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Nine Things You Must Have for Franchise Success Franchise companies are looking for people with the best chance of success. Here's how to get noticed.

By Jeff Elgin

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Just as you're looking for the right franchise opportunity,franchise companies are looking for prospective franchisees withthe best chance for success. Though not all franchises require thesame qualities in a franchisee, there are a number of attributescommon to successful franchisees--any good franchisor will look foryou to bring these to the table.

Here are attributes all franchise companies are seeking:

A Good Attitude. Do you have a positive and focusedattitude? Are you results-oriented and generally consideredwonderful to work with toward a common goal? Franchisors will bewatching you during the research and investigation phase to see ifyou have this in you.

Smooth Operator. Successful franchisees are not "flyby the seat of their pants" entrepreneurs. To catch the eye ofthe franchisor, you must portray yourself as a careful operator whowants a system of operation that tells you the best way to run thebusiness, avoid mistakes and reduce risks.

General Skills and Experience. Franchisors are lookingfor franchisees who have developed common characteristics duringtheir prior business and life experiences, including strongleadership skills, successful business experience and goodcommunication abilities. Since, as a franchisee, you'll be the"boss" of your new business, these generalcharacteristics are considered vital for success.

Risk Aversion. Communicate to the franchisor that you arerisk averse and want whatever risk you assume to be as small andcontrolled as possible. The franchisor is going to do everythingpossible to eliminate the riverboat gamblers from consideration asnew franchisees.

Coachability. Look for opportunities to learn from othersin the franchise system. Constantly ask advice of the franchisorsupport staff and other successful franchisees and follow theadvice you get. You must show the franchisor that you understandyou don't know all the answers and are willing to ask for helpwhen you need it.

Affinity for Effort. Do you have a willingness to dowhatever it takes to get the job done? This attitude will show inyour every action--as a franchisee, you'll be putting in longhours and handling multiple tasks. No matter what franchiseyou're interested in, you can be sure it's going to take alot of work to make it successful, and franchisors look for thistype of diligence.

Strong People Skills. You must have excellentinterpersonal skills and the ability to effectively interact withemployees and customers. You'll use these skills to createloyalty, value and trust.

Adequate Capital. Franchisors want to know you have thecapital necessary to minimize the financial risk associated withstarting a new business. You may be required to source any requiredfinancing prior to final approval as a franchisee.

Common Values. You should have a value system that fitswith that of the franchisor. This allows you to easily assimilateinto the culture of the organization in a productive manner.

And, by the way, here's one attribute franchisors don'tnecessarily look for:

Specific Skills and Experience. It's a very commonmisconception that specific skills and experience in the industryare a desirable attribute. In reality, most franchisors considergetting you to unlearn specific skills that don't match theiroperating system much more difficult than just having you startfrom scratch.

While these are certainly not all the attributes that franchisecompanies want, it's a great list to start with. If, as youread through these, you see yourself, chances are you'll be anattractive prospect to the franchise companies you look into.

Jeff Elgin has almost 20 years of experience franchising, both as a franchisee and a senior franchise company executive. He's currently the CEO of FranChoice Inc., a company that provides free consulting to consumers looking for a franchise that best meets their needs.

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