Video Transcript Brian Schnell: Shelly, now let's talk about how to build a franchise family, the franchise development aspect of franchising. So if a business owner is looking to expand through franchising and has laid the proper foundation, what would you see as the best first steps in selling franchises? Shelly Sun: I think it's really important to know who you're looking for. What skills do they need to have? What background do they need? What capitalization level do they need to be successful? I think it's easier to go identify who you're looking for and help build a successful sustainable franchise system doing it with a set of franchisees that have a similar set of values and have a capability for success. Brian: Can you share with us, Shelly, a little bit about the importance of a sales process? What tools, what strategies, are the most important to get the franchise concept launched in the right way with the right franchisees? Shelly: We go through in the book in great detail about the tools, the technology, the processes that we've put in place. But I think at a high level is, you want to make sure that you're delivering enough information that a franchise prospect really understands what they're getting into-- the good, the bad, and the ugly. Is it something that you need to work 60, 70, 80 hours a week for a couple of years to get it off the ground? Make sure they know that upfront. You don't want a franchisee getting in thinking they can put in 30, 40 hours a week or be an absentee owner, and then you require something different. So let them see exactly, what's a day in the life of the franchisee? What do they need to know to make a good decision? And how much does it cost? How do you make sure they're properly capitalized? So I think a good sales process does two things. It helps a franchisee evaluate you. And it also allows you to evaluate the franchisee. What I mean by that is, we build in homework into each stage. So that if they're not showing up for calls on time, they're not completing the homework that they were required to do, that tells me, tells our franchise sales team, that if they won't follow the homework before they're a franchisee, they likely won't follow our model later. And they're not right for our system. Brian: So once a franchisor-- the business owners-- they've established their franchise sales process, how does one find the right franchisees for a particular concept? Shelly: I think it's important to spend a good amount of time upfront. I mean we look for our franchise sales team to have very strong active listening skills. So they're spending the time upfront, understanding from the prospect what they're looking for. What do they expect the business to deliver for them? How much do they want to work? What are they passionate about? Where are their interests? Where are their skills? And then helping the prospect understand how our model does or does not fit into what the franchise process expectations are. Because it's better for us to walk away and say there's not a fit early on, than try to put a square peg in a round hole. And I think if you spend that time-- and we spend probably 60 to 90 minutes, and we go through in the book exactly what each of our stages are in our franchise sales process. But that time spent upfront is time well-invested to make sure you appropriately align what we can deliver based upon what the expectations are of the franchise prospect. Brian: Can you share with us, Shelly, how you develop the profile-- you talk about this in the book as well-- how do you develop the profile of your ideal candidate? I think it's harder when you first start out. And so thinking about franchisors as they're first starting out, what was the initial team for the company-owned store? What are the skills, passion, attitude, work ethic, capitalization of the founder? Because that's a great roadmap. Obviously the founder was successful launching their business the first time out. That's a good profile to start from. And then as you have franchisees and you get that number, probably 25 franchisees or more, you can start to assess what's a level of performance? And most organizations are going to have a bell-shaped curve. What's unique about the top set of franchisees? And what's unique about the bottom set of franchisees? And if you can identify common characteristics, go select more of the top. And do yourself a favor and a favor for the franchisees and stop selecting ones that are in the bottom with a certain set of common characteristics. Brian: What are your thoughts and best practices on outsourcing for the franchise sales function? Shelly: I think it's important to use all of the lead generation tools available to you. And so for us, we wanted to open ourselves up to, how are we going to grow, and grow as quickly and sustainably as we possibly could? And brokers were a great way to have candidates pre-screened, that would meet our expectations in terms of, at least we knew they were capitalized appropriately. Their experience should meet what we thought we were looking for at the time. And so it helps us to kind of filter. Where we might not have had unlimited resources to filter on our own, brokers were sending us pre-qualified potential franchisees. And that's been a very successful area of our growth. I mean over 50% of our growth over the years has come through our relationship with brokers. And I would do that again in the future brands that we will likely launch. Brian: What are some of the best ways to reach potential franchise candidates? I think it's great to use outside resources that no franchising-- clearly better than a start up franchisor will-- to help build a strong franchise sales process. What we learned over the years is that in the very beginning, franchise prospects are buying the founders as much as they're buying the brand. And so the founders really need to be actively involved. Brian: Very active, right? Very active in that franchise sales process early on. And so I would say for that first 15, 20 franchise sales transactions, that the founder or co-founder should be the one handling that function. And then starting to develop a team to help with that as you grow past that. Because now you're starting to talk about a brand. And they can validate with franchisees. But I think in the early stages, leverage consultants to help get the process right. Find out where your franchisees are going to come from. But the founder has to be passionately engaged in talking one on one, CEO to CEO. Because that franchisee's going to be their own CEO in their own business. And that's the level of communication and commitment they want to see to make that investment. You simply can't outsource that function. You can't outsource that function. And you can't outsource that passion and that commitment, that the founder is the only one that will have that. Brian: Finally, and I know how important this has been to you in your organization Shelly, can you share with us the role that technology has played in the franchise development process? Shelly: I think technology is really the true way to get scalability and to ensure repeatable processes. Now, I have exceptional franchise salespeople today. But I probably could have average franchise salespeople, which may be what start-up franchisors attract in the earlier stages, if I've got a great technology that streamlines exactly what should happen on the first call and the second call and the third call. And it doesn't lead to chance that the franchise sales person has to be brilliant if the process is streamlined through technology. I know that every franchise sales prospect is going to have the same experience. Because I know what information they're getting at each stage of the process delivered consistently through a technology. Brian: And that's a big part of the candidates' expectations that you mentioned. Shelly: Absolutely. We have a big investment in technology in our core business as well. But I think it gives them a first look as to, if they're leveraging technology to make this a streamlined process, likely what's behind the curtain that's going to enable me to be a successful franchisee is going to be great as well. It's all about first impressions. And you're looking to grow your franchise brand. And you're looking to get franchisees. And so giving them absolutely the best right first impression I think is critical. And I think technology and a solid process is exactly the way to do that.