Common Challenges for New Franchisees: Part One

For a new franchisee, having a great staff is never more critical than in the first few weeks and months. Yet our Franchise Business Consultants agree that proper staffing is the number one challenge for new franchisees.

Most good franchisors provide ample hiring guidance. So how do new franchisees get tripped up? With all of the excitement and things to do leading up to a Grand Opening, new franchisees can end up being less-than-methodical about hiring, and this can get them into some difficult situations during the critical opening weeks of the business.

What should new franchisees be sure to do to optimize their chances of putting together a great team?

• Use resources in the system. As part of a franchise system, you’re not on your own – so take advantage of that! Ask for a list of successful franchisees in your system, and call them to find out who their best employees are and why.
• Allow sufficient time to hire the best possible people. We advise our franchisees to start the hiring process at least three months prior to the grand opening, because of the size of the staff and the educational experience required of them. A six week hiring period should suffice for a business requiring a small, part-time staff without special skills or education.
• Check references. Lots of people have the gift of gab in interviews, but that doesn’t always translate to job skills. Don’t rely solely on your initial gut reaction.
• Give a working interview whenever possible. In our academies, we can often put a teacher in the classroom for a few hours to see his or her skills in action. If a working interview isn’t possible, ask your franchisor for a list of behavioral-based interview questions that you can use to evaluate each candidate’s working style.

What are your thoughts or questions on hiring? Have you learned any lessons, interviewing techniques, or pitfalls to avoid when making hiring decisions?

Post your questions or comments below. If you have an idea for a topic you’d like to see discussed here, email us at

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