When selecting an education franchisee, several factors come into play. Obviously, they need adequate reserves of working capital, business acumen, a good location and to be able to show the potential for growth, but we are also looking for good people who will represent our brand in a positive way.
Here are some of the key attributes we look for in our franchisee recruitment process, all of which are relevant to other franchisors in the education sector. Some are linked to experience, others to overall outlook, but possessing a combination of all these skills will earmark the very best potential franchisees in the business.
1. Obvious passion for what they do
A strong passion for educating others – in our case, young children – is imperative, along with an ability to convey a genuine excitement about helping children and families every day. We look for potential franchisees who showcase pride in their past accomplishments and demonstrate how they have improved their community. Proving their drive to make a difference in the lives of children and impact their local communities is essential.
2. Brand awareness
Our credibility in the community is also crucial. Our franchisees value the brand and are confident that they represent the best in early childhood learning and add to the overall quality of life in their communities. We’ve noticed this leads to an enhanced ability for franchisees to perform well.
3. Personal experience
In our experience, franchisees who have firsthand experience of their own child or children going through a multi-year early childhood educational learning school have an even greater desire to be successful. Their ability to relate personal parental examples of early education benefits the potential parent customer, leading to regular success for the franchisee.
4. Ability to form parental partnerships
Working with children daily means you need a partnership with a child’s parent, as learning happens both inside the school and at home.
Parents look to their child’s school to provide quality care and exceptional learning experiences, so it’s a requirement of a franchise owner and their staff to always be there for a child and to care for them in the same way a parent would. This gives a parent comfort in knowing that in the care of a Children’s Lighthouse Early Learning School, their child is always taken care of well.
5. Positive attitude and communication skills
Having a positive mindset and a friendly, approachable attitude are qualities we always look for in our franchisee candidates. Our applicants must be accessible and possess great people-management skills.
The ability to communicate with families, staff and children are fundamental traits required as an educational franchisee. The childcare industry is best suited to people who gravitate toward other individuals easily. Our candidates are passionate about helping others and love being with children of all ages.
6. Strong leadership and business acumen
Education franchisors also need to look for candidates who are strong leaders. Having the ability to think for themselves and apply entrepreneurial skills will accelerate their school’s success. Our franchisees can also work independently and get things done efficiently.
A possible franchisee should be comfortable with selling and can motivate others to get things done. Believing in themselves and their own efforts gives them the capability to be proud of what they offer.
7. Shared outlook
A potential franchisee needs to have a good understanding of the franchise and how it operates and the culture of the franchisor should match the beliefs of the franchisee. When selecting a franchisee, we look for a successful career background as this is a good predictor of high achievement in the education industry. The ability to manage and motivate a team, understand and implement a business plan, and thrive in business development are all qualities that we seek.
When a candidate embraces our multiple-step discovery process by showing a willingness to provide necessary information, attend virtual meetings and ‘lean in’ positively, our team finds that the candidate becomes a franchisee that follows the franchise operational system when they open their school.
8. Commitment to building bonds
Finally, providing an educational experience to consumers is usually a long-term relationship. Our most successful franchisees can consistently produce a culture within their businesses that is palpable to employees, parents and children. Throughout the recruitment process, our team looks for certain attributes in our interactions with candidates that may indicate an ability to deliver warmth, great care and a relentlessly positive attitude to all stakeholders.
These attributes include a history of problem-solving, a dedication to constant improvement, positive relationships with co-workers and a propensity towards creating a family atmosphere. Being able to carry out many of these functions helps to establish, build and maintain relationships that can continue for years.
Stephen Dixon is chief development officer for Children’s Lighthouse, the U.S.A.’s leading provider of early childhood education