Checklist for Franchising Your Business

Franchise Marketing systems


Checklist for Franchising Your Business

When getting ready to franchise your business, you should understand the necessary steps and items needed to improve your efficient and effective franchise launch. We’ve created this franchise checklist to understand when you are ready to franchise your business and how best to approach the process of franchising your business.

Franchising can be an effective expansion model for a wide variety of industry segments and businesses making franchise development more and more appealing for so many different businesses.

Getting Ready To Franchise Checklist:

  1. Have a proven, consistent and validated business model on which the franchise can be based. The corporate location doesn’t need to be “beautiful”, but should be functional and able to be shown to prospective buyers.
  2. Have financials that are organized and well documented in a way that can be presented to a prospective buyer in the FDD Item 19. Similar to when you go to sell a business, you should have financials that are presentable to a prospective buyer.
  3. Systems are critical to making a franchise business model work. You should have technology in place, operating procedures and day-to-day methodologies for how to deliver your product or service to customers. Every business should have a backbone built on technology, if you don’t have some kind of system in place, you probably haven’t looked hard enough. The good news is that for virtually every business, there are a variety of options and most are very cost-effective.
  4. Have your legal entity set up, insurance in place and your administrative “ducks in a row”. You shouldn’t be a Sole Proprietor any longer if you are getting ready to franchise your business, file an LLC or a Corporation and get positioned to build your business while protecting your assets.
  5. Define your marketing and business development systems. When you franchise your business, people will count on you to help them drive sales and activity into their new business. Not necessarily that you as the franchisor need to make calls for them and close sales, but you need to have a franchise marketing system in place that has been proven and can be duplicated in new franchise locations.
  6. Have a great brand in place, your logo, website, brochures, business cards and overall look and feel need to be immaculate. Franchise buyers will criticize everything and generally will invest in the best-looking and feeling brands. Spend the time and money to make your brand look appealing and you will be more successful in your franchise development.
  7. Understand your consumer AND franchise market so that you know who you are competing with in both markets. The franchisee needs to have a market for your product or service when they open, so verify that there is an opportunity for your product or service outside of your immediate market. On the franchise market side of the business, you should verify that your offering is attractive and compelling when compared with other competing franchise systems. Your unique selling proposition should be interesting and exciting enough to draw people to your offering and convince them to invest in your franchise.
  8. Have an “end goal” in mind, where are you headed with the business and what is your growth target? When you get ready to franchise your business, you should understand how you will support the growth, where you would like to take your brand from a market perspective and how you could accomplish this expansion while creating opportunities for franchise investors.
  9. To be capitalized, you will need some funding to launch your franchise model, in part to develop the franchise business, but also to market and execute the franchise program.

For more information on how to get ready to franchise your business and what you should have in place before you franchise your model.

10 Best Ways to Market your Franchise

Franchising is a marketing and sales business, it takes a focused effort to build your franchise sales pipeline and establish your franchise network. Today, we will give you the best tips based on our experience on how to market your franchise.

Here are the best 10 tips that should help you get started when you first market your franchise business:

  1. Build Your Online Presence Online
  2. Work Social Media
  3. Redo Your Marketing Materials
  4. Be Content Savvy
  5. Understand the Conversion
  6. Redo your Franchise Logo
  7. Understand How Critical a Franchisee Is
  8. Leverage Your Connections
  9. Go to Franchise Events
  10. Work With Franchise Brokers

1. Build Your Online Presence Online

Today’s market for everything is transitioning online. Amazon and Netflix aren’t the only ones who are transitioning entirely to online business, the entire world has gone online. Find ways to add to your presence and make the investment. Add your franchise and your brand to as many listing sites as you can find, do it professionally and spend the time to get your brand in front of people who are already looking for a business. Read further below for a local franchise marketing guide.

Online Presence
Build your Online Presence Online to Market your Franchise

2. Work on your Social Media

Everyone’s talking so much about social media that I’m sick of it. That is….sick that I didn’t invest in Facebook when everyone else did. Social media is here to stay and it is part of our lives, business, and everything. You need someone on your team who is driving traffic, formulating your message and pushing your franchise brand through social media. It is easy to mess this up with corny, ill-prepared social media messages, it needs to be done right or you risk looking like an MLM.

3. Redo Your Marketing Materials

Trust me, people can tell you built your brochure on a word document with stock images. Just because you PDF’d the presentation doesn’t mean that it looks professional. Put the time and money into a presentation that is well thought out, professionally done and will actually warrant someone calling you back or responding to your email follow-up. Everyone is visual today, you need a good graphic designer who can present the franchise the right way.

4. Be Content Savvy

The web is becoming more competitive for everything, particularly in the franchise space. You need to be a thought leader in your market. If you sell shoes, find something to write about shoes every week, make it engaging, and interesting and spend the time coming up with thought-provoking ideas that will build your followership. Haven’t you heard the saying, “write about it and they will come”?

franchise funding options
Be Content Savvy to Market Your Franchise

5. Understand the Conversion

Marketing is a multi-step process, don’t be good at getting the person’s attention and bad and getting them to contact you. You are wasting your time on the prospecting part of marketing if people come to your site and don’t give you their contact information. Build tools that are compelling, offer something to the visitor and give them a reason to want to get to know you.

6. Redo your Franchise Logo

Someone said this to me the other day and it was like a brick hitting me in the chest. My pride was hurt, but after looking at it, the comment hit home. I bet the same is true for you, have a professional come up with something that means something and says something about your brand, not a 99Designs logo contest winner you didn’t put thought into.

DynamicDental New Logo
DynamicDental New Logo

7. Understand How Critical a Franchisee Is

Franchisees deserve to criticize the brand they are about to invest in, that’s their right when they are the ones making the investment. Read through your website, find the spelling errors, and know your presentation thoroughly enough to not lose a deal because you spelt “friend” wrong on your brochure.

8. Leverage Your Connections

The largest single category of franchise sales takes place through referrals (38%). This may seem obvious for the large franchise brand that is driving referrals in by the hundreds because they have locations on every street corner, but you would be amazed how many times your vendors, friends, relatives, associates and others you know will be the early on franchise investors in new franchise systems as well.

Talk to people and present to them, it’s worth the time even if you feel embarrassed trying to sell your buddy a franchise.

9. Go to Franchise Events to Market Your Franchise

Franchise tradeshows and exhibitions can be expensive to take a booth out and exhibit your brand, but you can always go and attend these events. The cost typically is very reasonable, just time and effort. The people at these shows, events and networking opportunities can probably help you either find a franchisee or they might actually be the franchisee.

Slider Events - FMS Canada
Franchise tradeshows and exhibitions

10. Work With Franchise Brokers

Particularly when you are early on in your franchise system’s growth, you need all the help you can get from those who are willing to work on a commission basis with you. Franchise Brokers spend their own money to generate leads for you. Yes, you should pay 50% plus commissions if you are a newer franchise, it makes all the sense in the world, to win with royalties and franchise validation.

Contact us today at 800-610-0292 to learn more about franchising your business.

 Entrepreneurship With a Safety Net: Owning a Franchise

Owning a franchise can be a great way to start a business with less risk or to invest in businesses with proven scalability.  Owning a franchise requires an understanding of what a franchise offers and the benefits vs the negative components that come with franchise ownership versus entrepreneurship.

First, a large percentage of franchisees are made up of new business owners, people who are starting a business for the first time.  This is one of the driving forces behind franchising is that the franchisee is provided with the tools, systems, support and training to increase their odds of success as they start a new business. 

What I have found in my time in the franchise market is that many franchisees do not understand that this still means a lot of hard work, dedication, hours and time to make the franchise business work.  The franchisor's role is not to run the business for the franchisee, but to support and provide guidance.  My advice to a franchisee is to look to your franchisor as you would a business coach or advisor, not an employee.

Second, franchising is not a sure bet, there is still considerable risk in starting a new business.  Although owning a franchise drastically increases your success rate, you still can fail as a business owner.  Knowing this going into the relationship should help you plan, research and get to know the market prior to making a franchise investment.

There is an extremely large percentage of franchise owners who own multiple units of one or more brands and focus on finding franchise systems which have the systems and market opportunity to scale.  These franchisees are looking for unit economics, system validation and management team resumes. 

Multi-unit and master franchisees invest in franchise brands because they see long-term value in where the business is headed and value in the franchise structure they pay for.

Regardless of what is driving you to consider owning a franchise, you should understand the inherent risks associated with starting a business first, then get to know the franchises you might consider.  Review the franchisor's track record, speak with franchisees, take time to understand the FDD and go into the business relationship with appropriate expectations.

For more information on how to franchise your business, contact:
Christopher Conner
Cell:  770-519-3910
Fax:  800-625-8530

Splash and Dash Franchise

In 2009, Dan Barton approached Christopher Conner with a unique concept.  Mr. Barton had been in the gym business and had successfully worked his way to the top levels of management with the Gold’s Gym franchise organization.  He was CFO at the time and was making a transition into the pet industry. 

It was a risky move for anyone to leave a global franchise organization as CFO and step into an entirely new business.  The new concept was to be Hollywood Premier Pets, which was in effect a failing pet retail business located in Palm Desert, California.  Mr. Barton had purchased the business and was instituting his new marketing model to help the business come back to life and franchise the model out to other pet stores that were ailing from similar circumstances. 

Dan Barton would be at the time, the first client for Chris Conner and Franchise Marketing Systems. Mr. Conner had to be sold on the concept and being that Franchise Marketing Systems was a new business at the time, it was imperative that the first client be a success.

What was of particular interest about the Splash and Dash model was the residual, repeat business that was created through customer acquisition and loyalty programs.  Mr. Barton had effectively leveraged his experience in the gym business, famous for memberships and recurring billing and utilized the model for the pet industry.

The pet retail business was plagued with what is the primary issue for most retail businesses, how do you get customers in the store often enough to achieve critical mass volume, cover your overhead expenses and ultimately see a consistent profit?  The Splash and Dash concept fixed this dilemma.  In three short months of owning Hollywood Premier Pets, it became clear that the model worked.

The first order of business was to develop a brand that could be scaled globally.  The pet business was big, but it was getting significantly bigger every year, Splash and Dash had what it took to be a global brand, but Hollywood Premier Pets did not.  The organization transitioned entirely to Splash and Dash and the franchise model was created to offer the platform to other stores.

With Franchise Marketing Systems, Splash and Dash developed a strategic plan for franchise growth that focused initially on marketing to existing pet retail and grooming businesses.  This was what all parties involved saw as the low-hanging fruit and immediate opportunity for the pet franchise model.  These businesses were already in the industry and for the most part, were struggling, the value proposition of Splash and Dash would be extremely relevant. 

The franchise fee structure, territory model, support programs and infrastructure were designed to support this growth and allow for duplication of the Splash and Dash model.  

Next was the packaging of the Splash and Dash franchise model.  The systems needed to be documented and organized so that virtually anyone could pick up the franchise operations manual and understand what steps 1 through 20 were and become Splash and Dash of their market. 

The business model was heavily focused on developing clients and therefore had a strong sales component.  Dog Groomers and pet retail owners traditionally were not good salespeople and needed heavy training programs in place to teach, train and then maintain their sales model. 

Good systems were developed to be able to manage the sales and understand what metrics should be in place so that a store could be gauged as to how successful they were in implementing the pet services franchise system.  Branding, marketing, collateral and all associated materials were then developed to be used in all of the Splash and Dash franchise locations and to add value to franchisees.

Then, Franchise Marketing Systems developed the marketing, business development and franchise sales models to go out into the market and recruit new franchise owners.  Within a very short time period, it was obvious that Splash and Dash was a brand with the ability to grow quickly as a Master Franchise was sold in Australia, another in Canada and by the end of the first year of franchising, 23 units franchisees had purchased the model in the U.S. 

New strategic initiatives, technology and management were put into place to support this growth and manage the growing number of responsibilities that came with this growth. In 2014, Mr. Conner and Mr. Barton held strategy meetings again for the purpose of redefining the model which had reached almost 100 locations. 

The new version of the Splash and Dash franchise was a from-the-ground-up retail franchise model that could be offered not only to existing pet industry professionals but also to entrepreneurs who wanted to get into the pet retail and pet services franchise market. 

Today, Splash and Dash have over 100 locations of the business model in operation around the world. Mr. Barton has written books on the industry and is asked to speak at pet industry conventions on how to market and build your pet business more effectively.  Splash and Dash continue to add new franchisees on a rapid scale and the organization has been proven to be one of the industry leaders in the entire pet services franchise market.  Splash and Dash is a perfect example of franchising allowing a new business model to scale quickly and capture market share.


For more information on how to franchise a pet business, Contact Us.