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Researching a Franchise

Attract Those Franchisees Today

Struggling to find high-quality franchisees? You need to take a close look at how you market your franchise.

Entrepreneur

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Growing a franchise can be hard work. You have to think about corporate sales and marketing, as well as providing for the franchisees.

It looks something like this:

  1. Corporate marketing programmes
  2. Corporate marketing programmes for franchisees
  3. Additional marketing programmes offered through corporate for the franchises

Each of these initiatives takes a lot of work — and you can’t do just one. The thing is, they all work together. You need to have corporate marketing to attract franchises and grow the size of the brand. Then you need to have marketing for the franchisees because if they are not successful, neither are you.

It will also be hard to attract more franchises if your current ones are going under and not profitable. The additional marketing programmes also help a lot.

In some cases, you will have an owner who owns multiple shops or just one that wants to be a big spender.

If corporate offers these programmes through vendors, they get to have some control, provide more value to the owners and help grow the size of the brand.

Related: The Danger Of Being Franchisee No. 1

Corporate Marketing Programmes

When I say corporate marketing, I mean marketing just from the business-to-business perspective. Basically, you’re trying to attract more franchisees to the franchise. Here are some of the things to consider.

Have a location-based strategy. Almost all franchises have some kind of location element. That means all of your marketing strategy should be tied to location. On the corporate level, you’ll want to focus your efforts on the regions that you’re trying to build out first. When you do this, you need a good mix of online and offline marketing to build the brand and take the location by storm.

Consider the following:

  • Local SEO
  • Local Google AdWords
  • Yelp ads
  • Yellow pages
  • Local directories
  • Microsites or landing pages (there is a lot to know about this one)
  • Local content marketing
  • Social media ads and social media marketing
  • Radio advertising
  • Buy billboards in the area
  • Sponsor sports teams in the area
  • TV in the area
  • Direct mail
  • Try to set up a pipeline for your franchisees.

One of the main draws to any franchise is that there will be demand for business due to the brand credibility in consumers’ eyes. The idea is that the franchise is so established that when someone buys into it, the customers will automatically come.

Get on lists. Large business sites often have lists of franchise opportunities. In addition, people are constantly writing on the topic. Many of these lists are industry-specific, and will often state the best franchises to own at any given time. As part of the franchise-marketing strategy, it is a great idea to get on these lists. People read them often and they can drive a lot of business.

Get them into a funnel. People research franchise options heavily before purchasing one. There are a lot of options, price points, business models, set-up costs, etc. One of the most important things you can do is get them into a funnel.

Now, this can be some type of drip campaign using a tool like Infusionsoft or just a basic MailChimp email newsletter. Either way, you need to stay on their radar after you have captured their email and other actionable information.

While they might download your information packet at first, they might soon forget the franchise if this is not put in place. Keep in mind that getting them to be a part of your social communities or follow your blog can also accomplish this.

Make your brand glow. Not all of the marketing needs to be direct response. Keep in mind that people need to really like the brand.

They need to feel as though the franchise is greater than their current business. Or if they don’t have a business, that it is a great opportunity and sure-fire win in general. Invest in great creative, a nice website and plenty of positive marketing to make people proud to invest in a franchise.

Have a strategy to target similar businesses. This is different for every type of franchise, but one of the main ways some franchises acquire new franchisees is by going into a non-franchise business and doing a presentation about why they should switch over. This demands a great deck, plenty of supplementary marketing materials and a sales team. If done well, it is one of the most effective strategies for acquiring new franchisees.

Related: Should You Purchase An Existing Franchise?

Corporate Marketing Programmes For Franchisees

In addition to marketing to acquire franchisees and build the brand, it is also a good idea to have marketing services on the franchise level. Of course, it all depends on the franchise and the needs, and it will be highly targeted to the individual location. If possible, there should be one standard package and other larger packages that franchisees can contract directly for.

You will need a baseline programme. The baseline programme should be provided by the franchise, but it can come out of a franchise fund. Generally, franchises will vote on a marketing programme and budget at annual meetings. This would then get allocated to this programme.

The programme should be location specific. If it is online, that is a given, but if there are offline elements, such as billboard or radio, that also needs to be very targeted. Direct mail also needs to be highly local. The most important thing is to ensure you are delivering in the right markets based on the level of franchisees you have there.

You should have options to upgrade. When creating the options to upgrade, you want to make sure they are all somewhat affordable for the franchisees. Options should then be priced in a general range that makes sense across the board.

It’s a good idea to work with an agency that has experience. To build out this type of system internally is very tough, especially if you are a new franchise with a small team. You need expert and experienced personnel. In most cases, it is a good idea to bring on an agency with heavy local advertising experience and, of course, franchise experience.

Additional Marketing Programmes

Some franchisees will only own one or two franchises, but others will own five, ten or even more. When this is the case, the franchisee will most likely consider their franchises as their own business.

A franchise needs to have an agency they can trust to provide custom solutions to these types of owners. Make sure you have a solution for them that is dependable and can get them the results they are looking for.

Related: How Risky Is That Franchise?

Summing Up Franchise Marketing

If you are looking to attract franchisees, you need to have a clear and profitable model, a strong case for making the investment and serious brand credibility. If you do a great job with your franchise marketing, you will be well on your way to attracting new owners.

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.

Researching a Franchise

Be In The Property Business For Yourself, Not By Yourself

Why property franchising makes good business sense in today’s market.

Keith Broadfoote-Brown

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Opening a real estate franchise has been a thriving and successful business model in South Africa for decades. Despite the challenges currently facing the South African economy, property will continue to prosper and provide entrepreneurs with an opportunity to own their own successful businesses and become leading members of their local business communities.

“The residential property market is a dynamic, thriving industry offering substantial career opportunities.

Joining a property franchise business gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to align themselves with reputable, established businesses with a national footprint who have invested in their brands and have access to international networks,” says Russell Berkman, Franchise Director at Jawitz Properties.

While the property industry is competitive there is still great potential for growth. Worldwide, franchising has proven to be one of the most successful business models with failure rates well below those of starting a business from scratch.

Related: How to Become a Property Franchisee

For the franchisee, it is one of the most intelligent ways of starting and growing a business and by combining the proven business formula of the franchisor with the entrepreneurial drive of the owner-franchisee, the likelihood of a successful business venture for both parties is increased significantly.

According to Keith Broadfoote-Brown, the owner and Principal of the Jawitz Properties Ballito franchise in KwaZulu-Natal, property franchise still makes good business sense in today’s market.

The benefits of being a property franchise owner

Becoming a property franchisee gives a businessperson unlimited potential to succeed in the property industry as the success achieved is a direct result of the effort, commitment and drive put in. It means being self-employed within an organisational structure and offers the same structure and benefits to sales and rental consultants.

“It gives you the opportunity to leverage your business’ success off the intellectual capital, brand, expertise and know-how of an established business that has a proven business model, IT platforms, marketing expertise, training and self-development programmes as well as having access to years of experience in these fields.  My mantra is ‘be in business for yourself, not by yourself’,” says Brown.

Skills needed to succeed as a property franchisee

The most important competencies would be to have an entrepreneurial character and business skills such as financial literacy, HR/people skills and marketing acumen; a people’s person with a resilient and driven personality. Experience in real estate is always beneficial but not required as it is all about using business skills, marketing acumen and entrepreneurial tenacity to make your mark.

Related: How Brigid Prinsloo Made (A Lot Of) Money On Airbnb

Brown explains, “Absolute professionalism and integrity and a fierce determination to exceed your client’s service expectations are essential. And you must be able to develop a highly competent sales team, explore new opportunities for your business and operate as a team player within a franchise structure”.

Current state of the property market

The property market in SA currently reflects the economy and is weighted in favour of buyers, so sellers need to be very realistic with their price expectations. Buyers are buying where they perceive good value and value is indeed the key driver in the market today.

The opportunities are strong for buyers to invest in this ‘down’ market and conditions are also ideal to upgrade one’s home. In every region and in every suburb there are homes offering good value and these are selling well, despite the tougher trading conditions.

Opportunities outweigh the challenges

“The opportunity for real estate professionals is to find and secure the well-priced, good value, properties as they are selling!

It is also an opportune time to enter the market as a franchisee or new agent/intern as I am firmly of the view that great estate agents learn their profession well in a tough market and when the market improves, as it surely will, these sales professionals will have a solid grounding and strong foundation on which to build their real estate careers.

Challenges are to manage costs in these tough trading conditions. To keep motivated and continue to consistently drive the very basic activities needed to succeed in real estate,” says Brown.

Top 3 things to consider before entering the industry

According to Brown, his top 3 considerations are as follows:   

  1. You need sufficient start-up capital as the initial investment in starting the business and the monthly expenses to run the business can be substantial. The income from sales and rentals may be slow in the early years, hence the need for good planning and sufficient start-up funds.
  2. Owning one’s own business means the buck stops with you! A well thought out and well implemented business plan is key. The first 2-3 years consist of long hours and could potentially be financially strained, as in any start-up business, but the rewards of owning your franchise and being ‘master of your own destiny’ are worth it!
  3. This is a tough business for tough-minded people. Having an initial mindset of ‘it is harder than I think’ rather than ‘it will be smooth sailing’ is a better approach and will prepare the franchisee for the hiccups that will surely come along.

Property franchising makes good business sense

The end result of being a successful property franchisee is financial security. Owning a brand office assures the owner of having an asset and the credibility, back-up and brand promise assures clients they are in safe and professional hands.

“I would definitely recommend being part of a major brand rather than a being a small real estate entity, especially in this competitive industry. Property is a challenging industry that, like everything else, goes through cycles, influenced by factors like inflation and interest rates, among others.

Drive, initiative and resilience are therefore essential qualities for a successful property franchisee. Absolute professionalism and integrity and a fierce determination to exceed your client’s service expectations are essential,” Brown concludes.

Related: Want To Start A Property Business That Buys Property And Rents It Out?

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Company Posts

How To Become A Hi-Q Franchisee

Are you looking at investing in a tyre replacement and service industry? Look no further than the Hi-Q franchise.

HI-Q

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Established in 1999, Hi-Q is a successful and diverse multi-product, multi-brand leader in the tyre replacement and service industry with a network of over 130 franchisees nationwide.

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With the support of international tyre giant Goodyear, Hi-Q has established a solid reputation of ‘the one you can trust’, and the Hi-Q approach and philosophy is embedded in this.  We have the trust of our customers, our network and our suppliers – that’s why you can trust us to take you and your business to the next level.

When you’re working with people’s safety, trust forms the most significant part of the equation

Hi-Q introduced the original and innovative TyreSurance initiative – the only aftermarket tyre damage guarantee product that backs the consumer no matter the brand of tyre.

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Related: We Want To Invite You To Join Us On The Hi-Q Journey And Become A Franchisee

Each Hi-Q Franchise offers a broad range of brands within the different product and service categories that customers know they can trust, and at prices they can afford. Product and services include tyres, exhausts, shocks, batteries or brakes, wheel alignment or balancing, and a 10-point safety check.

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We have identified areas of opportunity to extend our Franchise footprint growth.

If you are looking to join a new franchise and you share in our values and vision, we would like to hear from you.

For further information on how to become a franchisee, call us on +27 11 394 3150

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Researching a Franchise

Col’Cacchio – Benefits Of The Franchise Model

Six key benefits of the restaurant franchise model – and what to look out for when considering a franchise.

Russell Otty

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For investors looking to the restaurant industry and considering a franchise knowing it has a proven track record and is therefore possibly a lower risk, there are a few key things to be aware of about the benefits of the franchise model, which if investigated, can also point to a franchise that is not for you.

Russell Otty, Chief Operating Officer of the Col’Cacchio Group, shares some of these key benefits and indicators of whether a franchise is for you:

1. Making the cut as a franchisee gives you the confidence that you are making the right decision

You may think psychometric testing, three days in a restaurant following a franchisee around, and a panel interview with the senior management of the franchisor, is a bit over the top, but the franchisor that puts you through your paces and assesses your ability and commitment to running the business, is doing you a huge favour and may even help you see this is not for you. It goes both ways, and after an intense courtship, you should know if you want to try a long-term relationship.

Related: Col’ Cacchio: A Passion For Pizza

2. Assistance with location selection and negotiation of the terms of your lease

One thing you can do to limit your risk is to not open a restaurant in the first place if your rent is not going to be reasonable or you simply won’t get customers through the door. The franchisor will vet and approve the site – they will have extensive insight into what has worked or not worked location-wise for their brand, and can assist you to weigh up the area and it’s potential to attract customers.

The commercial terms of a lease is very important – you can’t be too ambitious about turnover targets, and having the backing of a franchisor can be beneficial if a landlord becomes unreasonable.

3. Staff training and development tools on hand

Consistency is important with restaurant franchises, as a customer visiting a brand anywhere in the country, goes there knowing exactly what they are going to get. This is best achieved with solid training, perhaps access to resources such as training videos, and regular visits from franchise managers.

You should check with your franchisor what level of training and franchise support you will have on an ongoing basis. Ask about the ratio of field trainers and operations managers to the number of franchisees in the group. You want the franchisor in your restaurant in some shape or form, two or three times a month, whether it be the training manager, the regional franchise manager or the national operations manager.

4. Access to supplier networks to manage your input costs

Negotiating basket pricing with distributors regionally and nationally, the franchisor will leverage their buying power on your behalf. They should assist to manage your suppliers and make sure deliveries happen on time, and ensure that product quality remains consistent. They can also negotiate to ensure your input costs do not increase before the next menu launch – so you can ensure your margins remain intact.

5. Brand loyalty and locality marketing

When you buy a restaurant franchise, you gain a group of customers who know who you are, the food you serve and the way you make them feel. The money you will pay towards marketing each month gives you insight into the broader restaurant market, the experience of what is working across a number of sites, and how best to keep the attention of new and existing customers.

Some franchisors offer locality marketing assistance – your site and area has specific needs that other outlets may not have, or there may be events in the area that can be leveraged to run special offers. Ask if the franchisor offers this as a service, as it can assist you greatly to have an advantage over other restaurants in your area.

Related: Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa

6. Business development insights

The franchisor has access to insights gained across the group, and the systems that they have in place to track costs and increase profit margins, can be of huge assistance. If you are looking for business support, a franchise manager can be the one sitting with you telling you that you spent R2 000 too much on cleaning this month or saying you need to wait till next month to make that purchase. The level of business support you will have access to, is an important factor to consider, depending on the level of support you may require.

Recipe for success

Nine times out of ten, a restaurant franchise that fails, fails because the franchisee loses interest or lacks the commitment to make it work. Selecting the best franchise for you as the investor, or as a restaurant entrepreneur, is the most important first step you can take towards success, so do the homework.

Don’t assume that because you are buying into a successful brand that it will be a success – business is not an exact science – you need to do your own due diligence and take responsibility for your business, because it is after all your own investment.

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