1851 caught up with the franchise development professionals of various brands to learn more about the state of the industry and their predictions for the year ahead.
1851: Who is buying franchises right now and what type of activity are you seeing?
Joseph English, Franchise Development Manager at CMIT Solutions: It’s mostly corporate America escapees: those that have higher positions in the corporate world like C-level executives and others with sales and marketing backgrounds. Our candidates are of a more professional background and looking for B2B opportunity.
1851: What's the number one thing franchisees are looking for in the conversations that you're having with prospects?
English: They’re trying to understand the business model. We’re an IT franchise, so it can be a trickier sell. Our niche market is pretty broad. We’re attractive to IT professionals, so it’s about understanding how much background knowledge they need to be successful.
1851: Do you have an ideal franchisee in your system, and what are their qualities?
English: Our ideal franchisee is outgoing, extroverted, comfortable in a sales role, has the ability to build relationships, wants meet new people and is not afraid to ask for a yes or a no.
1851: What's the biggest challenge facing franchise development right now and how are you overcoming it?
English: It’s lead generation. I work mainly with direct leads, though we also work with consultants and build those relationships, too. We use franchise portals, SEO, and pay-per-click strategies, as well. We’re also trying other forms of marketing, like Pandora radio ads.
1851: What's one thing prospective franchisees should know about your brand and franchising in general before buying?
English: Franchising, in general, holds a lot of value. There’s a support system, tools and resources, success stories and also opportunity to learn from failures. With our brand, it’s a B2B concept that’s recession-proof since technology is always going to be there. There will be layoffs with internal IT staff—that’s where we will provide value in the future. Technology is always going to be growing and evolving; it’s also confusing to business owners, so that’s our niche.
1851: Why should franchisees invest in your industry and in your brand specifically, and why should they invest now?
English: Technology is not going anywhere, and it’s not getting any easier. Security is a huge thing right now. With hacking and Facebook data leaks regularly in the news, it’s a pain point right now for business owners. A lot of technology spaces are moving toward that, and we’re ahead of the game. We have the packaging and offerings built-in. If you want to be ahead of the curve and take advantage of the conversations that are going on right now, now is the right time.