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Franchise Development Strategy

Franchisors are always in search of a magic pill when it comes to finding the right prospects and the strongest ROI for their marketing dollars. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill or holy grail for finding ideally qualified franchise prospects.

The Annual Franchise Development Report (AFDR) findings for "Top Sales Producers", or franchisors with more than 250 units, indicated once again for 2013 calendar year that the Internet (42 percent) dominates as the top source for franchise sales, followed by Referrals (31 percent), Brokers (17 percent) and "Other" compromised the remaining 10 percent. With those finding in mind we will review the following franchise media for their merits in order of priory to your franchise development success:

Internet Marketing

Today, franchisor no longer control their franchise information. The internet does. Anyone in the world can instantly access information about a franchise via the internet, accurate or not. Your company franchise website is your best source of accurate information about your concept and business model and therefore should be used as your principle media for franchise development.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Search engines want to show the "best" results possible and the the most relevant to the searcher search. To do this, the engines look at more than 200 factors to determine a site and page relevance to a search request. Some of these factors are woven into the fabric of the website ("on-page" factors). Others are trust signals based on links from reputable sites and (in some cases) social media engagement. No single web page, even with the best search engine optimization in the world, can be perfect in all 200+ ranking factors. Furthermore, no one knows precisely how those factors are weighted to determine actual search results.

The fact is that in today's market there are no search engine optimization secrets or tricks. There are only good ranking guidelines and methodologies to help a site offers value to users beat the search results competition. Your SEO campaign must be committed not just to optimizing a website, but also to making it a quality site that attracts links naturally has good content and therefor high traffic history.

Pay-per-Click (PPC): There are clear and effective strategies for increasing organic leads and negotiating the best prices for PPC. Many of the best leads should and will come in directly to the franchisor’s website. Having the right message and clearly defining the next step is critical.

Franchise Portals: Franchise Portals are the third led in the stool of internet lead generation. Numerous on-line portal websites that attract buyers on the internet via their own SEO and PPC campaigns and because of their combined advertising revenues, they are capable of large on-line budgets to generate the lion-share of the internet franchise inquiry response rate. However, because these portal websites derive their income from franchisors that pay to post their brand listing on their websites internet franchise portals and the franchise prospects leads to provide their clients, the more the merrier is the media strategy... better said, quantity not quality is the general rule. The fact that good inquiries are buried by hundreds of bad require a great deal of vigilance on franchise development staff. But statistics prove that the productivity is there for those that work the leads.

It can be said that major franchise portals such as Franchise.com and FranchiseGator.com, FranchiseDirect.com, FranchiseOpportunitiesNetwork.com and Franchising.com and FranchiseSolutions.com are the first places business buyers explore when they explore franchise ownership. On average, 80% of candidates visiting portals request information from 3 or more companies. Additionally, most portals have methods to induce additional brand inquiries to increase lead generation revenues. It is clear to anyone fielding inquiry calls and responding to on-line response that portals may be the first point of contact for many potential business buyers however the practice of obtaining awareness on a portal then redirecting that search to the company franchise website is extremely common. The immutable fact is that any and all internet presence does increase your company franchise website awareness and is the industry's best source of franchise lead generation.

Referrals

In franchising, validation from your existing partners should be a top priority. They are critical in helping you grow your brand. Franchise Sales Force is extremely focused on helping you build an enduring brand and strong relationship with well-match franchisees. When this occurs, your brand will grow exponentially because your franchisees will refer their family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and others that your business is a great investment.

Franchise Brokers and Networks

Franchise broker or consulting networks are the “secret club” that most franchisors have difficult breaking into. The broker consulting networks process is similar to working with a Realtor when buying a home. Experienced franchise consultants guide candidates through the franchise search process and franchisors pay them a "Finders Fee" for the candidates they direct to a franchisor and buy. Some Broker Networks also have "Advertising Fees" for the right to be “shown” to candidates by the consultants. In any case, the candidate becomes a franchisee of one company and the broker consultant receives a portion of the franchise fee.

Print Media

Traditional and non-traditional forms of advertising will play a critical role in your layered marketing franchise sales approach. In terms of advertising, the Franchise Sales Force has primarily used industry specific vertical print advertising to successfully attract franchise candidates.

Vertical trade publications, entrepreneur-based magazines and advertorials typically produce the best results. Our executive franchise development team can help design creative ads that create a call to action.

Public Relations

A press release announcing your stations in your market area. Newly opened franchise locations should always hit the local newspapers, radio stations and TV stations. Ongoing PR is critical to brand awareness and franchise recruiting. Franchise Sales Force will connect you with an industry specific PR firm that truly understands your business. They will show you to the world in the proper light. PR pieces should be housed on the website for effective sales tools.

Employment Sites

Employment sites, such as Careerbuilder and Monster, offer access to the profile of your ideal franchise owner. As a result they are used more and more buy major portal as one of their sources of franchise candidates. These website allow advertisers to target individuals based on liquid assets, annual incomes, and individuals with specific backgrounds and experience. These sites will identify your audience, give you direct access to the right people and help you define your message. Another great feature is that these sites allow you to target specific markets and regions in the country that are parallel with your growth strategy.

Social Networking

The use of Social Networking for recruiting franchisees has exploded recently due to the popularity of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and list goes on and on. These social sites and applications allow you provide a digital guerrilla marketing approach and allow you to connect with candidates in a different way. Social Networking keeps your brand relevant with your customers and may subliminally create interest in owning a franchise.

Trade Shows

In our option, trade shows have lost a great deal of their effectiveness in the age of the internet. The traditional trade show allowed a large number of franchisors display their products to a large group of people at a convention center. We generally believe that these “old school” trade shows are a waste of time, money and resources. New franchises often fall prey to this marketing expense only to learn later that they could have spent their money more efficiently and effectively on other media.

LEGAL NOTE: Franchise Sales Force (FSF) DOES NOT OFFER LEGAL ADVICE therefore does not function as your legal advisor in any way. The general information contained herein is for educational purposes only for the general public, and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. The information is designed to let you know the first day that you can either sign or accept a franchise transaction if you complied with that applicable rule as of that date. You should always discuss your disclosure policies with your legal advisor.






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