Whether you hanker after a nice hot cup of coffee, like to unwind with a glass of wine or are always on the lookout for a new craft beer, there’s a company that will slake your thirst.
There are many different drink franchises out there, each with their own unique style, menu and vibe. For new franchisees, it can be hard to figure out where you fit in a big landscape. If you start a drink franchise, you will have a seemingly endless list of brands to choose from, so it’s important to pick a business that aligns with your interests. But no matter what industry you end up in, there are a number of things you can learn from successful drink franchises.
With many years of combined experience, chains like Dunkin Donuts have learned a thing or two about running their businesses. As a new franchisee, you could benefit from learning some of the processes and moves that bigger brands have gone through. Here are six things new franchisees can learn from successful drink franchises.
1. Identify your market and corner it
As a business, the most important thing you need to do is know your customer. If you’ve got this far and are researching which franchise to join, you probably already have an idea of who you’re targeting. Are you seeking out urban millennials? Perhaps retirees are your potential clientele. Before you get going with your franchise, it’s vital to know this. If you can’t identify your market, you risk spreading yourself too think and finding it difficult to sell to anyone. One drink franchise that has this locked down is Starbucks, which has really cornered its market — city-dwellers in need of a hot drink fix. As one of the biggest café chains in the world, Starbucks’ rapid expansion — which has seen it explode to more than 24,000 stores worldwide — is due in large part to this. Create a persona of your perfect customer — based on real people you know would want what you’re selling — and work backwards to identify how you can relate and appeal to them.
2. Play on your brand identity - it’s an advantage
Just as it is important to know your customer, as a business, it is important to know yourself. At the core of this is being aware of your franchise’s branding and identity. While the bulk of this will be handled by your franchisor, with your franchise fee contributing towards costs for marketing and promotion, it is a smart move for you to be cognizant of these things too. Coyote Ugly is one drink franchise that firmly knows what it is. With a successful movie behind it and a reputation for raucous nights and bar-dancing servers, Coyote Ugly Saloon has a firm sense of self. Once you identify your brand identity, you will be able to take your franchise to new heights. You’ll also be able to feed this into your social media strategy to help you reach new customers. What this will serve ties into point one — it’ll aid you in your efforts to laser target the people who will go on to become advocates of your brand and give you their service time and time again.
3. Be aware of your core product and use it to power your business
Now you know it’s important to know your customers and know yourself, knowing your product offering to the letter is the next step. All three of these concepts are connected and work together to help your business to succeed. Beleaf Juice Bar is a drink franchise that is well aware of its core product base and has built its entire business around it. This company offers fresh juice and smoothies, which it nods to within its name — Beleaf. The chain, which is looking to expand across the world, has a dedicated franchise training programme to ensure that all new franchisees are given the time and resources to become fully familiar with its brand values and product range.
4. Know when to offer your customers something new
Once you have your products or services and a steady stream of customers, it could be a good idea to start thinking about ways to expand your customer offering. Costa Coffee touts itself as the UK’s best-loved coffee chain, but it doesn’t sell just coffee. A wide range of food, from muffins and toasties to soups and paninis, feature on Costa’s menu, showing an expansion from its initial offer of coffee. It also offered something new to its customers by introducing a points-based loyalty system in 2010.
Starting with a card, and followed by an app in 2012, the café chain sought to reward its frequent customers with points that could be redeemed in store. While your franchisor will most likely be in charge of any promotions you can run, you can still think independently about what more you could offer your customers and clients. Speak to your franchisor to see what you can do to provide something new.
5. Choose your location carefully - your success could depend on it
In the words of estate agents and property developers the world over, the most important thing about choosing a property is location, location, location. When starting a franchise, identifying the perfect place for your new business is essential for your success. If you want to gain customers during the lunchtime rush in the week, it’s important to position yourself in a high footfall area. If your business caters to the elderly, you will want to be located in an area with a high geriatric population — not sat in a row of shops targeting fashion-conscious millennials. Among Starbucks’ thousands of locations are university campuses, where the brand is able to serve coffee to students and academics who are likely in need of a quick caffeine fix.
6. Remember that you don’t have to have one fixed location
For many people who decide to start a franchise, location independence is one of the biggest draws. If you run an online store, you can typically do so from anywhere in the world. The same goes for home-based franchise opportunities. Even drink franchises can be run in this way and can offer lessons in how to do so successfully. Really Awesome Coffee is a mobile franchise that sells gourmet coffee and other hot drinks. Because of its mobile structure, Really Awesome Coffee’s franchisees can meet its customers where they are. If your franchise model doesn’t already have a mobile structure, consider how you can adapt it to serve customers in their own areas.
Have you learned a thing or two from these successful drink franchises? Discover more franchise advice and tips at What Franchise today.