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Identify the perfect franchise for you! Take our short quiz Take our free franchise quiz!

Franchisee-Franchisor Fit Matters

I’ve been in the franchise space for 23 years and if I’ve learned anything it is this: Fit Matters. Any time you bring two people or things together it requires compatibility. Without which there is friction, discomfort and ineffectiveness. Can a kite fly high and steady without its tail? Does a peanut butter sandwich taste better with jam? Can an engine ignite without the yin and yang of a spark plug and piston? So too, must a franchisee and a franchise system be compatible.

There are numerous factors involved in franchisee-franchisor fit one such marker being the stage of growth of a franchise system. There are five predictable stages of growth. In my last article, we discussed the attributes, challenges and opportunities of a Stage 1 Entreprenual franchise system. Today I’d like to address the Stage 2 Partnership franchise system.

Chicken Dance: You’ve Got Moves

Let me guess - you’re not the first guy on the dance floor; but you can dance. Maybe it’s the chicken dance; but you’ve got moves. I will not likely find you camped out on the sidewalk in a line of people as long as the Great Wall of China awaiting the release of the latest technical gadget. No, you’re the guy that seeks out opportunity but waits until the dust has settled to make the first step. Whether it’s a dance partner or business, you’ve staked out the options and know just the right time to stake your claim. If this sounds like you then you might be well suited for a Stage 2 Partnership franchise.

Stage 2: Partnership Franchise

A Stage 2 Partnership company has learned a great deal over the last few months or years about what works and doesn’t work. Franchisee and franchisor have a better understand of their unique roles within their relationship. Thee business model is being refined and taking form. In fact, the mix of products and services and market penetration strategy may have changed.

Now with a clearly defined product and service mix a Stage 2 franchisor turns their focus to systematizing - so they might more effectively replicate through franchisees. Thus, two-way communication increases as franchisor begins to elicit and bubble-up best practices from those with their finger on the pulse of the market: the franchisees.

This interdependent relationship between franchisees and Stage 2 franchisor provides mutual respect and leveragability of talent - a true partnership. However, Stage 2 franchise systems do have their challenges due to the high level of autonomy given franchisees in Stage 1. Stage 2 systems may not be validating strongly if still populated by early-in franchisees who have enjoyed a ‘no or few rules’ environment but now are finding it difficult to adjust to systems and accountabilities.


  • Franchisee validation issues
  • Franchisee used to being autonomous; may be resistant to change
  • Increased competition
  • Corporate turnover and/or franchisee retention

A Stage 2 Partnership franchise is concentrating their efforts on fleshing out best practices and systematizing. They may be pruning the dead wood including franchisees, corporate staff and ideas or processes deemed ineffective. They are preparing for an upcoming surge in growth. For an individual whose motivations and skill sets align well with a Stage 2 company there are numerous benefits.

Benefits for Franchisee

  • Market awareness
  • Complementary skills – franchisee to franchisor
  • Best practices guiding system
  • Pruning offers opportunity
  • Desirable markets still available

Are you a delicate balance of risk-taker and opportunist? Do you prefer stepping on the tight rope having observed another crossing the successfully? Do you appreciate the divide n’ conquer mentality in business – preferring to partner with other smart people rather than wearing all hats? Are you able to look past a few blemishes - recognizing one must ski the bunny hill before going to black diamond during which time some will fall/fail? Do you understanding the difference between skin and bones - the importance of systems and structure in business rather than its thin façade and sex appeal?  If you answered yes, to these questions you might wish to fly your kite with a Stage 2 franchise. Find out by taking the Zoracle Business Builder Assessment.

Prefer something even more established with great brand recognition? Then stay tuned for Stage 3-5 franchises coming up soon.

About Rebecca Monet

Rebecca Monet is chief scientist and president of Zoracle Profiles. Zoracle is a franchise specific solutions provider offering a suite of customizable psychometric assessments. Zoracle’s SpotOn! meta-analysis provides insight no singular profile, survey, algorithm or assessment can. Our SpotOn! science determines franchisee-franchisor compatibility and predicts performance. Zoracle reduces recruitment and support costs while increasing franchisee validation and performance.

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Rebecca Monet Article Contributor
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