How Franchisees Can Grow Their Sales
Most new franchisees return from their initial franchise training program confident and ready to launch their new franchise business. Whether it’s the thrill of their grand opening or the rush of their initial marketing campaign, franchisees are excited and motivated, eager to drive customers through the door and start making sales.
However, once the ribbons come down and time passes, franchisees begin to recognize the challenge ahead and that, in many ways, they're on their own: regardless of the amount of support their franchisor provides, the franchisee is ultimately responsible for generating sales for his or her new business.
Since a franchisee must cultivate their territory for sales, it’s important to use every resource and strategy available. Whether you’re a start-up or an existing franchisee, these tips should help you grow your revenue.
Tips to grow sales for franchisees:
- Know your competition and their strengths and weaknesses. It’s very important to know what you're up against in your local market.
- Write a marketing plan, implement the marketing plan, and measure the results. The plan should include a list of specific objectives you want to accomplish. You don’t need a sophisticated document: an outline with clear action items, associated costs, and a realistic timeline will work fine.
- Get the franchise started as quickly as possible. Lay the groundwork for the franchise so that you get off to a quick launch. Pre-sell and distribute business cards and marketing literature before opening for business.
- Join local trade groups and business associations in your area. This is a way to publicize your business and find business owners you can network with. Volunteer to serve on a committee in one of these groups.
- Donate services or products to a local charity. Offer reduced or special pricing to charities or groups. Since a number of school systems are having problems funding programs, offer to provide something to them. If your donation is interesting or particularly helpful, you can often contact local media (whether traditional news outlets or bloggers) about covering the relationship.
- Get to know the media representatives in your area. Try to get an interview on local radio or in the newspaper. Use press announcements in your local newspapers. Most local newspapers are hungry for notable news items.
- If not already offered by your franchisor, try to develop a special rewards program or incentive for your existing customers to generate repeat business and bring in new customers. This may not work for every franchise, but if there is a way to use a program like this give it a try.
- Network with fellow franchisees in order to exchange ideas. Other franchisees in your system have probably experienced the same challenges and problems you have. Speak with them and establish a relationship. Some franchisees even schedule regular conference calls or breakfast meetings among themselves in order to exchange ideas.
- Utilize special promotions or pricing to attract customers. As a franchisee you have the ability to set your own prices, unless there are certain restrictions in your franchise agreement (which you should have investigated in detail as you went through the process of finding a franchise). Assuming you have the flexibility to do so, consider offering reduced pricing on certain items to attract more business.
- Utilize social media marketing and mobile websites to generate more customers. If you’re able to use Facebook and Twitter to promote your franchise, those are some great platforms from which to gain more customers.
When investing in a franchise opportunity, you effectively sign on to become a salesperson. By implementing these tips, you'll give yourself -- and your business -- a leg up in overcoming the challenge of generating sales.
Breaking Down an FDD
Once you've found a franchise (or multiple franchises) that you are interested, the real research and diligence process begins. You need to figure out whether the franchise you are looking at really makes sense for you from a financial and lifestyle perspective. Your best source of information for all of this is the Franchise Disclosure Document, or FDD.
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