Jumpstart your Franchise Business with Our Proven to Convert Franchise Marketing Services in Oak Ridge
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
ou know there are "right" customers and "wrong" customers and while you may not (yet) know how to tell them apart before they become your customer, you know that the "wrong" customers deliver the least value and create the majority of problems in your business.
Who is a customer?
Customers (or clients), by the way, are not just the people who buy your products and services. They also include your employees, and if you're a franchisor, they include your franchisees.
Be careful of expert advice!
So I read a passage on a blog that provided "some helpful hints on how you can spot a great franchise marketing system" and the first hint was this:
Customers are brought in the doors. This is what every business boils down to in the end, whether or not the marketing system brings in the customers. After all, that is where you make your profits.
Taking the express train to bankruptcy
And I thought to myself: Or that is where you lose your profits, your money and ultimately your business!
It's not enough to drive customers through the doors of a franchise, or any business. You've got to drive the "right" customers through the doors! Most businesses, and most marketing systems, do not fulfill that objective. And that's one reason why franchises struggle and fail.
So don't be fooled into thinking that a good franchise is one where "the marketing system" drives customers to the door!
Happy franchisees make the most money
To wit: Some years ago the new CEO of a major retail franchisor asked me to help his franchisees attract more customers and ultimately generate higher revenues so that (a) the franchisees would earn (and keep) more money, and (b) the franchisees would pay higher royalties. Since the beginning of franchising, franchisors have known that franchisees who make and keep the most money are the happiest franchisees!
So I spent several weeks working with a few franchisees to find out more about their customers. Here's what we discovered:
- It cost the "average" franchisee $100 to get a new customer to come through the door (that included marketing costs and the required fee for the franchise advertising fund).
- The "average" customer spent about $10.
- No one knew if the customer would return - ever.
- If the customer did return - no one could predict when or how often.
- The "average" franchisee did little to nothing to bring the customer back again repeatedly (and you may be surprised to find out why).
Busy, busy, busy going out of business!
So while it appeared "the marketing system" was doing its job, e.g. the franchisees were busy serving customers throughout the day, in reality "the marketing system" was slowly running the franchisees out of business (and perhaps into an early grave)!
That and the fact that the franchisees were so busy, busy, busy taking care of all the customers "the marketing system" provided that they had no time to do the things that would have insured getting the maximum benefit out of their customers, i.e. increasing sales, increasing frequency, building rapport with key customers, gathering referrals, etc.
Who caused that fire?
As one franchisee told me, "From the time I open the door in the morning until I close it at the end of a long day, I don't have time to do anything but put out fires."
Upon examination, most of the "fires" were caused by customers and employees. Occasionally, even though they didn't know it, the franchisee caused some of the fires!
Blame it on the franchisor, of course
You can be sure the franchisor got blamed for the majority of the challenges the franchisees faced. Frankly, I would take the side of the franchisees on that issue (though it does no good to blame anyone, but rather to accept responsibility). The franchisor could have done a better job sooner! In other words, the CEO that hired me had only recently arrived at the company. To his credit, he quickly assessed "the marketing system" and knew that it was broken. However, this company had been operating for many years prior to hiring this CEO. Where were the marketing folks all those years? Where was the company's leadership?
Why doesn't this system work?
So what was wrong with "the marketing system" at this company?
Simply, it was producing the "wrong" customers for the franchisees!
Even among customers there are stars
Through our continued research we further discovered that not all customers were created equal! Some spent more money than others and never, ever complained or started a "fire"! Of course, those were "the right" customers.
Problem was, "the marketing system" produced too few "right" customers.
Revealing more about "right" customers
Without giving away too much information (and revealing the company), here's more of what we discovered about the "right" retail customers for this franchise business. They:
- spent about twice as much as the average customer
- returned 3 to 4 times a week
- owned a business, which existed within 3.5 miles of the franchise location
- were males (64%) and females (36%)
- had partners in their business (46%); most often, a spouse
- were between the ages of 32 and 62
How to Franchise - Marketing
How to Franchise - Marketing
In the business of duplicating concepts, the process of marketing and selling the model is new and unique to most. It could be compared to dating, fishing, hunting and many other catching metaphors, but from someone who has actively marketed and sold franchises for the past ten years, it comes down to a few key factors as to what separates the successful franchise marketers from the unsuccessful ones.
The first point to be aware of is that franchise sales and franchise marketing takes a budget. In 2010, I have personally been involved in 67 new franchise sale transactions...3 of those came to my clients through referrals or contacts they had prior to franchising their business. The rest of the franchise sales came through good old fashioned advertising. Yes, that's right, you do have to advertise to attract good franchise prospects. What I tell my clients in deciding what to budget for franchise marketing activities is twofold. One, budget something up front for a brochure, printed materials, a good website and other program pieces that are necessary to attract buyers. Then on a monthly timeframe, start out with a budget of $500 up to $1,500 per month for lead generation activities. Do not go into franchising without some kind of a budget for marketing the business.
The second point is take notice of in franchising is that you need to have a compelling story. I call this the unique selling proposition for a business concept. What the heck makes you different from every other business out there in the license/franchise/business opportunity world? If you can't say something to yourself in the mirror that makes you smile, you're probably going to have a hard time getting other people to find it interesting. Develop this value proposition and nail it down before you start talking to people. If there is one thing that I know about franchise buyer leads, it is that they have a short attention span....get it quick or you get hung up on.
The third issue is that if you don't like making a lot of sales calls and "working the phones", you need to budget for a sales person to do this for you. Franchising is a sales business, don't let anyone fool you. People don't walk in the door and hand checks over, it is a contact sport and takes hundreds and hundreds of phone calls to land franchise partners. A good franchise sales person will make anywhere from 75-150 phone calls per day. In many instances, I have personally called a good prospect over 40 times just to get a meeting with them regarding the franchise opportunity. Get ready to get busy, franchising takes leg work and activity. I love activity....it's easy to monitor and 99 out of 100 times, the sales people who create the most activity are the ones who close deals. Burn up the phones and you will see revenue in your franchise system.
The fourth note is that it's okay to be "out there". It is important to remember that you are probably one of several franchise opportunities that any buyer is considering. If you do not leave an impression on that buyer, they will very likely forget about you. Be aggressive and tell them what you are good at and how it will benefit them! The thing I love about franchising is that it helps people become entrepreneurs, which is the most empowering thing in the world. The thing I hate about franchising, is that the people you are dealing with are not sophisticated and have not been empowered yet! So it is up to you as a franchise sales person....or franchise consultant, to lead that person through the decision making process. My shortest sales times with franchise buyers have happened in cases where my sales pitch turned into a counseling session. I found out more about the buyers on the first call, I made compelling comments about things other than what I was selling and I really personalized the relationship. The next time you call someone, try this and see what kinds of results you get!
Franchising is an effective and powerful way to grow a business. The key with any new business venture is to approach the idea and business strategy with as much information as possible. So when you approach the idea of how to franchise my business, be ready to market and sell you franchise when you get into this business and more often than not you will develop revenue streams from your new business venture.
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