After working with a number of nationwide UK franchises, we've learnt a thing or two about how to help them grow through successful marketing activity.
This guide will share some of our learnings, the process we've adopted and samples of what success can look like.
Attract and sign new franchisees through effective marketing
Ensuring they get setup and sign their first few customers quickly
Utilising the network as a whole for overall business growth
Be the best, so your business starts to grow itself
Here's how you attract people looking to start a franchise on a network, such as yours.
It can be both daunting and hard to convince someone to start a franchise on your platform. They're likely investing a huge amount of money, taking quite a big risk and both are also factors for you in head office.
Here are our top methods for success that we've found.
Easier said than done, but investing in your own branding is extremely important. A potential franchisee wants to join a network that is exciting, supportive, growing, highly spoken about and looks great. Invest in it and you'll reap the rewards holistically.
Review who you current have in the network. Find out if they a similar age, share interests, have matching backgrounds or have a similar aim from the platform.
This will help later when it comes to reaching out to new future franchisees, from what to say to how to find them.
Here are some tips for how we reach franchisees:
- Google Ads - Anyone looking for franchise opportunities in your industry
- SEO - Same as above, but without the media budgets (free traffic!)
- LinkedIn & Fb Ads - using demographic data from point 2
- Franchise shows - meeting people at the shows with a slick followup email process
Now that you're reaching the right people, you need to ensure your offering when they reach your website is compelling. This should focus on USP's (in case they look at a competitor), success stories of current franchisees and access to key take-away information to download or order online. This creates a softer conversion than simply 'enquire now'.
Acquiring the first few customers, and beyond!
You've landed a new franchise and the phone up to announce that they've struggled to get any new customers, they're not at the top of Google and don't know what to do.
Here's our top list of 'things to do' to ensure they're making money within 3 months of joining your platform:
- Create their Social channels for them, using standardised formats and proven learnings from previous success.
- Setup their microsite or section on the main website yourself, fully optimised for SEO success
- Link up all 'offsite' things for them, such as Google Maps pins, directories (Yell & Yelp) and any other proven methods
With all of this in place on day 1, you'll be sure to get them working quickly from launch.
There's a huge opportunity to optimise the entire business by supporting all franchisees with their marketing efforts.
We've created put a lot of time and energy into helping entire franchise networks benefit from support each other. Here are just a few key areas where we've seen huge success:
We first start by running some tests with a handful of franchisees, some thriving and some struggling. We try a number of marketing activities to help them grow and see what the results are. For one geographically focused franchise network, this involved creating guides on:
Following the success of engaging franchisees, we've also planned and run engagement points. Franchisees can share stories, ask questions and learn collectively from what we do. This is also significantly more efficient than staff or outside resources engaging on an individual basis to hundreds or thousands of franchisees.
For effectiveness, we've also conducted automated deployment of changes across all franchisees in a single movement.
For example, we once deployed changes to hundreds of Google Maps pins in a single piece of work, optimising SEO for all franchisees by an average of over 5 positions climbed each.
We encourage franchises to ensure they have control of everything in the business, from Google Maps access to social and customer management.
There's an opportunity to really support the business activities of your franchisees with a centralised system for reporting, billing and analysing how new customers are being generated online. This should link to social networks, Google Analytics and include a tracking guide for all offsite activity each franchisee conducts.
Then, you can have a clear perspective of how each franchisee is performing and what you can do to help struggling ones.
Be the best in your industry
By domination, we believe that you can become the best franchise in your industry. To a point that anyone looking to start a franchise, or a potential franchisee customer, cannot ignore your phenomenal marketing support, transparent pricing, value added approach and case studies.
Here are just a handful of methods to look at in approaching this:
- Feature analysis of all competitors, to them beat them on all fronts
- Link profile to see how they advertise themselves, and ensure you are better
If you get this right, the business should start to build itself organically. You'll be spoken about, easily findable and cause a real headache for your competition.
What success means for you and how to quantify it