When looking to enter the world of franchising, it’s not always easy to know exactly what kind of skills you need to really stand out to franchisors. Are they looking for rule followers or rebels? Those with an entrepreneurial outlook or those with a more systematic mindset? Should your skill set be focused more on managing your bottom line or on putting in place new tools and tech to help you plan for the future? Do you need expertise tailored to your chosen industry or are you better off with general business skills? In the hope of answering some of these questions, Elite Franchise Magazine went straight to the source and asked some of the industries highest profile franchisors what qualities they prioritise in prospective franchisees.

See the full blog at http://elitefranchisemagazine.co.uk/people/item/franchisors-spill-on-their-favoured-skills-for-franchisees. The blog also includes contributions from David Glover, franchise recruitment manager at Caremark and Stuart Broster, UK CEO at Anytime Fitness.

Below is the Simon Mills’ section from the blog.

At your service

Simon Mills, head of franchising, Fantastic Services

What would you say are the ideal skills and characteristics for franchisees?

Having the desire and motivation to start and build your own business is one of the most important things, as well as having experience in managing people. Nowadays it is also particularly helpful to be tech savvy. Technology is present in all areas of a business, so ensure that you stay on top of the latest developments. This will allow you to easily adapt and attract the best talent. Additionally, you must also understand that customer service is important and really know the brand that you want to be a part of. Lastly, it doesn’t hurt to have good verbal and written English skills.

What skills and characteristics do you find franchisees are most often lacking?

People are generally afraid of owning a business and the responsibility that goes with it, such as being registered as a limited company, having insurance, managing expenses versus turnover and investing in the unknown. The list goes on. One of the major things is that if you don’t bring yourself up to speed with technology, it’s easy to be left behind, unable to keep up with the demands of an increasingly digital world. On the more fundamental end of the scale, some of the skills that people lack are management, planning and accounting skills. Although basic, they are vital and shouldn’t be taken for granted.

What area do you think a prospective franchisee should invest the most time in when building new experience and skills?

Start with the simple things first. Look into customer service, make sure you are able to plan for your business and try to stick to it. Also don’t forget to sharpen up your management skills. Take a course if you have to and there are plenty of videos online. It is a worthwhile investment and will only benefit you in the long run.

What else do you think prospective franchisees can do to help themselves stand out from the crowd?

Be creative and innovative. These are buzzwords that people hear all the time but you can only benefit from thinking differently and not conforming. Additionally, be strategic. Once you understand the market and your brand, assess what works and what doesn’t and take that into account when it comes to your business.