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Making a good first impression

If you want your franchise to take off to a good start, then leave a good first impression.

By Pallavi Majha Chief Sub Editor

If you are one of the aspiring franchisees and are finding it difficult to take a decision regarding the franchise, then just check out the franchisees’ and franchisors first impression.

You get only one chance to leave an impression whether you are a franchisee or a franchisor. As Mr Pawan Gadia, Vice President, Ferns ‘n’ Petals, believes, “I agree with this statement, ‘first impression is the last impression’ as everybody’s mind is made up the moment they see the first shop/presentation and they can immediately judge whether it fits into their profile and scope and style or should one ignore it.”

Your first contact with the franchisor will give you an idea about him. This first contact is usually online, through the franchisor's website. As a prospective franchisee you will initiate the communication by filling out an online form. Reciprocating to your query the franchisor seeking the franchisees will request for the financial information about yourself, your interest in their industry, your management experience, and more. A prospective franchisee should get his doubts clarified and should get answers to most of his questions. Depending upon how satisfactorily the franchisor has responded to your queries, you should take a decision.

The website itself is a close indicator of the franchisor’s quality. How easy is it to understand the website and how easy it is to understand the material given on it? You can also get an idea about the franchisors from the recommendations or testimonials given on the website by the other franchisees. How the website is designed to attract the franchisees is another indicator of the franchisor.

As an aspiring franchisee it is also important for you to determine if your personal and financial targets and values match those of the franchisor’s.

Just like an aspiring franchisee, the franchisor also considers the franchisees first contact with him. Franchisors generally look for two things: 1) Financial conditions of the franchisee, and 2) Manner of filling up the online forms.
Franchisors follow up with franchisee’s initial inquiry with automatically generated emails, slowly introducing him to the concept - and further qualifying his capabilities, timetable, desired geographic area, and level of interest in their brand. These emails are crafted to evaluate your response at each stage, as well as to inform you further about the franchise opportunity.

Mr Gadia says, “Any relationship to succeed has to be based on facts and results, honesty and transparency in the deal. Both the parties should share the strength and weaknesses of the project and self.   A proven successful model of business with systems in place for checks, support and balances from the franchisor’s side and adequate finance and time availability from the franchisee will result into a long term relationship.”

So, a franchise needs satisfaction of both the parties. So make an impression right for a long-term relationship.

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