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Startup - May 25, 2018

Franchising Your Business

Getting Exposure for Your Brand

As an entrepreneur, buying a franchise may reduce your investment risk.

Franchising can be a lot of fun. The excitement around a growing brand name and the combination of a proven system that helps put would-be entrepreneurs into business for themselves is always exciting.

The franchise marketplace is full of opportunities; it’s estimated there are about 3,000 different franchised brands currently in the marketplace, and that number continues to grow. The diversification of the types of industries available for potential franchisees is full of new concepts. It’s not just about fast food any more.A new franchise opens about every eight seconds of each business day in the U.S.

If you’re a buyer, there are numerous opportunities, one of which is sure to fit your needs and interests from a franchised business perspective. As for a franchisor, it means you have to work harder to get your business model/concept in front of all those potential buyers. You need to get exposure for your brand and business model in order to be seen by potential buyers.

A franchise enables the investor (franchisee) to operate a business. The franchisee pays a franchise fee and receives a format or system developed by the company (franchisor), the right to use the franchisor’s name for a limited time, and assistance in opening and operating the business. For example, the franchisor may helpfranchiseesfind locations for the business, offer training, operational procedures, and ability to obtain advice on management, marketing or personnel. The franchisor may also provide ongoing support through periodic newsletters, toll-free telephone number, a website, providing periodic training through workshops, seminars and conventions.

As an entrepreneur, buying a franchise may reduce your investment risk by enabling you to associate with an established company and brand. Sometimes the franchise fees are substantial (usually for the more well-established companies) and a franchisee usually incurs additional costs. For example, they may be required to give up significant control over the business while agreeing to contractual obligations with the franchisor.

The franchisor’s message should be clear: A franchisee is investing in less risk, more potential, greater support and an established brand name.Thesekey points should be stated in the franchisor’s marketing materials and the message should be reiterated to potential franchise buyers.

Marketing and Lead Generation

There are many options for franchise lead generation, the key is here is volume; it typically takes 75to 150 leads to close a transaction. Luckily, with today’s Internet marketing platforms, it’s relatively easier to generate a substantial number of leads.Primary targets for franchise marketing:

Web Marketing– Online Lead Generation Platforms; good lead sites will usually generate 30to60 leads per month for a well-established brand.

Franchise Broker Relationships– Franchise brokers will refer buyers to franchise systems for a commission of the franchise fee. Brokers will not produce volume, but a good relationship can produce very qualified leads for a growing franchise brand.

Franchise Tradeshows– There are tradeshows in virtually every market around the country that allow franchisors to exhibit their brands and meet buyers face-to-face. The two major tradeshow organizations in the franchise industry are the MFV Expositions (www.mfvexpo.com) and the National Franchise &Business Opportunities Show (www.franchiseshowinfo.com). Good franchise events will produce between 50 to 250 franchise leads.

Organic Traffic– Franchise buyers can be connected to your brand through consumer marketing outlets. These include all forms of print and electronic media advertisement, and anywhere else the brandcan also have a “Franchises Available” tagline associated with it. This can produce leads, typically not in volume, but usually high in quality, because the potential franchisee sought out your specific brand and opportunity.

Sales Process

As a franchisor, you need to have a well-defined process to manage all your leads. All of the inquiries about your business opportunity need to be screened and evaluated as to their quality. In addition to the information a potential franchisee submits, your skilled point-of-contact person initiates a dialogue with that potential franchisee to determine if your franchise fits with the candidate. After the initial screening, a Franchise Director should proceed to the next stage of the sales presentation/interview. S/he will present the potential franchisee the financials, details and the core elements involved in the franchise model.Following this step, designated members of the franchisor’s team should meet with the prospect and present the franchise model.

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