Article by our CEO, Suzie McCaffety, first published on What Franchise Volume 16 Issue 5.
Preparing your business for franchising doesn’t come cheap - and rightly so. Franchise agreements, operations manuals, trademarking and sound advice can’t be scrimped on. But many brands then underestimate the importance of effective marketing, particularly when it comes to attracting the best franchisees. Adding to your headcount and payroll, particularly in the early stages
of growth, is not something most businesses can afford. But you still need the time and skill to effectively launch your brand. It’s the chicken and egg conundrum. You can’t afford to invest in a marketing team until you sell some franchises and you can’t sell franchises without a marketing team. That’s where a chat with companies such as Platinum Wave can come in handy.
What you’ll need
If you want to become a franchisor, here’s a basic list of some of the things you’ll need:
• A franchise page on your website.
• Content that accurately reflects your brand and opportunity.
• Listings on the most suitable franchise portals.
• Eshots that promote your opportunity in a clear, engaging voice.
•Well placed expert opinion pieces that identify you as a leader in your sector.
• Someone to take your ideas, build on them and bring them to life with quality copywriting and imagery.
• Someone to build a GDPR compliant database of enquiries and manage a flow of valuable information to each prospect that relates to their level of engagement.
• Someone to manage that database using the latest technology to establish levels of engagement, so that the best people are followed up quickly and personally.
• Someone to talk expertly about your brand, answer tough questions, maintain dialogue and then identify the right people to invite to a discovery day, webinar or one-to-one meeting.
• Someone to help you prepare your discovery day or webinar presentation.
How to accomplish it
Daunting isn’t it? And this is by no means an exhaustive list. It can, however, be broken down into three essential parts: lead generation, lead management and lead conversion. You might find one person you can employ full-time who has all the skills required, but we haven’t yet. It takes a team - and everyone in our team has at least 15 years’ experience in their chosen field. Outsourcing should give you that team at a fraction of the cost of bringing it in-house. You don’t need an enormous budget to get started, but it’s not advisable to do it on the cheap. Joining the British Franchise Association can give you access to a wealth of marketing expertise (and that just scratches the surface of the true value of membership). Make sure that when you’re deciding on where to set your franchise fee you take into account - and cover - the full cost of bringing a franchisee on board. It’s not just the training and equipment required, you need to calculate the cost of recruiting them too. The bottom line is, ask around and get some qualified advice. From a little handholding, through to an outsourced end-to-end recruitment service, the right partner will ensure you get value for money and great results.