If you are interested in becoming a franchisee, you have already completed the first step in your franchising journey! Determining if franchising is the next move for your career requires a great deal of thought and consideration, so you are already on your way. However, to obtain the official title of Franchise Owner, there is a certain process involved, which typically follows a similar format across all franchises.
Let’s review one of the most important initial steps you will need to take – the application process.
First things first: Submitting the franchise lead
The website of the franchise you are interested in will more than likely have an inquiry form, which will act as one of the very first ways you will be in contact with the franchise. By filling out this form, you are telling the franchisor that you are interested in pursuing a franchise agreement with them, and it will also act as a way for the franchisor to learn a little bit about you and if you are a suitable candidate to move on to further steps.
Here at Dogtopia, for example, our online inquiry form provides the chance for prospective franchisees to submit general information about themselves, including personal information (i.e., name, email, phone number, etc.) as well as some financial information (i.e., liquid cash, net worth, etc.). Once determined that you meet the financial requirements, our next steps are an introductory call with you, and then you may proceed to the application process.
If the franchise you are interested in offers a similar inquiry form, it is important to keep in mind that it does not act as a franchise offering or commit you to the franchise. A follow-up from the franchisor will typically proceed after your submission. Additionally, you can usually find some of the franchisee requirements that are required of you on the website, which will help you determine if you should submit the inquiry form.
What is a franchise application?
There are several components of the franchise application itself, but its general purpose is to act as a screening tool to help franchisors determine if the applicants fit within the guidelines they are seeking for their franchisees.
Putting together all of the necessary components of the franchise application may take some time and pre-planning, and it is important to take the entire application process seriously, as this is what is going to be one of the major determinants of whether you can proceed in your journey with this particular franchise.
The franchise application is just that – an application. You are applying to become a franchisee for this franchise company, and it is up to the franchisor to review your application to grant you access to their company. You could consider it similar to applying for a job; you want to put your best foot forward and build your resume/job application to illustrate that you meet the requirements and showcase why you are the best person for the role. If you meet the requirements that they are seeking and they think you’re a good fit, you can move on to the next stage.
Franchisors will often go through a lengthy vetting process of the applications they receive, as this will help ensure that those selected to move on can fully embody what is required to become a franchisee.
WHAT IS INCLUDED ON A FRANCHISE APPLICATION?
This may vary depending on the franchise, but there are some similarities among franchise applications, and preparing ahead of time can help you better navigate some of the requirements. Below we have listed some of the more common components, but it is always key to thoroughly look through your franchise application to ensure you have completed each requirement.
One of the main components of a franchise application is providing your current finances that apply to the franchise. This can include your net worth, liquid capital (which is the money put aside that you can easily access), personal assets, liabilities, your spouse’s financial situation (if applicable) and so on. This is important because a franchisor wants to ensure you (and whoever else may take part in the franchise) have the financial means to successfully carry out the franchise opportunity, while also taking into account the initial and ongoing franchise fees that are included.
To complete this part of the franchise application, you will likely need to seek the help of your financial institution in order to verify what you are inputting in the application is correct (the franchisor will likely require this verification as well).
You will also need to provide detailed personal information about yourself, such as your contact information, education background, employment history, experience in the industry, why you are interested in pursuing this particular franchise, etc. One of the main goals of the franchise application is for the franchisor to learn more about who you are as a person and if you would be an ideal fit in their specific franchise business. Being as open and honest as you can help immensely.
Selecting your preferred franchise location (i.e., town or city) may also appear on the franchise application. Factors like competition, walkability, and if there is a general public interest in this type of franchise can all contribute to you making this decision. Ultimately, the franchisor is the one with the knowledge and experience about what makes their franchise work, and so you may be required to list alternative locations that you might consider if you are open to another location different than the one you were planning.
The importance of a franchise application
Besides being a requirement, the franchise application is your chance to showcase why you are a great fit for this franchise. Remember, there may be numerous applications submitted, so you need to be able to stand out through the information you supply in your application.
If you have experience in a certain industry, include that; if you have managed a group of employees before, explain your experience and your management style. You want to show the franchisor that you can not only meet the financial requirements but that you also have the leadership qualities and work ethic to run a successful franchise. The franchise application is one of the best chances to showcase who you are to the franchisor.
What happens after submitting a franchise application?
As we mentioned, there will be a vetting process where the franchisor will look over your application. It is important to remember that submitting this application does not mean there is any commitment from any of the parties involved, which means the franchisor does not automatically select you once you apply, and you are in no way committed to furthering the process either. The franchise application is purely a chance for the franchisor to see if you are an optimal fit for their franchise business.
The franchisor will let you know their decision, and if you are accepted, you will proceed in your franchise journey. This can include partaking in a Discovery Day, obtaining the Franchise Disclosure Document, signing the Franchise Agreement, and so on.
Franchising with DogtoPIA
If you are interested in beginning your franchise journey with Dogtopia, we encourage you to check out our detailed FAQ page that includes answers to some of our most common franchising questions, and you can also reach out to us on our online inquiry page.