Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

How to Successfully Launch Your Franchise

Image: franchise.org

Building a successful business is no easy task.  It takes a lot of hard work, persistence, and knowledge.

But, you have done it.

You have a reliable business model that consistently brings in revenue.  Perhaps you have multiple brick-and-mortar locations run by the best employees in your industry.  You understand what it takes to start up a new location, you know your business inside and out, and you even have strong relationships with suppliers so that your business is always thriving.

And now, you are ready to branch out and launch a franchise program.

The key to convincing others to get involved with your business and purchase a franchise is planning.  Without a solid plan in place, you will not be able to duplicate the success your original business is experiencing, and you definitely will not be able to connect with those interested in investing in your business model.

After all, you are not just building upon your current business, you are recruiting franchisees that believe in your concept and want in on a piece of your success – but in their own way.

Today we are going to take a look at some of the best ways you can jumpstart the franchisee recruitment process and get your franchise business idea off the ground and running.

And yes, it all starts with a plan.

Your Franchise Message

Before outlining the best ways you can reach out to potential franchisees, it is important to stress that your initial plan needs to start with a message.

This includes developing ideas that revolve around how you plan to reach out to interested franchisees, how you might explain the core values of your business, and how you will convince prospective franchisees that working with you, under your hallmark business, is a good idea.

Here are some helpful tips to get you started:

  • Map out your short and long term goals regarding the franchise
  • Be able to explain thoroughly what your business stands for, who the target audience is, and what you aim to achieve in the industry against the competition
  • Make sure you are prepared to show proof of your business’ success
  • Have an conflict resolution plan in place regarding policies and procedures
  • Be prepared to answer questions about competitors, the number of franchises you expect to launch and what effect that will have on existing franchises, and the support you plan to offer franchisees once they sign on

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into launching a successful franchise.  You don’t simply sell a piece of your business pie and let someone else use your trademark to make both of you a success.

In fact, despite inflated numbers claiming that 90% of all franchises succeed, the truth is, only roughly 65.3% of franchises actually survive after four years.  This is due in large part to startup costs, internal franchise issues, and the fact that breaking even as a business, franchise or not, can be challenging for any industry, thanks to the competition that is always lurking in the background vying for your same customer base.

However, do not let this stop you from launching your own franchise.  Rather, take this statistic to heart and remember the key to success is planning and connecting with potential franchisees.

In the end, franchisees serious about investing in your company will come ready to ask all the hard-hitting questions about your franchise.  As a result, you had better be able to answer those questions in full if you plan to get anyone to sign on.

The Best Ways to Launch Your Franchise

Your brand is a powerful asset when it comes to launching a franchise.  After all, your brand is what your customer base relates to, recognizes, and trusts.

That’s why reaching out to your prospective franchisee pool, and convincing them your brand is worth investing in, is the best way to launch your franchise.

Here are some of the top ways you can do just that:

1. Webinars

ClickMeeting is a great webinar solution for reaching out to potential franchisees.

Webinars are by far one of the best ways to expose your brand to interested franchisees and get them excited about working with you.  In fact, utilizing the power of webinars, you can share your company’s personality, clearly explain your business’ message, and aim to entertain people in the process.

In addition, webinars are great for:

  • Sharing information in a unique and exciting way, such as videos
  • Saving on time and money, while still connecting with franchisee partners
  • Allowing international expansion and communication, with very little effort
  • Providing an interactive forum for communicating with franchisee prospects

Using a powerful webinar solution such as ClickMeeting is a great way to get in touch with those interested in working with you.  Host seamless webinars with as many people as you want from all over the world, all with a few clicks.

In addition, customize your webinar room, allow for attendee interaction, follow up after each webinar, and even gather statistics after the fact to continue your franchise launch efforts.

2. Franchise Sales Outsourcing

Franchise Dynamics is a highly rated FSO offering full service franchise development.

It is not unusual for business owners to outsource things such as their legal compliance, payroll responsibilities, and accounting duties.  However, upon realizing that launching a franchise program is not always as easy it seems, it has become more commonplace for business owners to outsource their franchising marketing efforts.

Utilizing the knowledge and experience of a Franchise Sales Outsourcing firm (FSO), you can expect the following:

  • Franchise marketing to interested franchisees
  • Lead handling and direction
  • Data input and maintenance
  • Trade show attendance for franchisee recruitment
  • Material distribution
  • Document management
  • Help with pre- and post-franchise sales

In the end, an FSO will be responsible for choosing the right franchisee for your franchise program and may even have a long-term role in your franchise program.

3. Traditional Advertising

Image: pixabay.com

Newspapers, radio slots, broadcast and cable television ads, and even outdoor billboards are all great examples traditional advertising methods.

In addition, any time you use anything printed with your company information on it, such as a business cards, brochures, or stationery, can be considered traditional advertising as well.

This method for exposing franchise opportunities to prospective franchisees is easy to do, and helps establish a broad recognition of your brand across a large audience base.  However, it can become quite expensive if you rely on this method only.  Not to mention, things such as radio ads and television commercials are things that listeners and viewers must actively participate in for them to work.

In fact, a large portion of traditional advertising, whether on the radio, television, or in print is ignored by potential franchisees because of the sheer number of advertisements people are bombarded with on the daily.

That said, when used in conjunction with other marketing strategies, traditional advertising can definitely come in handy.

4. Trade Shows

The International Franchise Expo is the best trade show you can attend to promote your franchise program.

One of the best ways to get the most out of your traditional advertising while launching your franchise program is to attend trade shows related to your industry and bring your printed material with you.

People interested in investing in franchises regularly attend trade shows to gather information, network with different business owners, and secure an in with a company they want to work with.  And, for those like you that are looking to grow your own franchise brand, trade shows are a great place to meet franchise experts that can help you achieve your goals, as well as meet prospective franchisees.

The most prominent trade show you can attend to launch your franchise brand is the International Franchise Expo.  Though not geared towards any one specific industry, this trade show invites thousands of attendees that are specifically looking to invest in a franchise opportunity that catches their eye.

  • Personally meet with over 400 franchise brands and thousands of serious franchisee prospects
  • Learn how to be successful franchise brand with free seminars
  • Meet with financial experts and develop a sound plan

In the end, getting word out about your franchise program is easy to do when you attend a trade show, especially one aimed at entrepreneurs like you and the franchisees you are trying to recruit.

5. Conduct Seminars

Image: pixabay.com

Your franchise program needs more than just leads from prospective franchisee.  It needs real, live prospects that are ready to support your business, help you grow, and become successful right alongside you.

This is why conducting local seminars aimed at your target franchisee recruits is so beneficial.  Analyze the market you want your franchise to be in, figure out your target audience, and invite them to your face-to-face seminar via email campaigns, contact centers, and even direct mail.

At your seminar, you will be able to present your franchise program in an organized way to a group of serious recruits.  Include the value your franchise brings to the table, stories of success your business has experienced, and of course, answer any questions or concerns potential franchisees might have for you.

6. Online Marketing

Image: pixabay.com

There are several ways you can market your franchise opportunity online.  Let’s look at some of the most effective:

  • Blogging.  Every business should have a website, and every website should have a blog.  In fact, publishing valuable content on your website on a consistent basis is one of the best ways to establish yourself as an authority in your niche, draw in more loyal customers, and promote your franchise opportunity to those that are interested.
  • Social Media.  According to Alisa Harrison, vice president of communications and marketing at the International Franchise Association (IFA), social media has become an integral part of launching successful franchise campaigns.  Join in discussion groups, promote your franchise brand, post updated information about your company and franchise opportunities, and even network with other franchise brands for help with your program launch using the various social media platforms.
  • Email Marketing.  As an exceptional alternative to traditional advertising, email marketing is an effective way to promote your franchise program.  Build a bigger email list using your company website and social media, design custom email campaigns to promote your business, its values, and franchise opportunities, and send emails out to a huge audience with one click of a button.

In addition, you can also utilize the power of the internet to send out press releases, get involved with paid advertising such as Google AdWords, and even hire internet referral services to help you recruit potential franchisees.

Conclusion

In the end, there are some great ways you can reach out and connect with potential franchisees once you decide to launch a franchise program.  And, by paying careful attention to the planning stages, you will be able to recruit highly qualified franchisees to help market your business – in their own special way.

Take part in one or more of the above-mentioned strategies for launching your franchise program and see for yourself how success your parent company and subsequent franchises can be with a little bit of planning and the thorough recruitment of serious franchisees.

Have you ever launched a franchise of your own?  Did you utilize any of the above-mentioned tips for getting started?  What did you think led to your best success?  Please share your personal experience in the comment section below.

 

Rotem Gal

Rotem has a long track record in inbound marketing, strategy and online brand development. With a focus in building digital and social media engagement, Rotem helps brands to expand their online brand footprints. Rotem is the VP Sales of InboundJunction, a premium content marketing agency in Tel Aviv. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.