Posts

10 Ways to Market your Franchise

Franchising is a marketing and sales business, it takes a focused effort to build your franchise sales pipeline and establish your franchise network.  These tips should help you get started when you first franchise your business:

 

1.       Build your online presence online.  Today’s market for everything is transitioning to online.  Amazon and Netflix aren’t the only ones who are transitioning entirely to online business, the entire world has gone online.  Find ways to add to your presence and make the investment.  Add your franchise and your brand to as many listing sites as you can find, do it professionally and spend the time to get your brand in front of people who are already looking for a business.

2.       Work Social Media.  Everyone’s talking so much about social media that I’m sick of it.  That is….sick that I didn’t invest in Facebook when everyone else did.  Social media is here to stay and it is part of our lives, business, everything.  You need someone on your team who is driving traffic, formulating your message and pushing your franchise brand through social media.  It is easy to mess this up with corny, ill-prepared social media messages, it needs to be done right or you risk looking like an MLM.

3.       Redo Your Marketing Materials.  Trust me, people can tell you built your brochure on a word document with stock images.  Just because you PDF’d the presentation doesn’t mean that it looks professional.  Put the time and money into a presentation that is well thought out, professionally done and will actually warrant someone calling you back or responding to your email follow up.  Everyone is visual today, you need a good graphic designer who can present the franchise the right way. 

4.       Be Content Savvy.  The web is becoming more competitive for everything, particularly in the franchise space.  You need to be a thought leader in your market.  If you sell shoes, find something to write about shoes every week, make it engaging, interesting and spend the time coming up with thought provoking ideas that will build your followership.  Haven’t you heard the saying, “write about it and they will come”?

5.       Understand the Conversion.  Marketing is a multi-step process, don’t be good at getting the person’s attention and bad and getting them to contact you.  You are wasting your time on the prospecting part of marketing if people come to your site and don’t give you their contact information.  Build tools that are compelling, offer something to the visitor and give them a reason to want to get to know you. 

6.       Redo your Franchise Logo.  Someone said this to me the other day and it was like a brick hitting me in the chest.  My pride was hurt, but after looking at it, the comment hit home.  I bet the same is true for you, have a professional come up with something that means something and says something about your brand, not a 99Designs contest winner you didn’t put thought into.    

7.       Understand how Critical a Franchisee Is.  Franchisees deserve to criticize the brand they are about to invest in, that’s their right when they are the one making the investment.  Read through your website, find the spelling errors, know your presentation thoroughly enough to not lose a deal because you spelled “freind” wrong on your brochure. 

8.       Leverage your Connections.  The largest single category of franchise sales takes place through referrals (38%).  This may seem obvious for the large franchise brand that is driving referrals in by the hundreds because they have locations on every street corner, but you would be amazed how many times your vendors, friends, relatives, associates and others you know will be the early on franchise investors in new franchise systems as well.  Talk to people and present to them, it’s worth the time even if you feel embarrassed trying to sell your buddy a franchise. 

9.       Go to Franchise Events.  Franchise tradeshows and exhibitions can be expensive to take a booth out and exhibit your brand, but you can always go and attend these events.  The cost typically is very reasonable, just time and effort.  The people at these shows, events and networking opportunities can probably help you either find a franchisee or they might actually be the franchisee. 

10.   Work with Franchise Brokers.  Particularly when you are early on in your franchise system’s growth, you need all the help you can get from those who are willing to work on a commission basis with you.  Franchise Brokers spend their own money to generate leads for you.  Yes, you should pay 50% plus commissions if you are a newer franchise, it makes all the sense in the world, win with royalties and franchise validation. 

 

For more information on how to franchise your business or market your franchise, contact Christopher Conner, Franchise Marketing Systems:

Chris.Conner@FMSFranchise.com

 Entrepreneurship With a Safety Net: Owning a Franchise

Owning a franchise can be a great way to start a business with less risk or to invest in businesses with proven scalability.  Owning a franchise requires an understanding for what a franchise offers and the benefits vs the negative components the come with franchise ownership versus entrepreneurship.

 

First, a large percentage of franchisees are made up of new business owners, people who are starting a business for the first time.  This is one of the driving forces behind franchising is that the franchisee is provided the tools, systems, support and training to increase their odds of success as they start a new business.  What I have found in my time in the franchise market is that many franchisees do not understand that this still means a lot of hard work, dedication, hours and time to make the franchise business work.  The franchisors role is not to run the business for the franchisee, but to support and provide guidance.  My advice to a franchisee is look to your franchisor as you would a business coach or advisor, not an employee.

 

Second, franchising is not a sure bet, there is still a considerable risk in starting a new business.  Although owning a franchise drastically increases your success rate, you still can fail as a business owner.  Knowing this going into the relationship should help you plan, research and get to know the market prior to making a franchise investment.

 

There is an extremely large percentage of franchise owners who own multiple units of one or more brands and focus on finding franchise systems which have the systems and market opportunity to scale.  These franchisees are looking for unit economics, system validation and management team resumes.  Multi-unit and master franchisees invest in franchise brands because they see long term value in where the business is headed and value in the franchise structure they pay for.

 

Regardless of what is driving you to consider owning a franchise, you should understand the inherent risks associated with starting a business first, then get to know the franchises you might consider.  Review the franchisors track record, speak with franchisees, take time to understand the FDD and go into the business relationship with appropriate expectations.

 

For more information on how to franchise your business, contact Chris Conner:  Chris.Conner@fmsfranchise.com

 

Christopher Conner

Cell:  770-519-3910

Fax:  800-625-8530

Splash and Dash Franchise

Splash and Dash For Dogs Franchise

 

In 2009, Dan Barton approached Christopher Conner with a unique concept.  Mr. Barton had been in the gym business and had successfully worked his way to the top levels of management with the Gold’s Gym franchise organization.  He was CFO at the time and was making a transition into the pet industry.  It was a risky move for anyone to leave a global franchise organization as CFO and step into an entirely new business.  The new concept was to be Hollywood Premier Pets, which was in effect a failing pet retail business located in Palm Desert, California.  Mr. Barton had purchased the business and was instituting his new marketing model to help the business come back to life and franchise the model out to other pet stores who were ailing from similar circumstances.  Dan Barton would be at the time, the first client for Chris Conner and Franchise Marketing Systems.  Mr. Conner had to be sold on the concept and being that Franchise Marketing Systems was a new business at the time, it was imperative that the first client be a success. 

 splash-and-dash

What was of particular interest about the Splash and Dash model was the residual, repeat business that was created through customer acquisition and loyalty programs.  Mr. Barton had effectively leveraged his experience in the gym business, famous for memberships and recurring billing and utilized the model for the pet industry.  The pet retail business was plagued with what is the primary issue for most retail businesses, how do you get customers in the store often enough to achieve critical mass volume, cover your overhead expenses and ultimately see a consistent profit?  The Splash and Dash concept fixed this dilemma.  In three short months of owning Hollywood Premier Pets, it became clear that the model worked.

 

The first order of business was to develop a brand that could be scaled globally.  The pet business was big, but it was getting significantly bigger every year, Splash and Dash had what it took to be a global brand, Hollywood Premier Pets did not.  The organization transitioned entirely to Splash and Dash and the franchise model was created to offer the platform to other stores.  With Franchise Marketing Systems, Splash and Dash developed a strategic plan for franchise growth that focused initially on marketing to existing pet retail and grooming businesses.  This was what all parties involved saw as the low hanging fruit and immediate opportunity for the pet franchise model.  These businesses were already in the industry and for the most part were struggling, the value proposition of Splash and Dash would be extremely relevant.  The franchise fee structure, territory model, support programs and infrastructure were designed to support this growth and allow for duplication of the Splash and Dash model. 

 

Next was the packaging of the Splash and Dash franchise model.  The systems needed to be documented and organized where virtually anyone could pick up the franchise operations manual and understand what steps 1 through 20 were and become Splash and Dash of their market.  The business model was heavily focused on developing clients and therefore had a strong sales component.  Dog Groomers and pet retail owners traditionally were not good sales people and needed heavy training programs in place to teach, train and then maintain their sales model.  Good systems were developed to be able to manage the sales and understand what metrics should be in place so that a store could be gauged as to how successful they were in implementing the pet services franchise system.  Branding, marketing, collateral and all associated materials were then developed to be used in all of the Splash and Dash franchise locations and to add value to franchisees.

 

Then, Franchise Marketing Systems developed the marketing, business development and franchise sales models to go out into the market and recruit new franchise owners.  Within a very short time period, it was obvious that Splash and Dash was a brand with the ability to grow quickly as a Master Franchise was sold in Australia, another in Canada and by the end of the first year of franchising, 23 unit franchisees had purchased the model in the U.S.  New strategic initiatives, technology and management were put into place to support this growth and manage the growing number of responsibilities that came with this growth.  In 2014, Mr. Conner and Mr. Barton held strategy meetings again for the purpose of redefining the model which had reached almost 100 locations.  The new version of the Splash and Dash franchise was a from the ground up retail franchise model that could be offered not only to existing pet industry professionals, but also entrepreneurs who wanted to get into the pet retail and pet services franchise market. 

 

Today, Splash and Dash has over 100 locations of the business model in operation around the world. Mr. Barton has written books on the industry and is asked to speak at pet industry conventions on how to market and build your pet business more effectively.  Splash and Dash continues to add new franchisees on a rapid scale and the organization has been proven to be one of the industry leaders in the entire pet services franchise market.  Splash and Dash is a perfect example of franchising allowing a new business model to scale quickly and capture market share.

 

For more information on how to franchise a pet business, Contact Us:

info@franchisemarketingsystems.com