required of franchise candidates.

Skills, values, and belief systems have much to do with determining a franchisee’s success in business. That information can be discovered in advance of selling a franchise, and yet most franchisors overlook this opportunity.

Some franchisors claim to have their own vetting system and no doubt they do, but is it objective, and does it uncover the most helpful information? Probably not. Other franchisors don’t believe in profiling, sadly, and some will say they can train any candidate to succeed in their business but, frankly, that’s nonsense.

If it were true we’d have more successful franchisees.

“I’m convinced that profiling is one of the most valuable tools a franchisor can use to help determine the potential success of a franchisee. I’m so convinced that if the government asked for my opinion I’d say, “Make profiling mandatory.”

Require a franchisor to profile candidates prior to selling a franchise; furthermore, require the franchisor to compare each candidate’s data with the data of the franchisor’s top producing franchisees and share that information with the candidate. Right away, everyone would know if the candidate is a good fit.

An online search for “franchisee profiling” will produce the information you need to explore numerous profiling tools. However, for those who’d rather try-it-before-you-buy-it, I recommend using the DiSC profile – it’s free.

Begin by profiling each of your existing franchisees. Build a success profile based on the DiSC results. What are the DiSC qualities of your top franchisees? Then, profile your candidates, perhaps at Discovery Day, and compare their results to your success profile.

If the results don’t match and you sell the franchise anyway, you should expect to spend extraordinary time and money trying to turn the misfit into a fit. Good luck with that. You just bought yourself a problem.

Dr. John P. Hayes, Titus Chair for Franchise Leadership at Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida, has written extensively about DiSC and helps franchisors utilize the tool. Contact him at Titus Center.


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