Many of us are seduced by the idea of rapid business growth, a quick rise to high profitability and an impressive schedule of launch dates. But taking the time to develop your franchise network at your own pace also has its benefits - let’s find out more.
While the franchise model involves a certain level of regulation, one of its biggest advantages is the opportunity to choose how fast you develop your operations. Whether you’re a franchisor or a franchisee, or haven’t yet made the leap into the industry, franchising can offer the chance to achieve leisurely and steady business growth.
As a result of its flexibility, the franchise world is ideal for those who would like to take things slowly, while tapping into a rich support network of contacts and resources. Here are some more benefits of avoiding rapid growth.
Why grow your franchise network slowly?
1. You can finetune your business plan over time
Owning a franchise business is a dream come true for many entrepreneurs, but that dream can quickly turn into a nightmare if it doesn’t grow in the way you thought it would. The main driver of success is a well-researched plan, and you can make sure yours is perfect by taking your time.
If you rush your development strategies, you may end up overlooking certain opportunities or making silly mistakes. When you take a more leisurely pace, you’ll have spare time to identify any technical or logistical issues, and improve inefficient processes. Then, you can adapt your business plan whenever necessary and make sure your cash flow stays healthy.
2. You can avoid making snap decisions
When rushing to complete a rapid growth schedule, entrepreneurs are often forced to make quick decisions, and they’re often based on limited information. As the owner of a slow-growth franchise business, you can afford to get under the skin of the industry and carry out in-depth research.
You’ll have time to explore customer demand and give more attention to making informed decisions. Ultimately, you’ll be able to avoid investing in passing trends and take a long-term mindset, which will help you enjoy sustained and steady business growth.
3. You’ll have more time to analyse your customers and competitors
Market research is key for the growth of any business. So, the more time you can dedicate to it, the better. If you’re focussed on developing at your own pace, you should have the opportunity to carry out online analysis of the market. Aim to discover more about consumer behaviour and how your business could better cater for demand.
You should also have time to complete regular assessments of competitor businesses. Attending trade shows and networking with local entrepreneurs will put you ahead of the game when it comes to knowing your business rivals.
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4. You’ll have time to build a strong network of contacts
No entrepreneur should be an island, and the franchise world is particularly good at making sure business owners have a robust support network at their fingertips. When mingling with like-minded individuals, you’ll probably come to realise you’re not the only one to experience your concerns and setbacks.
Aim to attend regular franchise exhibitions and conferences to benefit from the advice and guidance shared by experienced professionals. Tickets are usually free, and you may end up making friends and business partners for life.
5. You’ll have time to develop highly effective marketing campaigns
Marketing can be stressful and time-consuming. Whether you’re a franchisee organising a local advertising campaign or a franchisor coordinating nationwide promotional activity, having more time on your hands will help you get it right.
What’s more, some entrepreneurs become so focussed on gaining new leads they neglect their existing customers, but growing your franchise network slowly will give you time to manage both elements.
Let’s look at just two marketing methods involving ongoing work. By putting your attention to these effective promotional techniques while you slowly grow your franchise network, you can raise your profitability:
- Social media activity - Engaging with your customers - and prospective customers - online is a cost-effective way of cementing your position as a reliable and valued business. In fact, research has shown 71 percent of customers who have a good experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend it to others (Ambassador).
- Blogging – A well-written blog can be hugely beneficial for your brand, boosting its exposure and ability to attract new customers. This underappreciated form of marketing can help you increase your ranking in search engine results, demonstrate your expertise and build up your email mailing list - but it does take time. However, once you’ve written a blog post, it can continue reaching new people for years after it’s first published.
>> Read more:
6. You can avoid risk
When successful, the rapid growth of a franchise network can deliver huge rewards, but initiating a quick expansion plan can be risky. There’s a skill in knowing when to make your move and when to put things on hold for a while.
In an article by Entrepreneur Europe, small business experts Doug and Polly White explained their experience of meeting the owner of an automotive company. He said,
“My house is paid for, my cars are paid for, my river house is paid for, my boat is paid for, my jet skis are paid for, and the building that houses my business is paid for. I have a lifestyle I love.
“Yes, I could grow my business, but that would mean opening new locations. I’d have to make a significant investment in equipment and buildings. That would be risky. I already have everything I want; I’m not going to risk losing it.”
7. There’s the opportunity to be content with what you have
Many people don’t go into franchising with the intention of growing their franchise network into a huge operation. Being a multi-unit franchisee or a large-scale franchisor can be stressful and isn’t for everyone. There’s beauty in recognising your achievements and being happy with your progress so far.
Let’s say, for example, you’re an investor who’s bought a cleaning franchise unit. You might like to continue carrying out your client visits yourself for a while before growing your franchise network, hiring a team of cleaners and taking a solely managerial position.
Making this decision will give you the chance to continue meeting directly with your customers, understanding their priorities and gaining satisfaction from completing jobs to a high standard.
Growing your franchise network - more resources
We believe in giving entrepreneurs all the information they need to develop successful and wide-reaching businesses here at Point Franchise. You’ll find a wide variety of resources in our article catalogue. Alternatively, use the search box to find business guides on a specific subject.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©