10 years ago, hearing from a panel of five franchise industry executives often meant clearing your schedule for a few days, buying a plane ticket and hotel room and attending a conference. Today, we’re able to leverage technology to provide an identical experience without the need to leave your .....
10 years ago, hearing from a panel of five franchise industry executives often meant clearing your schedule for a few days, buying a plane ticket and hotel room and attending a conference. Today, we’re able to leverage technology to provide an identical experience without the need to leave your office.
On Tuesday, 1851 Project gathered a panel of experts from across franchising to share their insight on franchise development via our Virtual Roundtable webinar series. Speakers included Sean Fitzgerald of Bright Star Senior Care, Eric Little of Right at Home, Steve Beagelman of SMB Franchise Advisors, Jennifer Durham of Checkers and Cliff Nonnenmacher of Puroclean. Proctored by 1851 Publisher Nick Powills, the panel delved deeply into development trends and strategy for 2013.
Following a traditional roundtable setup, each panelist weighed in on topics like interest from prospective franchisees, how franchisees are finding funding and what’s working in lead generation. Attendees enjoyed true candor from panelists as each shared both successes and failures.
When asked about what means of driving leads worked for Right at Home in 2012, Eric Little's response showed that development strategies can be hit or miss.
“Ultimately we just had to bite the bullet and get some things out there,” he said. “I’ve got a very short list of things that worked and a longer list of things that didn’t for us.”
The beauty of the roundtable format is that it allows attendees to enjoy a range of views and opinions without having to take one as gospel. For example, the value of trade shows varied greatly between speakers.
“The New York Expo was fantastic for us—we got 50 qualified inquiries from that show,” said Jennifer Durham. “[Trade Shows] were a part of our budget we weren’t really focused on, and in 2013 I’m definitely allocating resources there because the level of communication and quality of attendees has changed.”
Little, however, had different thoughts.
“We’ve tried them, but for our concept we haven’t found them to be successful,” he said.
One item the panelists all could agree on was the subject of communicating with entrepreneurs once they make inquiries.
“If a lead comes in, you have to be responsive,” said Cliff Nonnenmacher. “There’s nothing more deceptive than the obvious in this business. You’re out there advertising, spending 10s of thousands of dollars, and then the lead comes in and the person says ‘I’ll call them tomorrow.’ We don’t do that.”
To hear the full webinar, click the YouTube link above. If you’re interested in attending or speaking on a future webinar, be sure to like our fan page for the latest news on the webinar series.