Making the decision to invest is the first step for potential franchisees in acquiring a franchise opportunity. However, interest alone is not enough - investors will need franchisor approval.

To open a franchise, interested individuals will need to submit an application with pertinent financial and employment information that details an investor's past experiences. Yet franchisors can glean only so much information from facts and figures - and will often turn to less tangible factors, such as personal qualities and characteristics, to evaluate an applicant's readiness.

"What are you looking for in a franchisee?" or "What do I need to succeed as a franchisee?" are common questions that plague potential investors, Entrepreneur magazine writes. In an effort to answer these questions, the magazine surveyed the industry and identified the top three qualities that franchisors are looking for.

According to the magazine, the biggest key to success for prospective franchisees is - not surprisingly - possessing good people skills. Franchisees will have to work closely with a variety of people, including vendors, customers, employees and their franchisor. Without being able to communicate effectively and cultivate a range of relationships, there is little hope that franchisees will be able to sweet-talk vendors into special favors or manage employees without conflict.

Being an effective leader also requires knowing when to take the backseat. Franchisors look for individuals who can be coached. A franchise operation is built upon a tried-and-true method for success. New franchisees need to be able to learn this formula and apply it in a systematic fashion, Entrepreneur reports.

One of the biggest headaches for franchisors comes in the form of investors who decide to change the system or make their own decisions, putting the success of not just their business, but the entire operation, at risk. Creativity is still required, but the greatest success stories come from those who have learned to balance learning from the system and innovating.

While franchisors desire individuals with a sense of general business skills, they are most importantly searching for franchisees with an organizational and detail-oriented mindset. They want investors who can become a "serious student of the sale," the magazine adds.

According to the Web site Buzzle, franchisors also use an application process to assess who will be motivated to succeed. While employment history will give them insight into a potential franchisee's ambitions, making sure to explain personal achievements could place an application on the top of the pile.

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