Everyone who starts a franchise has the same goal—they want to open as many units as possible.
Everyone who starts a franchise has the same goal—they want to open as many units as possible. How can you do that? Start by following these ten tips.
Make existing franchisees multi-unit franchisees. If you already have standout single-unit franchisees, consider making them multi-unit franchisees. By nurturing your existing franchisee network, you can more easily grow both your business and your relationship with a partner you already trust. It’s a win-win.
Hire the right people. If you want to grow your franchise, then you need people on your team who know how to play the game. Fill your corporate line-up with people with franchise branding and development experience. Find a PR expert, a sales and development expert, an accounting guru and a marketing expert to round out the team.
Build up your social media presence. Social media matters for your franchise because it helps you build brand awareness. A single Tweet or Facebook post probably won’t get you 100 leads lining up outside your office, but it will give your brand recognition and legitimacy. When a potential franchisee researches your brand and sees that you have a robust, engaged fan base, he or she will be more inclined to view your brand as successful and relevant.
Eat, breathe and sleep PR. If you want to expand your brand, PR is crucial. Take advantage of every press opportunity that comes your way— none are too small. Make friends with the press. Be available for interviews. Get involved in the community. Better yet, partner with an agency that knows PR and franchising. PR experts will able to get you opportunities you can’t get on your own, both on a national and local level.
Find your target market and stick to it. To prepare your franchise for growth, you need to know your target market. If you sell your product or service to the right niche, you’ll have an easier time expanding than if you try to sell to every demographic out there.
Make franchising your brand affordable. Discounted franchise fees or franchise fee waivers will get more candidates through the door and may even create PR buzz. For example, 7-Eleven received a great deal of press coverage for a contest that awarded a veteran with a free unit. Consider running a small promotion or contest to make your franchise more affordable for interested candidates.
Talk to a franchising consultant. There are businesses dedicated to helping you grow your franchise; utilize them. These businesses often work as consultants and can offer expert advice about your local market. FranNet has a team of franchise consultants eager to help franchisees develop a plan to grow their brands. Hiring a franchise expert is worth the fee— it will pay off in the long run.
Start networking. Remember, franchising is a relationship business. Who you know and who you connect with is more important than having an awesome product or service. To become a franchise with over 100 units, you need a strong professional network to help you do it. Attend franchise conventions, be active with the IFA, and get to know people in your potential franchise markets. It could make all the difference.
Choose the right franchise candidates. Besides having a strong corporate team, franchising your brand means that you’ll need stellar franchisees; they are the key to your brand’s growth, after all. Hold recruiting events to find the right candidates. And just don’t sign an agreement with everyone to grow for the sake of growing. If a candidate isn’t the right fit, don’t force the relationship. You’ll be better off waiting for a few great candidates than if you sign with several mediocre ones.
Be on the lookout for prime real estate. To open more units, it’s important to find the right franchise locations in your target markets. Be on the lookout for opportunities to take over locations from brands that may be shutting down locations or moving, like Pita Pit and Hand & Stone did with Radio Shack.