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Running a successful franchise in multiple locations and optimizing each one for maximum engagement and recognition in their local markets is definitely one of the most difficult tasks for a business leaders. Yes, you should trust your franchisees to do a stellar job and manage their branches in an efficient and effective way, but only if you have done your part of the job beforehand.
So, what is your job? As a franchisor, your job is to create a strong overarching marketing strategy that will help every branch maximize its marketing potential while ensuring brand consistency every step of the way. To that end, here are the most effective ways you can create a winning franchise marketing strategy.
Understanding Franchise Marketing
Franchise Marketing is an interesting process. I have been in the service of marketing franchises for the past decade and learned over time what to do and what NOT to do through successes and failures....probably more of the latter, but that's what they call experience, right?
The process is unique in that you are working diligently to sell a business model and idea to someone who might be considering starting their own business, but at the same time you are looking for talent and the right characters to join you as a partner in business. If you oversell - you are destined to attract the wrong candidates, if you don't sell enough, no one will be knocking on your door. It is a fine line between being aggressive and consistent with your pushing on new franchise sales while also being reserved enough to look at each candidate from a logical perspective and analyze whether it is someone you would truly enjoy doing business with.
Maybe you have heard the term "takeaway sale"? This is a term that describes a sales process that is counter intuitive to most sales processes in that you are not pushing the prospect to buy your service or good, you are almost telling them that they cannot have it. I have found that by employing this sales tactic in franchise sales, it accomplishes two things. One, that the franchise organization selling the franchise will become less pushing on "Selling Franchises" and avoid situations where a franchise was sold to the wrong candidate. Two, that the franchise buyer tends to want what you wont give to them when you are not pushing the sale on them. It's funny, people want what they can't have....franchises included.
The ultimate key to franchising successfully is to create an image of success, business structure and continuity throughout your business model. The franchisee should feel that you have everything "figured out" in how you operate so that they won't have to.
Franchise Marketing - What Does the Franchisor Do?
5 Tips For Small Business Consulting - Franchise Marketing Made Easy
You have a successful business. That is step one. The business has enough time in operation to clearly understand the business model, the nuances of running and operating the business and the company has somewhat of a leadership position in the marketplace they work in. Now how do you expand beyond the first successful location? Franchising and Licensing your business model of course, but how? There are clear steps that need to be taken in order to make this transition from one successful operation to a system that replicates this success through other owner operators who buy your franchise.
It is called a Franchise Marketing System. The key is that you develop a system that creates brand awareness, interest and an overall "buzz" for what you are doing in business and around the offering for others to get into business with you doing the same thing for themselves. Some businesses and industries can create this naturally by way of being new, unique or having wonderful branding while others take a bit more "pushing". The key is that the business is successful that you are replicating and that you are selling a truly successful business model, the Franchise Marketing System is just about packaging that concept in a way that can be marketed and sold.
Building a Package. The first step in designing this system is to clearly identify what the franchise offering will be and what the overall "package" will deliver to the buyer. This should be very clear and succinct. Always remember that franchise buyers do not come to you for vague answers and ballpark figures, they want a defined and clearly outlined model so that they don't have to worry if they are "doing it right". Build the business plan for them so that they have a road map when they sign the franchise agreement, put together great operations manuals and make sure that you have a wonderful training program for them to fully understand the business and be independent.
Buzz. As a franchise organization, the best franchise marketing systems create the most "Buzz". It is no secret that most of the great franchisors in history were great "Showmen". Create the message in people's heads that you have it figured out... you have a wonderful life and a really great deal with the business that you are offering in a franchise... anyone could have this just like you do if they too joined this franchise company. Of course you have to back this up, but that is the message that fuels the phone calls and emails from interested buyers. Put together a great web presence, in today's market your website IS your store front, if you aren't looking the part online people won't take you seriously. Do PR work, try to get in print - it brings a certain level of credibility that online marketing cannot match. Once you have this market electricity, you need to funnel that interest into your lead generation system.
Lead Machine. It is critical to keep in mind that as a new franchise organization, you are running a new business. When you first opened the doors to your business, did you advertise? Did you run an ad in the paper? Did you work hard to create a marketplace for what you were doing? Of course you did, the same process needs to be in place for your new franchise model. Without advertising and lead generation it is very difficult to sell and volume of franchise locations. There are countless options to generate good leads. Pay Per Click Marketing, franchise lead generation sites, print, trade shows, PR work, SEO marketing and many more, the key is to build a great plan that incorporates enough avenues to consistently generate a solid lead flow so that you have qualified franchise candidates to talk to each and every day.
Have a great Pitch. Once you have people on the phone, it is important to have a great presentation. Why should they consider buying into your franchise? What makes you so special that someone should pay you $35,000 up front and a percentage of sales forever? The answer should flow very naturally. "We are... we provide training... support... This means to YOU that... and YOU will receive... and YOU will benefit from... " This includes having the collateral materials, PowerPoint presentations, fliers, printed materials and other items that go hand in hand with your selling anything... look and act the part and always remember that perception is reality to most people.
Understanding Franchise Marketing
Businesses are realizing that they require a marketing agency that takes a holistic approach to their online web presence and digital marketing strategy.
Contact us today to learn more about Marketing your Franchise Business.
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