Find out who to hire in 4 easy steps
One of the most frequently asked questions I get from emerging franchisors is: Who is my next franchise hire?
Recently, I had a conversation with a client who had just reached her 11th franchisee. She had been stuck at five franchisees for a long time, but after putting a robust franchise sales process into place, had now crossed that coveted first milestone in franchising – 10 units. It is a big achievement, however, if you have read my past posts, you will know that 10 is often the first sticking point in the 10/25/50 trap franchising trap.
Our client was overwhelmed with too many things on her plate and tasks were starting to fall through the cracks. So many franchisee calls (6 new partners will do that to you!), problems and issues from her legacy franchisees, and not enough hours in the day to manage it all. All common problems that a franchisor of this size will face.
So, what role do you fill to help you tackle it all? In answering the question, I thought back to my own experience. I can remember when we got to the 13 franchises. We quadrupled our size in that year, so those 13 franchisees felt like a lot of locations. And they all seemed to have their own set of problems to solve on any given day.
I remember thinking “I need a break. I need help.”
I was no longer focused on the business. On strategy, on growth, on all of the stuff that I was really good at that helped get us to that point. I was bogged down in nitty-gritty operational details, trying to fix all of the issues as they arose, trying to understand what franchising really was all about.
It was time to scale up. And our client was at the exact same point in her franchise business,
I asked her to take out a blank piece of paper, and write: “Can get results from 11+ partners, and help grow us to 100 while buffering me from all of the problems associated with having 100 partners.”
There. That was what she needed. She told me how good it felt just to write that line.
Whatever size you are, hiring the right people will be the key to scaling for you.
But how do you determine who the right person is and what they should be doing day to day? When you are nearing or crossing the 10-unit mark as this founder was, you have so many needs – marketing, franchise sales, admin, and operations, to name a few. But you can barely afford to hire one of those positions. So, which one do you prioritize?
The question needs to start with you, as founder. You started your company and built your first unit into a success. Then you launched your franchise system and had faith that it would be a success. There is clearly something special about you, some magic in you that enabled your concept to get to where it is today. That is where you begin. All too often, founders end up in the Founder’s Trap; doing it all. But no one is good at doing it all. Founders hold on because their personal effort is what made them so successful to get to this point. They hold on because they may have hired people in the past that couldn’t do everything as well as they could, so they just kept trying to do it all alone.
But at some point, and the 10-unit mark seems to be one of these junctures, it all catches up with them. The founder can no longer go it alone. He or she stops spending time on the magic that got them to where they are at, and then their concept no longer grows at the necessary rate.
It becomes obvious that they can no longer do it all.
At the Franchise GrowthLab, we talk about the 10/25/50 Trap, the plateaus that a franchise system will go through on its journey to 100 units. This same concept applies to the founder at every one of these stages. What should you be doing in your company? And perhaps more importantly, what should you NOT be doing in your company at this stage?
When you get clear on the answer, you will have more insight into who your next hire should be.
There are a few steps that we counsel our clients through, but Step 1 always starts with doing a deep dive into what founders should not be doing in their company any longer.
Here is a simple list that I follow:
1. Write down all of the things you absolutely do not like to do in your business.
I start here because you need to get some of these tasks off of your plate, otherwise 1) you will burn out and lose the passion that drives the business and 2) you will probably just stop doing them anyways (and that usually doesn’t work out too well). Details are good here. If you like marketing but don’t like certain parts of marketing, add these to the list.
For this client, she was tired of handling franchisee complaints. It was killing her. She felt like that was all she did. Sales was also on her list; she was good at sales; but she didn’t like doing it one bit.
2. Now add all of the things that you simply aren’t that good at in your business.
This list was easy for her. She was pretty clear on the things she was not good at. Anything requiring structure is really difficult for her. So weekly coaching calls? Top of her list.
Now you should have a list of all of the things you do not like to do in your business and those you are not good at doing so you can begin to prioritize the tasks you need to get off of your plate.
3. Circle the items on the list where there is overlap.
Items you don’t like to do and those that you are not very good at. Then look at these specific tasks and ask yourself: which of these items take up most of your time? Circle those tasks.
This is where most people stop. But don’t stop here, because the next question is the one that can change the course of the direction of your business, if you get it right.
4. How important are these tasks to the economic engine of your company?
Is there a task you have circled that you don’t like to do and that you’re not good at, but that drives a lot of value to your company? Then that is the one you need to hire for next. If you fail to hire for the tasks that fall in this category It will catch up with you and you will fail to scale.
For our client, she desperately wanted to hire an operations person. But when she analyzed this list, franchise sales rose to the top. It was a function that she didn’t like to do at all, and she was ok at it, but not great. The kicker was that it completely drove their economic engine in these early days of franchising, as it does in most systems at this stage. So that was it, a Franchise Salesperson was her next hire. (Now, she chose to outsource this function to Franchise GrowthLab, through our Back Pocket Chief Development Officer service.)
Perhaps more importantly, when you get to this answer, founder happiness and freedom can be attained at a much higher rate than if you are stuck trying to do everything, focused on the things you don’t like doing and aren’t good at.
The Hartify Franchise Consulting team helps our clients with these decisions in our normal course of assisting them with franchise sales and franchise operations. But what are we really good at? Knowing who to hire and how to select the best person.
For select clients, we will also run their entire franchise sales program, acting as their Back Pocket Chief Development Officer.
In my next blog post, I’ll cover ensuring you make the right decision on who you hire for this new role.