Franchise Zone: How do franchisees find out about you?
Through our Web site or through direct advertising. We advertise in our local papers for franchisees. And, since we've been established for a few years, we get a lot of referrals from existing franchisees.
Do you select your franchisees independently, or does Jan-Pro help with that?
We do all that on a local level. Corporate really has no involvement in who the unit franchisees are. We do everything here--set up interviews, meet with prospective franchise owners and then take them through the whole process of becoming a franchisee.
You handle all the training?
Correct. We put them through a five-week training program, which covers stripping and waxing floors, shampooing carpets, buying supplies and chemicals, how to bid accounts. It gives them a good overview of what the business is all about.
Did you and your partner develop your training program?
That's actually supplied by corporate, [but] we do customize it a bit. We try to make sure our training program is very hands-on, so if there's equipment to be used, every franchisee has personally used that equipment. That way, they get a better value out of [training].
After they start their franchise, what kind of service do you offer your franchisees?
Once they start up, what typically happens is they meet a prospective customer we've signed a contract with and the franchisee and the customer pick a start date. Our operations manager will go out and work with them for a few days on the account to make sure they're comfortable with what they're doing. After that, the operations manager is in pretty consistent contact with the franchisee. Out of our office, we bill the customers, collect from the customers, make sure the franchisees are paid every 30 days and just take care of administrative things. That allows the franchisee to focus on the business at hand, which is making sure the customer is satisfied.
What kind of person do you think a master franchise program is ideal for?
Certainly somebody with a sales and management background. It really is a sales-driven business, so you have to know how to manage a sales force and/or have sales experience. Management experience helps with the overall business aspect.
What should people consider when they're looking into being a master franchisee?
They should look at their territory and make sure the population is sufficient to support it, and look at what their competitors are doing in that given territory. And they really need to look at themselves, see what they want to do for a living and what their goals are as far as their own professional development. The business works real well--it's just a matter of making sure you have enough territory and [that] this is what you want to do.
How long do you plan to run your master franchise?
I would expect to run it for quite a number of years. One of our goals is to open outlets in other cities. Once that happens, we would have a manager run the day-to-day business here to free us up to pursue other markets.
Jan-Pro (master franchisee)