What are the top ten factors that tend to lead to greater franchise success?
- A business model that has structure, systems and processes will always scale more effectively than one that is just driven and pushed hard by a talented entrepreneur. Business owners who are considering scale whether through franchising or company growth should focus efforts on building systems that would allow the intellectual property to be transferred to third parties. Documenting processes in manuals, using technology to operate your business and investing in structure are all ways to achieve this.
- A sexy and professionally managed brand is critical in franchising. You need to be able to present your business in a way that is appealing to the target customer AND the potential franchise investor. (Look at Menchie’s new brand – Midici Pizza You should put thought and most likely some money into the branding of your business including color scheme, logo, taglines, look and feel of the brand. There are many consultants and businesses who can help with this process.
- Operations documentation needs to be solid and consistent. Good operations models should be able to teach someone how to hire staff, deliver the product or service and manage the business without the new owner feeling like they are reacting. The process should be proactive and understandable for a new owner.
- Grand Opening / Franchise Market Introduction processes need to be in place. It’s easy to forget what it was like to be single again. As your business matures, you don’t need to go out looking for new business any longer, a new franchisee will be opening a business many times for the first time in their life and will need all the help they can get to start their business on the right foot. You should define what happens when the doors open and how to help them get their cash register ringing. This could include PR, TV, Radio, Pay Per Click or other mediums, but you need to tell them how to do it, not just make vague recommendations.
- Widespread appeal should be part of your business in order to transition to franchising. Whatever you offer, it should be in demand outside of just your area. Maybe this means adding to your menu..altering your branding or just reviewing what your marketing message is, but you need to make your product appealing to more people to validate the franchise model to large extent.
- Licensing and permitting should be understood. When scaling a business through third-party investors, you should know what it will take for them to open their doors and start doing business. Things such as a liquor license, real estate broker's license, contractor's license, or other permitting should be understood before you go to market. (The Haven Senior Care Franchise helps franchisees with every step of the approval process for senior care licensing – The franchisee will need your help and guidance in how to best get their license and do it efficiently. Define a process and have a good understanding of how this works in most markets.
- Ability to delegate. Great franchisors are really good leaders and know-how to empower others. If you find that you are doing most things in your business today, then odds are that you will have a tough time scaling your business. You should be able to teach and trust in others that they can do as good of a job as you can with your guidance. This also means being fair and reasonable in compensation and understanding how to structure your employee benefits to get the most out of your team.
- Supplier arrangements should be in place. If you make the best chicken pies on the planet, but you do it by hand and only you and your mother have the capability to manufacture, there certainly is a limit to how much you can grow. Work with your suppliers and distributors to know what options you have – many times the production can be outsourced to food distributors who have the ability to scale and can grow with you as your franchise system expands. These elements need to be understood in order to grow and a franchisee should have a solid picture as to how the product will make it to their front door.
- Web presence is critical in today’s marketplace. All good franchise systems have a really professionally done site, take the time and money needed to present your brand to the best of your ability online. This is your storefront in today’s web-based market, it should look and present well in particular when franchisees come knocking and want to know whether your business is a valid franchise investment. Today’s market demands a loyalty program and technology that supports your franchisees retaining their customers and driving more traffic to the locations, solutions such as FANConnect offer these platforms (https://www.fanconnect.biz/). This also means you need to invest in your social media presence. Obvious ones such as Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter but not so obvious ones that seem to pop up every day should carry your brand and be managed on a regular basis. Having a Twitter account with your brand displayed with one update from 2013 isn’t cutting it, you need someone on your team or a social media marketing group to manage and oversee this process and make sure that your content is relevant and your brand is presented professionally.
- Be ready to sell. Franchising is a marketing and sales business until you get your network established and you have franchisees to support and train. The business requires that the owner is ready to get people excited and sell the vision to new potential investors. The best franchisors not only are ready to sell, but love to sell what they do. If you can’t get excited about your vision, why should anyone else? Franchise sales requires lots of phone sales, in person discovery days, email communications and just about any type of marketing/sales you can think of, if you are ready to embrace the process get ready for the ride of your life, if it’s a struggle for you to sell, you may want to hire the right people for franchise growth.
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