Eight Ways That You Can Improve Your Franchise
When you first started your own business, itís likely that your immediate concern was getting through the first couple of months. The early days of business ownership can be tough, but you survived. And better than just surviving, your business performed well. So, your next goal was to become one of the most successful franchises. By franchising your business, you could grow more quickly and cost-effectively than if you went it alone. It also means that youíve given other entrepreneurs the chance to invest in a franchise business opportunity.
Once your franchise business is created and established, it's easy to fall into the trap of sticking with the status quo. After all, things have been working well so far. But this is where good franchises can be distinguished from less attractive investment opportunities. If youíre prepared to drive a culture of continuous development, progression and improvement, then prospective franchisees will want to benefit from being part of your franchise business opportunity.
To avoid your franchise getting stuck in a rut, here are eight ways that you can improve your business and become one of the most successful franchises:
1. Get smarter with franchisee recruitment
Your franchisees are your most significant assets and so recruiting quality candidates is key to the success and longevity of your franchise business. Until now you may have been able to attract the interests of prospective franchisees by just having a few pages advertising your franchise business opportunity on your customer-facing website.
Although this is better than having no online presence at all, you can improve the information that you provide candidates by building a separate website specifically targeted at investors. This will enable you to properly sell the benefits of joining your business as well dedicating adequate space to answer frequently asked questions. You also want to make sure that your telephone number is clear so that potential franchisees can pick up the phone to you or your business development team if they want any more information.
Also, it may seem like a minor point, but donít forget to make sure that your franchise website is mobile optimised. As the majority of people use their mobile devices to search for anything from a new outfit to a new career in franchising, it's essential that your website can be easily navigated regardless of the device used. You wouldnít want to invest time, effort and money into developing a website full of franchise information if itís illegible on a mobile phone screen.
2. Digitalise your operations manual
When your franchisees are on board, the operations manual will become their primary reference point when running their new business. If youíre still presenting your franchisees with a physical operations manual on completion of their initial training, then you could be making more work for yourself. The disadvantage of physical copies of documentation is that every time you make a change or update an element of your franchise system, you also have to amend the manuals. This isnít just time-consuming, but you also do not influence version control. Just because you send out new copies of the manual, it doesn't mean that your franchisees are using them.
A much more effective way of storing and supplying your operations manual is by having a copy available online. This allows you to have full control over what your franchisees are seeing and means that you only have to make amendments in one place, which is instantly available for the whole network.
3. Develop more content to raise awareness
And itís not just your franchise documentation that needs to be brought into the digital age. Good franchises invest time and effort into producing quality content for both their customer and franchisee websites. Sharing informative, authentic and engaging content will not only get you noticed by your target audience but by the search engines too. If youíre able to answer the questions being searched for, youíll become a voice of authority in your industry which breeds trust and loyalty.
4. Create individual franchisee landing pages
The advantages of this are twofold. Firstly, if each of your franchisees has their personalised franchise landing page, then they can produce localised content to appeal to their community and help the overall search engine rankings of the franchise as a whole. Secondly, customers tend to buy from people rather than brands. If each franchisee has their own landing pages which they can update to keep their local community informed, then customers are more likely to feel an infinity with your brand.
5. Encourage franchisees to be creative.
One of the biggest myths about franchising is that franchisees are unable to be innovative. However, this isn't the case, and you can become one of the most successful franchises if you encourage your franchisees to share their ideas and opinions. After all, the Big Mac was developed by a McDonald's franchisee, and that hasn't done too badly!
6. Benchmark franchiseesí performance
Good franchises don't just benchmark themselves against their competitors but use benchmarking as a useful performance management tool internally too. Providing franchisees with an idea of how they're performing compared to their peers can prove to be motivational. And donít focus solely on the financial performance of your franchisees, make sure that you benchmark softer metrics such as customer and employee satisfaction as well.
7. Make ongoing training available online.
Part of the reason why entrepreneurs choose the franchising route over starting up an independent business is the level of training and support that's on offer. It's important that the initial training is provided face to face, but you can offer quality training more often and more conveniently if you create an online training portal. You could even run regular sessions using technology such as Skype to add a personal touch to your franchiseesí training without the cost and inconvenience of travel.
8. Arrange networking events
There are many ways that you can improve your franchise and some you probably havenít even thought of yet. By arranging events where your franchisees can get together to discuss any issues they may have and share ideas for improvement, youíll end up with engaged franchisees and valuable insight into how you can develop and progress your business.
The Editorial Team, Point Franchise ©
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