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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.
Social Media Can Be a Powerful Tool for Local Franchise Marketing
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
Franchise Marketing Strategies to Bring in Clients During the Slow Season
If you want to make a business successful you should advertise for it as much as possible locally but keep it simple. The same is true for a franchise business. When you just open your franchise, how are people supposed to know you are there unless you let them know. Or if you have already been opened for some time, how will keep existing customers and attract the new customers? The key to this is advertising for your franchise locally. Yes, your franchisor may offer a great marketing plan, but you want to add to it to increase sales. Or, your franchise may not offer a marketing plan at all. Either way there are several ways you can advertise for you franchise to generate business and stay successful from the beginning!
One great way to advertise is how you present yourself. You should present yourself so that you stand out and people remember you, in a good way of course. Also represent your franchise business. If you own a surf ware franchise, you would not really be able to promote it in a suit. If you support what you sell or provide you will attract others to check it out. If someone complements you on something, how great would it be to say "Thanks, I actually sell this at...., you should come check it out". This is such a simple way to advertise your franchise.
Also, get business cards with your name and location and be personable. I remember being on a plane ride home alone. A nice man, dressed professionally was sitting next to me. He started a conversation with me about our destination and other small talk. After we had talked about why we going there for some time (I was going home and he was on business) he handed me his business card and said he was opening a new restaurant in my area and to come by and check it out. He also gave me a coupon for a free appetizer. Well, I did go to his restaurant and I told many people about it since I enjoyed the experience. This brings out two other ways you can advertise locally for your business. Offering something for free or discounted and word of mouth!
People love free stuff! So, if you can think of something to offer or a great deal you can attract people to come in. Even if it is something small like a free drink on certain days. Sometimes you have to give a little to get a lot! You still have to let people know it is there. So like the guy above did be personable and promote yourself!
The other key thing is word of mouth advertising. This can be a great way to get new customers into your franchise and it is FREE! If someone has a good experience they will share it with others and then they will want to check things out also. However, keep in mind this can be turned around quickly, so make sure you are only giving people good things to talk about.
Franchise Marketing through Digital 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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