Five Things Every Franchisor Should Brag About – If They Can
By: Scott Greenberg, Author of The Wealthy Franchisee: Game-Changing Steps to Becoming a Thriving Franchise Superstar …and the upcoming Stop The Shift Show: Turn Your Struggling Hourly Workers Into a Top-Performing Team.
I’m frequently approached by individuals who are considering investing in a franchise. They want recommendations and insights into what makes a franchise concept truly attractive. I advise them to look beyond the hype many brands post on their websites and look for what really matters most. If you’re a franchisor wanting to position your brand as a top choice in the eyes of potential franchisees, these are the areas where you need to excel:
Franchisee Satisfaction: I advise aspiring franchisees to start here. The satisfaction of your existing owner partners is your most potent marketing tool. Encourage prospects to connect with current franchisees to gain firsthand insights into the franchise experience. Additionally, consider investing in franchisee satisfaction measurement tools like those provided by Franchise Business Review to continuously improve your system. If your franchise ranks well in satisfaction, leverage this as a compelling selling point. Conversely, if there are areas for improvement, demonstrate your commitment to addressing them proactively.
Unit-level economics: Franchisees aren’t simply investing in a business; they are investing in their financial future. While it’s tempting to emphasize top-line revenue figures, successful franchisors go further by partnering with franchisees to ensure solid bottom-line profitability. Propelled Brands (FASTSIGNS, NerdsToGo, MY SALON) employs a sales development specialist whose entire focus is on helping their franchisees increase profits. Poolwerx takes franchisees through a detailed planning process for making more money, with partner profitability being one of corporate’s primary KPIs. PuroClean conducts annual profitability studies and gives each franchisee a personalized report which regional directors use to coach them to achieve higher margins. Clearly communicate your commitment to franchisee profitability and outline the specific support mechanisms you have in place.
Company culture: Beyond your business model, the culture within your franchise network plays a significant role in attracting and retaining franchisees. Prioritize your franchise’s culture by vetting prospective franchisees for cultural fit and consistently reinforcing your mission and values. DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen consistently emphasizes their “code of values,” and franchisees earn prizes for memorizing them and reciting them at their meetings. Self-Esteem Brands co-founders Chuck Runyon and David Mortensen literally wrote the book (“Love Work”) about their values of People, Purpose, Profits, Play, which drive everything they do with their brands. Highlight your distinctive culture and its positive impact on your franchisees’ daily operations.
Selectivity and Exclusivity: Maintaining high standards in franchisee selection is vital for building a strong and cohesive network. Play the long game. While expansion is important, don’t compromise your brand’s integrity by admitting franchisees who don’t align with your values and vision. Share your rigorous selection processes and exclusivity measures with potential franchisees, emphasizing that your commitment to maintaining high standards benefits both the franchise network and individual franchisees.
Ownership: Transparency regarding your franchise brand’s ownership structure is essential for building trust with potential franchisees. Whether it’s led by the founder, a multi-brand organization, or private equity, each ownership type has its unique advantages and challenges. Discuss the passion and vision of the founder, the resources of a multi-brand, or the support and investment of PE. Share your ownership structure openly and convey how it benefits franchisees. Be prepared to address any potential changes or transitions that may occur in the future.
Ultimately, franchisors represent not only themselves but also the entire franchise industry. To promote your brand and our industry effectively, focus on these essential factors. Build a company committed to empowering individuals to build their own businesses successfully. Be a brand committed to do right by your franchisees. And then don’t be afraid to brag about how well you do it.