Recruiting Latino Franchisees: Essential Tips for Franchisors
Franchisors looking to bring in minority franchisees must consider the current cultural aspects of the ethnic minority groups they are hoping to recruit. One of the potential recruits a franchisor should consider is the fastest-growing ethnic minority population in the United States: the Latino community. Approximately 45.5 million Latinos currently living in the U.S., and it is the minority with the greatest potential for increase. This ethnic population constitutes a sizable percentage of the U.S. economy.
Before recruiting Latino franchisees, one of the most vital factors franchisors must take into account are the cultural differences between the minority and majority, specifically in terms of economic goals. To avoid accidentally offending your target franchisees when you are attempting to recruit Latino franchisees, you should be aware of common mistakes franchisors make:
1) Lack of Spanish speakers
Failing to hire a Spanish speaker as part of the Latino franchisee sales team is one of the most crucial mistakes a franchisor can make. Approximately 40 percent of the Latino population in the U.S. speaks limited English. Failure to bring someone into the franchise who speaks Spanish may ultimately lead to a loss of obtaining Latino franchisees because of miscommunication and/or cultural misunderstandings.
2) Software translations
Using systematic translation software for advertisements or websites will translate English into Spanish verbatim, but it will lack the values and cultural nuances of the Latino reader. Incorporating the values and even the slang of someone who is Latino adds character and personality. Depending solely on translation software rather than rewriting ads or website content to reflect Latino culture will result in the failure of the information to reach the Latino community. The optimal method for translating any such communication is to rewrite it using appropriate slang and phrases that express to the readers why they should be a part of the franchise.
3) Generalizing Latinos
To make assumptions about an individual based on personal beliefs or societal stereotypes is completely inappropriate and discriminatory. Do not make the mistake of assuming, blatantly or inadvertently, that all Latinos, Hispanics, or Chicanos are alike. Generalizing the information presented by advertisements, websites, and the media is not appropriate for every individual that you hope to bring into the franchise. For example, members of the Latino community in Miami often have a higher educational level and tend to be more conservative than Chicanos in Texas. Any good business model requires understanding the target audience and appealing to that particular audience. Accidentally offending members of the Latino group by making a generalization will always result in failure.
4) Financial misunderstandings
In the U.S., banks are typically stable and the majority of the population have established financial credit for a sophisticated financial portfolio. Franchisors make the mistake of assuming that the Latino population has the same economic needs, values, and understanding as the majority population in the U.S. When it comes to the financial situations of Latino groups, the mistake franchisors tend to make is to assume they are similar to the non-Latino population of the United States. However, the Latino community has a different view of establishing, maintaining, and using credit in regards to building a financial portfolio based on their cultural beliefs.
Chiqui Cartagena explains in her book Latino Boom!: Everything You Need to Know to Grow Your Business in the U.S. Hispanic Market that many Latinos come from countries where the banks are unstable. As a result, approximately 35 percent of all Latinos living in the U.S. do not have a bank account at a financial institution. Cartagena also states that, of the Latinos who speak limited English, approximately 60 percent do not own credit cards. The idea of personal credit is different in Latino countries and therefore the Latino population living in the U.S. does not build up the same credit score as other ethnic groups. For franchisors to recruit Latino franchisees, they must take into account these cultural differences and make accommodations to assist in understanding and establishing credit in the U.S.
5) Inappropriate hires
Franchisors who hire someone based solely on their ability to speak Spanish or because they have a Spanish last name can be a mistake. To work successfully with the Hispanic or Latino market, the hire must understand both the Latino culture and the target market. Recruiting successfully involves sales tactics, and the person employed for the job must not only be able to speak Spanish fluently but also to sell the business to Latino individuals and groups. This requires them to understand the culture, including the beliefs, values, and social systems, of the Latino community.
6) Expecting fast results
Understanding that results take time in the Latino culture is a must for franchisors. The Latino culture values relationships and requires them to be established. It is vital that franchisors build a trustworthy relationship before the potential franchisee can make a decision. Expect the relationship, as well as results, to take time.
Once franchisors take into consideration the Latino culture, they will be able to correct costly mistakes, which will ultimately result in recruiting additional Latino franchisees. By understanding the cultural differences, franchisors can minimize errors for more efficient recruitment.
5 ways to attract and recruit Hispanic franchisees
- Use targeted Hispanic lead generation channels.
- Build strategic alliances with major Hispanic organizations and media across the country.
- Have a presence at the major franchise events and shows in high Hispanic metropolitan areas.
- Reach out to Latin American investors and operators looking to relocate to the U.S.
- Translate your franchise opportunity listing into Spanish. You can use this for your own website or at Hispanic web portals.
Jose Torres is principal partner and founder of BuscaTuFranquicia.com, the first and only Spanish and English language online marketplace for Hispanic and Latino entrepreneurs looking for business opportunities, and for franchise companies looking to tap into this community. He also is a franchise advisor and consultant and has more 20 years of general business management, marketing, and sales experience in consumer goods and franchise services. Contact him at 305-271-4437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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