2010 was a good year for franchising if you were in the right industry segment. Why did some franchises excel throughout the year and others get "stuck" in the starting gate? 2011 looks to have some of the same characteristics that carried franchising through the previous year, what should you look for in your business as to whether it could make a good franchise model?
1. Franchise Value Proposition. Over the past five years, franchising has grown significantly. Today there are over three thousand franchise systems in the United States alone that replicate business models into markets around the country through franchising. Although this shows how powerful and accepted the franchise marketplace is, it also makes for a crowded market. You should have a great value proposition to a prospective buyer, don't expect people to love your franchise just because you do. Deliver real, tangible value and you can expect real results.
2. Think Leads. One of the classic mistakes in business is to pull back on advertising and marketing when the belt gets tighter on budget. Don't let this happen to your franchise system. Leads are the oxygen for a growing franchise, feed more leads and you can expect better results. With a generally cautious business climate, advertising and marketing is coming cheaper by the day, use the opportunity to get your brand and franchise in front of more potential franchisees.
3. Use Technology. Don't be the company who doesn't have a Facebook page - trust me, it's not just for teenagers any more. Technology goes beyond marketing and branding as well. When growing a franchise system, technology can be used to support and manage franchisees and provide value over long distances. Don't overspend, but don't ignore the technology that's available to a growing franchise brand.
4. Think Big! No one ever built an empire by counting pennies every day. Set a big picture goal for your company and your franchise system in 2011. Re-evaluate that goal on a quarterly basis and be positive every chance you get.
2011 is an opportunity....a chance to be great. Don't waste it sitting on the sidelines wondering what might have been, make it a year to remember!