How to Franchise – Finding the Path of Least Resistance
How to Franchise Your Business
Building a better business plan for successful growth. Have you ever watched water go over ground for the first time and carve a path? Water is the master of finding the path of least resistance dodging rocks, going around obstacles and navigating quickly to the openings, water is the ultimate pathfinder when given momentum. Franchise development has many obstacles that could prevent a brand from being able to grow and expand effectively, most of which are not easy to know they are coming until you’ve run right into them. Good franchise development models start with a great strategic plan. Unlike water, a new franchise brand needs to know how to navigate the expansion process and avoid running into pitfalls. Like water, a franchise model allows a business to be flexible, make adjustments and quickly adapt to market opportunities that arise.
The strategic plan should account for relevant market information we have available through the franchise industry portals and databases. Franchise Marketing Systems is a full service franchise development firm which provides this planning, documentation and market strategy work for new brands entering the franchise market place. Chris Conner, the company’s President has spent the past fifteen years developing these plans and coordinating franchise systems new market approach. “The first thing we look for in a new franchise strategic model is to identify competing franchise systems and understand what they’ve done well, where they missed opportunities and how to position the new franchise model in order to best take advantage of market opportunities. One of the benefits to franchising is that both the franchise buyer and the company entering the franchise market have access to information which will help them better plan for new business endeavors.” In addition to the FDD itself, marketing material and background on how many franchises have opened or sold are available. Mr. Conner added, “The FDD is full of information and background on any given franchisor and with access to these documents through state agencies such as the California Department of Business Oversight, anyone can download the documents. Franchise Marketing Systems will generally access ten or fifteen versions of FDD’s from competing franchise systems in order to develop a solid franchise go to market strategy.”
As the strategic plan is developed, good operating systems and infrastructure need to be put into place. This is where the technology, operations manuals and training documentation come into play and make a significant impact on the franchisor’s ability to replicate the business model. Although training models and documents are not as readily available, there are many consultants who provide these services to franchisors and can help with the development of good operating systems. The simpler, easier and more understandable the franchise documentation is, the easier the model will be to scale and grow without the pitfalls of teaching new business owners a system that hasn’t been documented well.
Have good marketing models in place so best to attract and recruit franchisees. Clear, concise and consistent messaging to prospective buyers is critical in order to effectively convey your value proposition. Many times, the path of least resistance is marketing to existing customers, friends, colleagues and associates. The large majority of first franchises sold include people who know the brand and product before the franchise model is offered to them. This starts with talking about the opportunity and helping people know what significant value you have to offer them with the exciting franchise opportunity. Respect your conversations and what might seem like just general discussions about the business as these leads tend to have an extremely high closing rate. Try to keep the initial franchises you sell close to home in order to minimize travel and be involved in the first franchisee’s businesses as much as possible.