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Skin in the Game: The Difference Between Franchisees and Employees

As an entrepreneur, we often times don’t need an alarm clock. Our adrenaline is running higher than a typical person’s might and we generally are under pressure….most of all directed from ourselves, but none-the-less, we are driven by things like paying the bills, upcoming payroll, rent and other obligations that associate with business ownership. It is this line of thinking that often takes precedence when discussing franchise development and whether the franchise expansion model makes sense for a business. Often, the discussion starts with something around the topic of “I’ve hired so many people who haven’t worked out, they just don’t seem to be motivated to go sell or do their job the way I want them to.” We’ve all heard of the 80/20 rule when reviewing performance where a large percentage of the productivity comes from a small percentage of your staff. Hiring is difficult regardless of industry or business, even more so in a time where generations are defined by laziness and entitlement characteristics, it’s understandable why you would consider giving up sometimes and just doing everything yourself. Of course, that’s not the answer, we need to continually focus on scale and leveraged growth. When opening the discussion around whether to franchise a business, the question certainly is directed to what’s the difference going to be from an employee vs. a franchisee? Skin in the Game is an odd saying in some ways, but it also is incredibly simple and has a great deal of logic behind it.

Someone who invests in something is going to care more for it than a person who is handed an opportunity. The “Dutch Disease” is one example of the downside of human-nature’s inability to carry respect for wealth or items which are not earned, Franchising is an example for the positive side of this equation. A franchisee makes the entire initial investment into the business they are starting, which many times could be in the millions, certainly in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is Skin in the Game from a financial meaning, when someone puts enough money into a business, they immediately develop a sense of ownership, pride and willingness to do more to make the franchise model succeed. Franchisees tend to be more successful than employees or managers by a large margin due to the investment they have made in the business and the financial commitment it takes to get a franchise open.

The second definition of Skin in the Game relates to the franchisee’s commitment to focus. Many times, both entrepreneurial franchise buyers and new franchise owners tend to bite off more than they can chew. When you franchise your business, during the franchise sales and recruitment process, you certainly have the opportunity to choose who you grant the franchise opportunity to. Some franchise investors will make poor business owners while others will be exceptional, it is your responsibility during the sales process to qualify and sell your franchise to the right person. A franchisee who has skin in the game is committed to focusing on the franchise model. They don’t invest in several businesses at one time, keep their current job while they are operating the franchise business and they certainly don’t hire someone to run the business before they work in the operation themselves. They jump in with both feet and dedicate themselves to the success of the franchise model.

Franchising can be a powerful expansion tool when managed well. Good franchisees work with the commitment, passion and energy that a business owner has. No employee can have the same dedication to their trade as a franchisee who has Skin in the Game.

For more information on how to Franchise Your Business, Contact Us:
info@FranchiseMarketingSystems.com

When is the right time to franchise your business?

As a business owner, you see, hear and learn new things about your business, the industry and the dynamics that are inherent in a business model. As a franchise consultant, interviewing businesses to help determine when to franchise a business, it typically is easy to recognize how long someone has been at the helm of their ship. There is an evolution of a business owner as they achieve a powerful balance of industry experience, leadership over their business and a keen understanding for the variables which play a part in their business’ success.

Early stage entrepreneurs are drinking from the fire hose and taking in information about the business model at an enormously rapid pace. Their excitement, enthusiasm and energy around what is possible is contagious, fun and always enjoyable to be around. These entrepreneurs typically are not ready for franchise growth as they haven’t figured out the business model and created a solid system which would allow for duplication. Our recommendation is to always start the franchise discussions as early as you see an opportunity for growth, even in this early stage of business development. The planning and strategy can begin early and certainly presents a greater opportunity for the business to succeed in franchising at a later date.

Maturing business owners have been operating the business for two or more cycles and are seeing patterns in their business. They understand the seasonality of the business, employment trends, customer purchasing habits and effective marketing campaigns. Much like a recent college graduate, they are typically excited about the opportunity for growth, but the world is also beginning to present the reality that there may be limitations to the business and good decision making will play a role in how successful the business will be. These business owners could be in a position to consider franchise expansion, but are also still focused on driving profitability and maximizing revenue growth. They would have the ability to write a good franchise operations manual, but there would still be questions throughout the document because every stone had not be turned over.

Businesses that reach adulthood and full maturity are typically three or more years in most cases and have generally maxed out the profitability of a single unit. The business owner is starting to now think outside of the box….how do I replicate this in more than one instance in order to cover more markets and generate more income? Franchising has become a strong consideration along with additional company owned growth, partnerships and new technology. The business is still growing, but at a slower pace and the leadership sees that doing the same thing over and over again won’t continue to grow the business at the desired pace. Mature business owners have become better coaches….they hire slowly and fire quickly and can look at the battlefield with a strategic eye as opposed to being reactive to every day action. The systems and processes are in place that allow the leadership to take a vacation and step away from the business without having a coronary. The ability to teach, train and replicate the business model are a reality and the opportunity for growth is constantly being evaluated.

Many business owners do nothing outside of their day to day management and enter what I have come to refer to “the bored business owner”. Life just isn’t as exciting as it used to be, there is no challenge left in the day as the business owner has seemingly dealt with, overcome and managed every issue the business could present. The business has grown, contracted, expanded and shrunk in some cases several times. Hard work and just pushing the model more with sheer will have grown the corporate business to it’s limits and the operating model is capable of no more. These business owners are sometimes driven to franchising to add excitement back into their professional lives. They want to be bigger than an operator and leverage their experience. In other cases, they may have waited too long to drum up the energy or will to move things forward and take on another endeavor such as franchising. A business owner recently explained that he was going to drop his franchise platform and sell his successful painting business of 23 years in order to start a food concession stand. It seemed like such a shame to not leverage the business model, track record and brand credibility he had built, but the fight was gone and he had apparently just lost interest in the business entirely.

My advice to most business owners considering franchising is that there rarely is a perfect time to consider franchising a business. The variables that should drive this decision should be profitability, systems, market opportunity and people. What can push timelines forward and make franchising a viable option earlier in a business’ lifecycle is the market itself, if people are asking for franchises and the demand is there, the franchise strategy should be considered more seriously. Regardless of what stage your business is in, start the franchise discussions early in order to have a solid plan for expansion in place.

For more information on when to franchise your business, contact us:
info@FranchiseMarketingSystems.com

International Franchise Growth: Taking your Franchise Global

You’ve already grown your company through franchising and now you can’t ignore those organic leads that have found their way to your site asking to open a location in Saudi Arabia. In general, the sale of an international franchise is about the same process as to a domestic franchisee. But the implications that come with international franchise growth are what really means changing your business model as you branch out into other countries. How do you go about this process without losing control? How do you maintain the integrity of your brand while franchising globally and train, support and manage while integrating new cultures, demographics and countries? There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re looking to franchise internationally. If managed correctly, international franchise growth is an amazing opportunity, in fact, many of the world’s largest brands are growing internationally at a more rapid pace than they are domestically.

Recruiting Global Franchises

How do you start recruiting others to market and sell your brand? How do you get the word out there and create effective campaigns targeting international growth? It all starts with your recruiting plan and defining who you are targeting and where. Make your recruiting appealing to others in the global market, understand what the international franchise community wants, what carries value for them and how best to communicate with these franchise buyers. Generally speaking, master franchises or master licenses are the preferred candidate for international franchise growth.

Training and Support

Understand that for your franchise to succeed in other nations, you’ll have to have an amazing training and support system in place. Much like the telephone game, your message weakens as it is passed down the line and certainly when you change environments with new countries and regions. Build technology into your training and support which will allow for effective virtual support. Get ready for travel and plan on having boots on the street in the franchisee’s markets for some extended time in order to really facilitate successful launches in these countries. This will help your new franchise owner to be successful in the brand from the moment they start and keep the relationship strong moving forward. Offer a support team dedicated to their start-up and beginning so that they can become a great ambassador for your brand and confirm that the brand is being managed appropriately. There are countless success stories of international franchise growth, all of which required amazing training and support programs. Be sure that everyone from the owner down to the customer service representatives have solid training and support throughout.

Maintaining the Brand

It can be difficult when you go across the world to maintain the brand you have set forth in your own market. Be sure that everything that is being used from fliers and advertising to the buildings and location all keep the brand that you have set forth with the same integrity, images, look, feel and quality that got your domestic business where it is today. Make sure that any and all products imported or used in the operation of the business are of the standard and quality that people have come to know and expect from your brand. It doesn’t take much to completely diminish the brand you have worked hard to build with poorly executed management of international franchise growth.

Understanding How and Where to Franchise

One way to understand how and where to start sending your global franchise is to work with a company that can help you with the market trends and analyze consumer data to know where your industry is seeing growth. My advice, don’t look at the developed markets, look to the up and coming markets like Qatar, Zambia, Eastern Europe and others where growth is exponential. Developed markets such as Europe and Canada may be opportunities but certainly wouldn’t present as much upside as areas like these. A good source would be international marketing or business consultants based in those regions to support a good understanding for those markets. They can assist you in making the right choices on where there’s a definite need for your product or service and where you might flourish. You do not want to just randomly send your brand to other locations. You want to be sure that there is a demand for your supply when franchising out. It can be difficult to know the best locations but with the help of a solid franchise company, you can make that right choice easier.

For more information on International Franchise Expansion, contact us:

info@FranchiseMarketingSystems.com

How to Build a Franchise Training Program

Franchising out your business is a great way to share your brand, products and services with thousands, even millions of people around the world. One of the most critical parts of having a franchise is your franchise training programs and the platform that delivers content to new franchise owners. While you know the ins and outs of your business and brand, your new franchise owner and employees do not. That is why having a solid training program in place is critical from the moment you decide to franchise and scale your business. These are a few of the components that every training should include:

Training Curriculum
Items in your curriculum need to include technology and computer training, how your brand is marketed and the ways you deliver your value proposition to the market, what is acceptable for customer service standards and more. You’ll need to also include training on how your inventory is handled, the point of sale systems you use and policies that employees should follow throughout the work day.

Presentations
If you’re conducting the presentations then you should have a plan in place before the day of the presentation. Being prepared is key in making sure that you present the information in a way that everyone involved can understand it and will stay engaged. This could be the first initial impression your new franchisees are getting of the brand they are working with and it’s imperative that it is a good one. Regardless of what you think is happening, your franchisees are judging you in this presentation and constantly gauging whether they feel buyer’s remorse for making the franchise investment. Incorporate visuals into as many aspects of the presentation as possible, people like to SEE in presentations, not READ off the PowerPoint. Take the time to deliver a solid presentation and you will realize the return for years to come.

Structure
It’s best to have a solid structure in how you are training or presenting the material needed for a successful franchise. Start with the basics and perhaps share a bit on how the brand came to be, what the brand stands for and why they should be proud to work with a powerful brand such as yours. You also want to go over any set rules or regulations and structure it so that it’s received well.

How Can You Provide a Good Training Environment?
The environment that your new employees and franchise owners train in can make or break their training experience. When you’re setting up the environment you want to make it comfortable for learning but not so relaxing that they fall asleep in class. Be sure to provide plenty of breaks for getting up and moving around so that everyone can keep on task and try to make the setting as professional and welcoming as possible. If you don’t have a fancy office to hold training at, consider a conference room with the trainees at a hotel close to you office, they are inexpensive and can do the trick. Also consider group projects together to help the team start to work together as they will when they are in the business location.

Follow-up to Training
Always provide follow-up to training for your managers, owners, and employees. Have a contact number or a website/email for the owners to contact you when they have questions. There are going to be questions that pop up as they begin to work in the brand and franchise itself. They need to know they have the support required to make this a success. Nothing is worse than having questions you need answered for a new job and there’s no one there to answer them. You can also add follow-up training classes to help expand on different aspects of the job.

You can learn more about creating a fantastic training program for your franchise by contacting us:
info@FranchiseMarketingSystems.com

Franchising the First Five – How Franchise Your Business Model Early On

When you sell your first franchise, the initial development efforts typically consist of franchisees who wouldn’t necessarily make the cut later in your franchise system’s life cycle.  Mature franchise systems are much more aggressive and diligent as to who is allowed into the franchise network.  This isn’t necessarily a luxury that new franchisors can afford.  The largest single point of failure for a new franchisor is to not sell the initial five units who start to validate the business model and brand.  This puts a significant amount of pressure on new franchise systems to get these initial units sold and as a result typically the failure rate is higher for early stage franchisees.

  1. Who typically buys the first five franchises of a new franchisor? They usually are a bit more entrepreneurial then they probably ought to be. They are willing to take more of a risk and see longer term vision in the brand and the leadership of the franchise company. They want to negotiate the fees, territory and other material items in the franchise agreement. As a new franchisor, you need to be careful with who you sell these to, while not screening too hard, you also should be able to spot the landmines who really exhibit poor character traits for a franchisee. You also should be conscientious of how large and how exclusive you make territories as these early agreements sometimes become a thorn in growing franchisors sides as they gave away too much or were too generous with early franchisees.
  2. What kind of terms should be considered when negotiating a franchise agreement with early stage buyers? We have seen anything and everything negotiated in a franchise agreement, I wouldn’t rule out any possible terms as negotiating points if the buyer is right and the long term opportunity justifies the deal. Make sure that you get enough money up front and try not to touch royalty structures as the long term revenue stream will have an exponential impact to your bottom line and in most cases don’t make as significant of an impact in the negotiations of the franchise sale. Look first to initial franchise fee and territory size, most early stage franchisees will respond to these offers.
  3. How do you find the early stage franchise buyers? Most of the time, early franchise investors come from the same channels that the majority of franchise sales originate. We recommend the franchise lead portals (www.FranchiseConduit.com, www.BizBuySell.com, www.FranchiseDirect.com, etc), although they are not necessarily the best leads all the time, they are consistent and with the right sales process will produce sales for an early franchisor. Organic leads will many times play a large role in early franchise sales, pay attention to customers who ask about the franchise, leads that come in off your corporate site or referrals that come to you asking about franchises.
  4. Managing the franchise registration process while you sell your early franchises, you should be careful with managing the franchise regulatory process. First, you need to make sure that you have a good franchise attorney involved in your sales and transactions with each of your new sales and make sure that you have a solid franchise disclosure document (http://www.franchisemarketingsystems.com/franchise-disclosure-document-guide/). Cover yourself to make sure that the sales are managed appropriately and also that you are careful to manage the franchise registration process. We recommend limiting any communication with potential franchisees in franchise registration states as soon as you find out what states they are located in. Know the franchise registration states (http://www.franchisemarketingsystems.com/blog/franchise-state-registrations/) and understand that your franchise must be registered in these states prior to any marketing or sales activities taking place with a potential franchise buyer.

For more information on how to franchise your business and how to sell your first franchises, contact us:

info@FranchiseMarketingSystems.com

 

Top 10 Factors Leading to Greater Franchise Success

What are the top ten factors that tend to lead to greater franchise success?

 

  1. A business model that has structure, systems and processes will always scale more effectively than one that is just driven and pushed hard by a talented entrepreneur.  Business owners who are considering scale whether through franchising or company growth should focus efforts on building systems that would allow the intellectual property to be transferred to third parties.  Documenting processes in manuals, using technology to operate your business and investing in structure are all ways to achieve this.
  2. A sexy and professionally managed brand is critical in franchising.  You need to be able to present your business in a way that is appealing to the target customer AND the potential franchise investor.  (Look at Menchie’s new brand – Midici Pizza (http://mymidicifranchise.com/)) You should put thought and most likely some money into the branding of your business including color scheme, logo, taglines, look and feel of the brand.  There are many consultants and businesses who can help with this process.
  3. Operations documentation needs to be solid and consistent.  Good operations models should be able to teach someone how to hire staff, deliver the product or service and manage the business without the new owner feeling like they are reacting.  The process should be proactive and understandable for a new owner.
  4. Grand Opening / Franchise Market Introduction processes need to be in place.  It’s easy to forget what it was like to be single again.  As your business matures, you don’t need to go out looking for new business any longer, a new franchisee will be opening a business many times for the first time in their life and will need all the help they can get to start their business on the right foot.  You should define what happens when the doors open and how to help them get their cash register ringing.  This could include PR, TV, Radio, Pay Per Click or other mediums, but you need to tell them how to do it, not just make vague recommendations.
  5. Widespread appeal should be part of your business in order to transition to franchising.  Whatever you offer, it should be in demand outside of just your area.  Maybe this means adding to your menu…or altering your branding or just reviewing what your marketing message is, but you need to make your product appealing to more people to validate the franchise model to large extent.
  6. Licensing and permitting should be understood.  When scaling a business through third party investors, you should know what it will take for them to open their doors and start doing business.  Things such as a liquor license, real estate brokers license, contractors license or other permitting should be understood before you go to market.  (The Haven Senior Care Franchise helps franchisees with every step of the approval process for senior care licensing – (http://thehavenfchs.com/)) The franchisee will need your help and guidance in how to best get their license and do it efficiently.  Define a process and have a good understanding for how this works in most markets.
  7. Ability to delegate.  Great franchisors are really good leaders and know how to empower others.  If you find that you are doing most things in your business today, then odds are that you will have a tough time scaling your business.  You should be able to teach and trust in others that they can do as good of a job as you can with your guidance.  This also means being fair and reasonable in compensation and understanding how to structure your employee benefits to get the most out of your team.
  8. Supplier arrangements should be in place.  If you make the best chicken pies on the planet, but you do it by hand and only you and your mother have the capability to manufacture, there certainly is a limit to how much you can grow.  Work with your suppliers and distributors to know what options you have – many times the production can be outsourced to food distributors who have the ability to scale and can grow with you as your franchise system expands.  These elements need to be understood in order to grow and a franchisee should have a solid picture as to how product will make it to their front door.
  9. Web presence is critical in today’s marketplace.  All good franchise systems have a really professionally done site, take the time and money needed to present your brand to the best of your ability online.  This is your storefront in today’s web-based market, it should look and present well in particular when franchisees come knocking and want to know whether your business is a valid franchise investment.  Today’s market demands a loyalty program and technology that supports your franchisees retaining their customers and driving more traffic to the locations, solutions such as FANConnect offer these platforms (https://www.fanconnect.biz/).  This also means you need to invest in your social media presence.  Obvious ones such as Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter but not so obvious ones that seem to pop up every day should carry your brand and be managed on a regular basis.  Having a Twitter account with your brand displayed with one update from 2013 isn’t cutting it, you need someone on your team or a social media marketing group to manage and oversee this process and make sure that your content is relevant and your brand is presented professionally.
  10. Be ready to sell.  Franchising is a marketing and sales business until you get your network established and you have franchisees to support and train.  The business requires that the owner is ready to get people excited and sell the vision to new potential investors.  The best franchisors not only are ready to sell, but love to sell what they do.  If you can’t get excited about your vision, why should anyone else?  Franchise sales requires lots of phone sales, in person discovery days, email communications and just about any type of marketing/sales you can think of, if you are ready to embrace the process get ready for the ride of your life, if it’s a struggle for you to sell, you may want to hire the right people for franchise growth.

 

For more information on how to franchise your business, contact Franchise Marketing Systems:

info@FranchiseMarketingSystems.com

What makes the Most Profitable Franchise in Today’s Franchise Market?

The Franchise market in the U.S. alone boasts over 3,500 franchises and in many states, the true number of franchise opportunities is unknown.  For a buyer working through the decision making process as to what the best franchise investment might be, this can be a daunting task.

 

It starts with determining your own skill set and abilities, what have you done in the past that could be leveraged in a new franchise business, what skill sets are you strong in and could be a benefit in the new business, what would you like to get out of a franchised business investment?  In most cases, it makes sense to ask someone else to provide an assessment of your abilities, it can be difficult in most cases to be honest and without bias.  There are great tools out there which can provide a personality test or professional skills review for you.

 

Once you have your personal assessment together, you can begin to research which business models fit your profile best.  Some franchise businesses require salesmanship and the ability to be comfortable prospecting for customers while others need an owner operator who has been in retail and managed staff effectively in the past.  If your evaluation is accurate, you will be able to narrow down your selections of franchise industries and be able to determine which categories might make the most sense for you.  When looking for the most profitable franchise, it is important to recognize that the franchise itself does not inherently produce profitability, regardless of how great of a business model it might be.  It is the combination of a good market, good business model and a good operator that makes franchise systems profitable at the unit level.

 

Now that we have narrowed down our industries, it’s time to review the market segment.  There are several ways to look at “market”, one is the area where you would be operating the business from and what customers you would be providing the goods or services to.  You should do extensive research on your area and determine whether that market has the right demographics, income levels and population density to support the franchise businesses you are considering.  Use online data to start your research, sites like www.Score.org are a good start, then get specific with direct research by interviewing business owners and professionals who would have relevant experience related to the business in that market.  The second “market” is the overall industry you are considering entering with the franchised business, food service, cleaning or accounting would be considered in this category.  You now need to research the potential growth for your industry, competition, market trends….how will technology affect this industry?  All of these elements could make your franchise more or less profitable and if you don’t do the planning prior to your franchise purchase, you could unknowingly be making the wrong move.

 

Now it’s time to research the franchises themselves.  You should have a list of at least three concepts that interest you and warrant additional research.  Start by researching any available data on the franchise brand, what has worked, what hasn’t, why have there been failures in the market, why have some franchises succeeded?  Review the FDD in detail, read all 23 Items and the exhibits to the document including the Franchise Agreement and Financial Statements.  Ask the franchisor about every question that comes to mind and take good notes.  Towards the end of the FDD are other franchisees who are either in the system or have left the system, take the time to call and interview them about their experience with the franchise brand.  Go visit the franchisor AND franchisees, interview them in person and ask detailed questions.  Compile your data and compare the brands to one another, then do the gut check as to which franchisor you feel the most comfortable working with and who you could envision yourself “married” to.

 

At that point, you have most likely discovered the Most Profitable Franchise.  I’m sorry it isn’t a one word answer, but if you take the time and invest in the process of researching the right franchise, you certainly have the best opportunity to realize a good return on your franchise investment.

 

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

Info@FranchiseMarketingSystems.com

Your Franchise’s Competitive Advantage

Prospective franchisors ask us all the time: What is the most important competitive advantage: Cost, Product, Niche?   I believing achieving competency is the most important competitive advantage.   Competence is the only path to excellence, and it’s really excellence that is the ultimate competitive edge.   A franchise is often called an ordinary business run extraordinarily.  Here are the essential elements needed to run your business extraordinarily.

The path to competence (Competitive Advantage):

Knowledge: Learn and know the best practice of your industry.

Education:  Learn how to execute best practices.  That will take talent, and skills to hone that talent.

Hire the best possible:  By understanding the best is the best way to identify skills, talent and excellence.  Don’t take the word or paper of the have them show you.  For example- bring a line cook into the kitchen and have him/her create a simple dish

Train:  Keep up skills and knowledge- keeping updated will keep your franchise competitive.

On-going improvement: Setting goals without the ability to achieve is useless.  Make sure you are giving the tools to succeed.   “We’ve always done it this way” is unacceptable.

Awards and Recognition:  Strive to be the best and let the world know.  The only way to win is to have the drive, talent, skill, knowledge to WIN.

Competency is not “the minimum level, it’s the maximum level”.  Excellence is achieved by the competent with drive.  Be aware of the level of excellence and keep raising the bar. The bar is always going to be raised, those with competency have the ability to keep up.  Once competency is your competitive edge, then excellence will be easier to achieve.

It is the franchisors responsibility to offer three things: growing the systems, support and training.  Being conscience that your training is part of your obligation, and using that path to competency, will lead to excellence and become your franchises competitive advantage.

Best Places to Start a Business and then Grow Your Franchise

When asked how he was such a productive hitter,  Wee Willie Keeler responded by telling his questioner: “Hit ‘Em Where They Ain’t”    At 5’4”  140 lbs Keeler was one of the smallest yet most productive hitters in the history of baseball.  He simply used the strategy of slapping the ball where the opposing players were not positioned.  He didn’t have to hit the ball out of the park, he just had to make contact and “Hit ‘Em Where They Aint.”

Best Place to Start a Franchise

How does this relate to franchising?   Simply- take the least path of resistance.  Locate your business in a market that has good demand for your service or offer, yet has little competition.  Finding a gap in the market takes time, it also will take discipline.   Rather than finding the hot brand or sexy model, look at your marketplace and look for a need that is being unfulfilled.  Match that unmet need in the marketplace with your franchise.  In many markets matching supply with demand will be a recipe for success.  If promoted properly and vigorously there is a chance that supply creates demand and all of a sudden a single unit can meet need and want.   Getting a good head start on the competition sometime will be insurmountable.  Building awareness and market dominance will keep the competitors away.  Great customer service and a good product will make entering your marketplace a hard road to battle, rather than a least path of resistance.

 

So when looking for a great place to locate your business, take the advice from Wee Willie Keeler- “Hit ‘Em Where They Aint.”   Despite being the smallest player ever to play in the MLB, that strategy landed him in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Although following his advice won’t land you in the Hall of Fame, it can help you build a successful business and become an important part of your community.

How to Franchise:  Managing the Franchise Development Process

When you take your business into the franchise market, there are a multitude of responsibilities, requirements and strategic initiatives that must be addressed in order to make this transition work.  One of the key elements of a successful franchise expansion model is understanding the franchise marketing and franchise sales process that will work for you and your business model.

It is important to do a self-evaluation as a business owner and soon to be franchisor, how good of a salesperson are you?  As a new franchisor, even with the support of a franchise development team and franchise brokers, you will still be a key element of the franchise sales process.  The franchisee ultimately buys into a franchise system because they believe in and connect with the owner of the company.  Particularly with a new franchisor, the owner’s involvement in the franchise sales process is critical.  So if you take a look in the mirror and decide that you aren’t the right person for the job, then it might be an opportunity to bring in a franchise development manager.

Then it’s time to consider franchise marketing and lead generation.  The franchise sales process requires a strong and consistent inbound marketing effort in order to generate franchise sales.  Luckily, there are countless ways to generate franchise leads and get your brand out in front of potential investors. It starts with the Internet and utilizing franchise portals or franchise lead directories, these are simple and easy ways to generate franchise leads quickly for a brand.  In most cases these leads are looking at a variety of brands at one time, so the lead quality isn’t the greatest, but you will get consistent lead flow and candidates from these sites.  You then need to consider driving traffic to your corporate site through SEO, Pay Per Click and direct marketing methods, this can be more expensive, time consuming and long-term, but worth the effort to build traffic for your specific franchise.  Franchise Public Relations work can be extremely effective to find franchise buyers through building your brand awareness through news, articles and other PR sources.  In addition there are countless franchise tradeshows in virtually every market across the United States.  The key is always lead volume….getting enough candidates to speak with to find the right buyer for your franchise model.  Generally it requires about 150 leads per franchise sale.

Once you have your marketing process defined, it’s time to get a good franchise sales process in place.  A solid franchise sales process should be enticing to the buyer to get into the sales funnel and also one that qualifies the buyer carefully to make sure that it will be a good match.  You should have a franchise CRM in place to manage the leads and be able to report on leads as to where they are in the buying process.  There are countless, affordable franchise CRM’s on the market.  A franchisor should have a caller or someone who is tasked with tracking down the candidates and doing the initial calls to get people engaged in the sales process.  Good franchise sales people are great at developing activity and making a high volume of calls each day.  Email marketing, lead nurturing programs and other sales techniques can supplement calling.  Once you get franchise candidates deeper into the sales process, you will want to invite them to a discovery day to experience the franchise model in person.  Here is where you as the owner, or your Franchise Development Manager needs to shine and really connect with the buyer, it is the point in the process where the actual sale takes place.

Many different businesses have successfully utilized franchising as a growth mechanism, it can be done successfully with different personality types, industry segments and business models.  The key is to have a good understanding as to what is required to make this model work and then plan appropriately.

 

For more information on how to franchise your business, contact Christopher Conner:

Chris.Conner@FMSFranchise.com