Buying into a franchise brand is only half the job
While working from home during the pandemic many corporate managers and C-Suite leaders have revalued their lifestyle, measuring up the pros and cons of commuting, office politics and working for someone else, versus having their own business and seeing more of their families. They are looking for opportunity and franchise ownership is high on their list.
As a result, many franchise operators are seeing an extraordinary increase in inquiry for franchise purchase.
One of the biggest big benefits of owning a franchise business rather than starting up on your own is obvious. The brand.
As a franchise business owner, you don’t need to worry about the creating a brand identity or building awareness for something that didn’t exist before.
You purchase the rights and are ahead of the pack because your potential customers already know, like and trust your brand, even before they buy from you.
But there is a problem.
Many of those seeing the massive upside of buying a franchise business, do not have the entrepreneurial or marketing and sales skills to truly understand the power of the brand and the work and effort required to leverage it, especially as a local service provider.
Most franchise owners are not natural marketers and promoting and making sales doesn’t come easy to them.
All business owners underestimate the requirement to develop and present their personal brand alongside the business brand and they find this especially confrontational if they have stepped out from behind a corporate office desk or job and into a role as a local community business leader.
A franchise brand may have a brand strategy, marketing plan, collateral and systems in place, but many don’t follow the plan and go off on tangents. Even if the master franchise has a sales system providing the leads, many operators miss out on the ongoing benefit of long-term referrals simply because they haven’t learned how to leverage the brand value.
However, once a franchise owner understands how they can use brand recognition to develop a personal reputation, what they need to do suddenly becomes very clear.
A business that has a brand and a leader that people recognise and respect, want to work with is the ideal goal of any business owner, but especially so for franchise brands, where it is tempting for the owner to hide behind the brand instead of engaging with it.
Successful franchisees are those who understand the power of aligning their personal values with the brand values, implementing the marketing plan, doing the basics well and engaging with their community.
They become the go-to leader in their industry and they grow their business and lead a team incredibly well, often attracting the best people to the business and the best customers because the brand culture and business has such a great reputation.
These brand-worthy franchisees don’t require constant motivation to market and promote their services, they actually love doing the work and enjoy promoting what they do. They are proud of what their business delivers and it shows.
They build a triple threat of reputation, recognition and respect that gets them the results.
Here are three action steps for those looking to get into franchising and need to find some purpose and direction to make the right choices to become well known, well paid and wanted as a successful, profitable business leader.
1) Your Purpose.
Consider why you want to buy a franchise and which brand you want to partner with?
What are the common values between you and the franchise brand?
What do you like about the brand and the way they do business?
Knowing your own personal goals, passion and purpose and learning the franchise brand’s values and mission to align them, is the first step to feeling more like you are working on YOUR business and not just for the master franchise.
When you align who you are and what you stand for with the business brand you will be more accountable to your goals, with reason and purpose behind why you do what you do, driving you to be more consistently proactive and positive when it comes to marketing and promoting your services. Giving you, the business leader, purpose and direction.
2) Get involved in the local community.
Real estate agents do this really well, but any potential franchise owner is more than capable of attending at least one networking event to check out who’s who in the zoo.
Your goal is to make some really good connections with people who could be constantly referring clients to you if you started a franchise in the area.
Consider where in the food chain your business will be…who will be providing services to customers before and after you do?
If you are cleaning the pool, who mows the lawns?
Who repairs the car, washes the dog, helps with the mortgage, organises the travel?
Connect with those in your local area who provide other services to the same customer you would be looking after, and consider which of the local business leaders that you could partner with or develop cross-promotions, joint events and ‘friend-get friend’ style marketing together to 10X your impact.
Imagine starting your franchise with referrals already coming in from day one!
3) Make the most of every opportunity.
When you sign the contract you can now leverage the brand but having a logo, signage, shop, a van or a uniform is only the first step to being visible.
A simple marketing basic is to park your sign written car right outside or have a sandwich board and a bunch of flyers so that whenever you are servicing a customer, everyone in the street knows they were there. Is this something you expect to be doing?
Sounds simple right, but many fail to do it and if you don’t make it part of your process right from the beginning, you probably never will. You will be taking a few extra minutes to park well, pop up your sign as you arrive and then letterbox drop as you leave. It might sound mundane but right from the beginning, you need to be aware that when you provide a service to a customer, every opportunity counts. If you miss all those opportunities because you feel it’s beneath you, you could be giving potential clients to your competitor.
In reality, with a franchise brand, it doesn’t take long to build a reputation for yourself that aligns with and supports the reputation the brand already has…if you take the first step and go out on a limb to do your research before you choose who to partner with.
Then leveraging the brand to deliver results and success in your business will be a walk in the park.
Lauren Clemett is a Keynote speaker, International award-winning Neurobranding specialist and best selling author with over 25 years brand management experience. Lauren shares how to overcome overwhelm and get a clear direction to make marketing professional and business services a walk in the park!