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How Mid-Sized Brands Experiencing Stagnant Growth Can Reinvigorate Their Development Efforts

The experts at Raintree weigh in on just what action middling franchise brands should take to continue growing in line with their development goals.

By Madeline LenaStaff Writer
SPONSORED 10:10AM 10/31/19

It’s a trend that’s becoming increasingly more common in the franchise development space—franchise brands emerge to the point of somewhat established, yet do not scale at the rate they could or should be. As competition in the space heats up and every brand vies for the same prospects, how can middling brands reignite growth? 

Despite the fact that many brands are struggling with the same question, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to franchise development—and while every growth dilemma is unique, the Raintree team has identified some commonalities among brands that have stagnated growth-wise. As a company founded on providing comprehensive franchise growth solutions to franchise brands of all sizes, Raintree is well-equipped to evaluate the specific needs of brands that have plateaued due to its team’s ample experience reinvigorating the franchise development efforts of numerous brands, regardless of size or sector. 

“Some of the most common reasons for stalling growth that we come across in our work are poor franchisor-franchisee relationships and a lack of focus on unit-level economics, both of which lead to weak validation and make awarding franchises difficult,” Raintree CEO Brent Dowling said. 

Sometimes, though, brands can struggle to meet development goals even when these two aspects are strong. In these cases, Dowling said, “The two usual suspects are either outdated and ineffective lead generation strategies, or ineffective sales personnel. In the latter scenario, it’s easy to blame the salesperson, but in my experience, it’s less often about the individual than it is about poorly established sales processes and management or oversight of the sales program.”

Identifying these causes and creating a plan to address them is at the core of Raintree’s daily work. One of the first things the company looks at when assessing how best to kick off a turnaround? Proof of concept.

“The first thing to identify is the viability of the model,” Dowling said. “Are the unit economics healthy? Is the business model well-positioned? Is there room for continued growth in the market segment? Is the necessary franchise support infrastructure in place?” 

If a brand can answer ‘yes’ to all of these questions and is still struggling to grow effectively, Raintree directs its focus to its partner’s franchise development program. The resolution process begins by understanding the brand’s best-case-scenario franchise owner in order to determine who to target and how best to target them.

“Once we understand the personality traits, skills and background of a brand’s ideal owner, we assess their franchise marketing messaging and choice of lead generation vehicles to ensure everything is aligned,” Dowling explained. Doing so helps Raintree identify any gaps in said messaging so that it can create the marketing collateral to address them and develop the necessary sales processes to position the franchise for hyper-growth. It’s hard work on the front end, but as Raintree has demonstrated consistently throughout its history, it’s necessary for the footprint-expanding payoff.

Speaking of payoff, it’s important to note that reaching one’s development goals requires investment—especially as it relates to digital marketing collateral. Dowling said that on an almost weekly basis, he sees those brands spending upwards of $150,000 on lead generation per year hesitate to allocate $20,000 of that budget toward creating video content and updating their franchise development websites annually. 

To say it plainly, “In a world where content is now king, brands should spend at least 10% of their budget on updating digital collateral each year,” Dowling advised. “Invest appropriately and strategically to generate the results you seek.”

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.