No Renegades Wanted, Says Zounds' Development Exec
Ann Power has 18 years in franchise development, and recently joined Zounds, a new hearing-aid franchise in Phoenix. The concept is taking off, mostly because Zounds manufactures its own hearing aids and sells them directly, for $3,000 for a premium pair, much lower than the $7,000-plus that competitors charge.
The pace is so brisk, she says, that she knows she’ll have to tamp down the excitement. She insists on working with consultants, because she says they’re skilled in matching the right candidate to the franchise.
Beyond that, she emphasizes two things. “No. 1, is your candidate well funded enough for the opportunity they’re looking at,” she says, adding a careful review of all financial information is key. “I always want to make sure they can cover their debt service, as well as their household expenses, to get them to the ramp-up time without working in fear and desperation.”
Her other key is how well the candidate will work the franchisor’s system. She can spot the “renegades,” she says, by noting how they go through the candidacy process. Those prospects who don’t show up for appointments, offer better ways of doing things than the franchisor’s, or don’t take the steps they’re asked to take, will likely continue in that path after they sign.
A candidate who's a renegade won't suddenly change when becoming a franchisee. “The money, and not following the system, are the two main reasons that people will fail,” she says, and will offer more tips for careful franchisee selection in the February print edition of Franchise Times.