Top 10 Tips To Grow Your Franchise Business
You were probably attracted to franchising because of the benefits that are part and parcel of becoming a franchisee. Youíve invested in a proven franchise system, a recognisable brand and have the support of the franchisor on hand.
But when youíve completed your training with ambitions of becoming one of the biggest franchises, itís down to you to make it happen. This doesnít mean that the franchisor wonít be there to offer support, advice and guidance, but youíre ultimately responsible for making your business one of the most profitable franchises.
Our tips to grow your franchise business
So, whether you're a franchisee that's just starting out, or you're an experienced entrepreneur, here are ten franchise ideas to grow sales and develop your business.
1. Write a business plan. As with any business, creating a business plan for your franchise is an essential step that should be completed as soon as possible. The plan should outline the expectations of your franchise business as well as prompting you to think about and prepare for the challenges you may face. Your business plan should include your marketing strategy. The franchisor may control the national marketing activity, but to become one of the biggest franchises in your area, you should document the local marketing activity you have planned, along with the objective and cost of each campaign.
2. Know your competition. Your business plan should also include competitor analysis. It should consist of a list your competitors, as well as identifying their strengths and weaknesses. The more information you have about your competitors, the better. Know where they are, what theyíre selling, their prices, how they market the business, and what they stand for. Only when you understand your competitors can you ensure that you offer your customers something different.
3. Get involved in the local community. Getting to know people in your local community is a great way to publicise your business and discover other business owners to network with. Depending on the type of franchise you own, you could volunteer as part of a group or committee which have a similar objective or share the same values that your franchise stands for. You could also help out local charities or volunteer at events in your area. The more you interact with your community, the more likely they are to become your customers.
4. Make friends with the local press. Regional newspapers and radio stations are always on the lookout for news stories, so give them what they want. Share your franchise ideas through interviews, promote your business in adverts and invite press representatives along to any events that you organise. This is a great way to raise awareness of your brand locally at no cost to your business.
5. Reward loyal customers. The most profitable franchises understand that itís more cost effective to retain the customers you have than to acquire new customers. You could consider developing special promotions to attract new customers but developing a rewards programme for existing customers may be less expensive to implement and have a more significant impact on your profitability. Before you launch any incentives though make sure that you check that there aren't any pricing restrictions in your franchise agreement.
6. Network with fellow franchisees. One of the biggest benefits of investing in a franchise is the fact that you can turn to other franchisees in your network for help and advice. You can exchange franchise ideas to increase sales, or discuss any challenges that youíre facing. Chances are someone in the network will have experienced what youíre going through and will be able to provide some guidance.
7. Take advantage of training opportunities. The franchisor has built a successful business and has learnt from mistakes that they've made along the way. The initial and ongoing training that is offered as part of the franchise package is a massive advantage of the franchise model and one you should take advantage of. Continue to learn from the expertise and experience of the franchisor throughout the whole of your franchising journey.
8. Use social media. Using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to promote your business is a cost-effective way to tell a lot of people about your franchise. Social media also enables you to compete with the biggest franchises as itís a platform that doesnít take turnover and reputation into account. As well as promoting your own business, you can also use social media to help raise awareness of other local companies. Not only will those other businesses hopefully repay your kindness by doing the same thing but having a reputation for being helpful and well-connected is one of the best ways to increase brand awareness without a big marketing budget.
9. Get lots of good reviews. The most profitable franchises are popular. Word of mouth, social proof and online reviews all help towards gaining this popularity. Youíre more likely to generate sales if prospective customers can see that other people have been satisfied. Make a point of asking for reviews from happy customers and respond quickly and professionally to any bad reviews. Building a good reputation is key to your success, and good reviews are quite a simple way to achieve this.
10. Growing and adding more units. If you build your franchise business and are still hungry for more, then you may want to consider becoming a multi-unit franchisee. If youíve made a success of one franchise and you have the right skills and traits to run multiple franchise units, then it could be the right move for you. The franchisor may even offer incentives to encourage you to add more units to your franchise portfolio since youíre already up and running and will need less training and support.
Remember that even though youíre able to enjoy the benefits of the franchise model, just like any business, increasing your sales will take hard work, commitment and dedication. Only when you invest time and effort into growing your franchise will you start to reap the rewards.
The Editorial Team, Point Franchise ©
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