When you are looking to build or grow your franchise, one of the most important factors to consider is how many franchises can I sell and to who?
I’ve been talking and working with a lot of prospective franchisees recently and I can give you some insights into what their thought processes are as they look to buy a franchise.
The key questions always running through their minds are:
- Will I be able to make a living and reach my financial and lifestyle goals by buying this franchise?
- Will I get the support I need now and into the future?
- Is this Group trustworthy enough for me to believe the promises they are telling me right now?
Answer these questions or better still, have your brand advocates answer these questions for you and you will be on the path to franchise recruitment success (more on that later).
If you have a franchise system that has stalled or is not growing, you can’t expect to throw marketing money at it and expect prospective franchisees to jump. You need to do the hard work and ask the hard questions to identify ‘’the why’’ prospects are not buying.
Yes, marketing will help get your brand out there but what happens when the prospect starts to sniff around at your business? What are they finding when they walk into any store, on socials, or even when they send a message or an email? Is your brand truly showing up at all touchpoints?
However, an even bigger question is….what message are they receiving when they talk to any of your current or previous franchises? This is one of the most crucial elements of franchise sales yet is not a major focus of franchise recruitment strategies. It may seem easier to pump money into social media marketing, attending trade shows, and paying brokers. But is this money well spent?
When I advise prospective franchisees to evaluate a franchise, I ask them to randomly ring several current and previous franchisees in the disclosure document and really listen to what they say! I counsel them to have the courage to pick up the phone, ask the hard questions, and delve deep. This is the way to identify the real story of the brand they are evaluating!
This diagram illustrates the relationship between franchise sales and franchise quality and is a really great place to begin. ‘’The franchisor must be selective in the sales process and must then provide the franchisee the tools and support she will need to succeed……which leads to strong franchisee validation (ie good things said about you) and the ongoing perception that you have a great concept’’ (Mark Siebert, ifranchise Group).
The selection process is crucial and the quality of franchisee’s recruited will make or break your future growth. I like to call this the ‘’John West Effect’’. Do you remember the advert for John West ‘’It’s the one they reject which makes John West the best’’. It’s like that in franchising. You need to reject those that aren’t a good fit, so you have the best opportunity to build a quality franchise system.
In high performing franchises, much of the growth will come from existing franchisees or word of mouth from franchisees or customers. This means that much of your growth will come from within:- current franchisees buying new locations, franchisees telling their friends and families and customers loving the brand and wanting a piece of it!
But how do you get there? The model below (which I developed) steps through this process.
The grey area shows what you need to be viable and in the grey area, you will be experiencing some growth. To get to strong growth and to truly become a thriving franchise, you need to move through the grey areas of the model and up into the red area.
Strong franchise sales are about having a viable franchise system where your brand advocates and raving fans enable you to sell more franchises and grow your business. The proof really is in the pudding!