Franchise Success Is Found in the Art of Being Picky

Joel Libava's Franchise Book Trailer 0 00 02-23

Joel Libava, a.k.a. The Franchise King®, has dedicated his life to assisting people find the right franchise opportunity and to helping franchisors grow their companies. “In the end, franchise success is all about franchisors and franchisees realizing their professional and personal goals,” Joel shares. “And, they can only do that when they master the art of being picky,” Joel continues. “Let me explain,” he says, “sometimes franchisors get a feeling that some prospects may not be the right ones for their system. They may not have enough capital or they may appear to be reluctant to follow a system. Instead of paying attention to these warnings, too many franchisors opt to ignore them. Likewise, people searching for franchise opportunities may be too quick to decide; they too choose to disregard the internal caution signals. In both of these cases, they simply settle. And, when you settle, the inevitable consequences are disappointment and, in many cases, failure. If you want to be successful, you’ve got to remain picky. You just can’t settle.”

When I asked Joel what has brought success to him in this world of franchising, I wasn’t surprised with his answer: “I am just really picky. I have the courage to turn down clients and advertisers. If there is not a fit with my belief system, it simply won’t work. I have remained true to myself no matter what, and that defines me and my business.” Joel has high standards and strong beliefs and, yes, also strong opinions that he is not afraid to share. Sometimes his straightforward style rubs people the wrong way, but when you ask Joel a question, you are going to get an honest answer. It may not be what you want to hear, but Joel is not going to give you spin. In fact, he detests spin. And, he is not going to sugar coat anything.  He is going to share with you his knowledge and experience and the way he sees the situation.

Let’s face it; the ultimate loyalty of franchise brokers has to be with the franchisors because they are paying them. That just didn’t sit right with me after a while, so I changed my business model. Today I am probably the only one out there who works directly for people who want to invest in a franchise without receiving a commission from the franchisors. When people work with me, they’re paying for my knowledge and unbiased guidanceand there is not even a chance that I don’t have only their interest in mind,” Joel shares. There is no question that many people need the assistance of someone like Joel, and everyone contemplating buying a franchise needs the education he provides in his award-winning Web site, his e-books, his newsletters and his wonderful book, Become a Franchise Owner.

Some people don’t have a clue of what franchising is truly all about and don’t even know what they really want or need.  Even less, they don’t know what questions to ask or how to get answers to the questions they have. Joel’s main objective is for his clients to be happy with their decision and to be able to reach their financial and life goals; in other words, for them to be successful. “There is nothing worse than a franchisee that is not satisfied. Unhappy franchisees are not any good to themselves and less so to their franchise system,” Joel comments. In Joel’s experience, the greatest challenge franchisors face is dealing with unhappy franchisees, and so he works hard to ensure that there is a good match from the start.

Field visits are crucial to ensure that franchisees remain happy and productive. There is simply no substitute for face-to-face support. It builds the franchise relationship, which is crucial to success. Many franchisors wait until it is too late and may go to see franchisees only when there is a problem. They choose to use the telephone and the internet as their only media for support; and, this is just not enough,” Joel shares. “It is truly shortsighted; if nothing else, they should visit franchisees to protect their brand and to make sure that the system is being followed.” There is no question that technology has changed the face of franchising. And one of its contributions is that franchisee support has been made easier. Yet, unfortunately, some franchisors have replaced what worked and what builds relationships with a cold vehicle that, although immensely useful, can’t serve as an effective substitute for the more personal interactions that build connection and loyalty.

Like other people I have interviewed, Joel agrees that, in order to replicate franchise success, the system has to be simple and user friendly. “I go back to being picky,” Joel says. “Franchisors have to be picky about who they select to join them. But it starts even before that, when companies are contemplating franchising; they need to be choosy about who helps them in the process. Whoever they choose needs to be savvy about how to build a franchise system not only from the legal perspectives but from operations as well,” he adds. Joel’s tips to people considering franchising their business don’t end there. He also advises:

•             “Make sure you have at least two units in operation before you decide to franchise; you need to replicate your success at least once before you can be sure you can repeat the results over and over again.”

•             “Make absolutely certain you have a unique selling proposition; that is one of the most important values you can offer your future franchisees so they can compete in the marketplace.”

•             “And finally, don’t ever settle. Don’t accept a prospect because you need money. Always remain picky.”

Joel’s main website,, includes an award-winning blog that features over 1300 different articles on franchising.

Joel is constantly on Twitter @FranchiseKing


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