We have arrived at the final day of our How to Franchise Your Business mini-series. Throughout this series, we have covered what it takes to turn your business into a franchise and, so far, have gone through steps one through three. If you need a recap on any of our prior posts, click the following links for how to prepare your business, draft the legal documentation, or register your franchise. Once you’ve caught up, you’re ready to move onto step four. You may be asking yourself, what could possibly be left – I’ve got my franchise registered in all the necessary states, so I should be ready to go right? Well, yes, but the biggest question I receive in my practice is now that you’re ready to go, how do you actually go? That’s why our fourth and final step in this process is creating a strategic growth model for your franchise.
Once you have successfully turned your business into a franchise, now you need to actively plan how to grow your franchise in a tactical way. To put it simply, the way you grow your franchise is by acquiring franchisees. After all, you registered your franchise so that you could sell franchises to other people, right? The only way your system will grow is by adding franchisees to it, but you don’t just want any franchisees. You to attract potential franchisees who are like-minded individuals that have quality experience that will set them up for success. A lot of franchisors who I work with decided to franchise their business because they’ve already got people lining up to buy a franchise from them. However, just because they regularly consume your product doesn’t necessarily mean they will be a great fit for your franchise. You should take some time to determine what your ideal franchisee would look like. What type of personality these individuals should have. What kind of involvement they should desire within the business. What skills should they have developed prior to becoming a franchisee that will aid them in running their location. Once you have mapped out what these potential franchisees look like, it becomes time to try and recruit them.
The first thing you should do when recruiting franchisees is plan out the areas you would like to recruit within. These carefully selected zones should be determined based on your current market for your existing locations. Ask yourself what your current market looks like. Does your clientele thrive in large cities? Small-town communities? Coastal cities? Then look even deeper and ask yourself what your clientele is made up of. Do you typically attract families, fitness gurus, wealthier people, foodies, etc. Once you find the face of your clientele, it becomes easier how you can duplicate your franchise in another area. You should be highly selective in mapping out these first few territories. You’ve heard that old saying that slow and steady wins the race, right? That is extremely applicable in franchising and are words I often preach to my clients. Try to select the top five locations that would be the ideal foundation of your franchise. Be selective! You want to choose the very best for your franchise. This is the starting point for your franchise system, and you will get what you give. Put a lot of time and effort into determining your top five locations and craft them to perfection to give your system the boost it needs in the beginning to see long-term success.
Once you map out where you want your franchisees to go, you can begin advertising in that area. The underlying factor is to get your franchise’s name circulating within that community. An easy and convenient way to do this is through targeted social media advertisements where you can select what area you want your ad to circulate within and what the demographic of the receiver should look like. Targeting a specific individual to receive your message has never been easier with the affordable and easy-to-use social media ads that are available today. Another strategy you can use is to get involved within that community. Join the local chamber of commerce. Participate in local events where you can be a vendor and give out samples of your product. This is also great advertisement for your flagship location but for those individuals you introduce your brand to who may live too far away to go to your already-existing locations, you could drop the ball that you’re looking for franchisees to come to their community. And chances are, if they’re not personally interested in franchising themselves, they may possibly know someone who is and pass the opportunity along to them. The advantage to using this secondary strategy is that you cultivate personal relationships when speaking directly to someone. Social media is great for convenience, but you will leave a lasting impression just by getting to know someone in person.
So there you have it! If you have been considering franchising your business, this should give you a small peek behind the curtain of what it would take to get yourself there. As I continually preach in my practice, not every business is right for franchising, but you shouldn’t keep that from exploring a route that could potentially revolutionize your business.