How to Find Franchisees Who Are Passionate About Their Business

Operations & Training
Detail Garage Team Members at Detroit Location

Passion is the driving force behind any business, and here’s how to increase yours.

By Chad Zani, Detail Garage

Finding the right franchisees requires synergy between what the franchisor cares about and what the franchisee is passionate about.

I used to run a publicly traded company in Australia and I liked it, but I didn’t love it. Now, every day, I get to work in an industry that revolves around cars. I connect with customers who share my passion and it feels awesome.

Why Passion For The Job Matters

Detail Garage has been fortunate in that most of our franchisees are former customers who discovered the brand and fell in love with it because they have a passion for cars. They are the kind of people who clean their cars four times a week or spend time and money on a “project”, such as a car that they are restoring.

Our business model is to be madly passionate about cars and the products that we sell. When customers visit our stores, the owners talk cars, discuss goals for the cars and how the customer can achieve those goals. To keep those conversations authentic, the have to be genuinely passionate about the cars and believe in the products. Passion is not something you can fake.

We have a franchisee who used to live in California and work in banking. He made great money, but it wasn’t his passion, so he relocated to his hometown of Detroit and opened a Detail Garage. Now, in just his second year, he is on track to make as much as he made in his previous career. If you work in your passion, good things happen.

Wait for the Right One

From a franchisor perspective, especially in the early days, it is tempting to try to work with anyone who can afford your franchise fee instead of waiting on your ideal candidate. At Detail Garage, we are much more discriminating now than we were in the beginning.

It’s equally important to learn who not to work with. You meet people who just don’t have the passion you’re looking for or who don’t want to follow the business model. For me, it’s a red flag when candidates say they want to put their own twist on the concept. I tell them, “Sorry, but we don’t twist here.” We know franchisees have a better chance of success when they follow our playbook.

Are there any drawbacks to hiring people for their passion? There can be. Perhaps they don’t see themselves as salespeople. They might let you leave their store with three products when you really need seven because they are afraid of looking pushy. That’s where training comes in. We help owners learn how to suggest all that the customer is going to need so they don’t get halfway through a project and realize they don’t have all the tools, which would lead to a poor customer experience. If they have a passion for the business, they will work on the other skills they need.

Twenty years ago, I would have been annoyed with someone who told me, “I just want to be happy.” But the older you get, the more important happiness is. And if you’re doing work that you’re passionate about, you will be happier.

Chad Zani is Director of Franchising at Detail Garage, the leading franchise system for detailing supplies and car care products. He previously served as director of sales and marketing for Envi – Detailing on Demand and CEO of Smartwax Australia. Find out more about Detail Garage here