Finding the right franchisees is not just a numbers game, according to Suzie McCafferty, managing director of Platinum Wave
Franchising is a competitive market. Some sources will tell you there are over 1,000 franchise brands in the UK alone.
From looking at a lot of portal listings and company websites, you could be forgiven for assuming most of these brands are trying to attract the exact same person. Every click takes you to the same safe, generic sales messages.
In fact, if you took away the company logos, it would be hard to tell which company you’re reading about.
Quality not quantity
No wonder most advisers will tell you to expect lead-to-franchisee ratios of several hundred to one when some people are applying for nine out of every 10 franchises they’re reading about. If only there was a way to reverse your quality to quantity ratios.
Most of today’s content hungry franchisee prospects are just as interested in the culture and personality of your brand as they are in likely returns on investment. You need joined-up marketing that shows that in addition to being a sound financial investment, you’re an expert in your field, an innovator in your sector and a great team to work with.
You’re asking people to make a long-term commitment to you, so who you are and how you do what you do is incredibly important.
Also, your franchise won’t appeal to everyone, so don’t waste your time and budget trying to target everyone.
Similarly, not everyone will even be suitable for your franchise, so don’t waste your time and budget trying to get ‘everyone’ onto your lead database - finding the right franchisees is not just a numbers game.
At Platinum Wave, we define marketing as: ‘Engaging the right person with the right message at the right time’.
It sounds simple and most businesses think that’s what they’re already doing, but in reality it takes some specific skills. The public has moved on from being hooked by headline promises of overnight riches and early retirement.
Today your prospects are well informed individuals, who will put in an incredible amount of research before coming close to picking up the phone to you.
This means if you want to be a part of that decision making process, you need to be providing the right information, in the right format, exactly where and when they want it.
Tell them your story and be honest about what they can expect as a franchisee with your brand. At a basic level, that’s how you stand out - your story is your story and your company culture is unique.
In reality, unless you’re on top of your marketing, which means being the one who shapes the information that’s out there about your business and using technology to track its effectiveness, you’ll never know how many people might have been about to engage with you, but decided against it, perhaps based on inaccurate or out of date information.
Imagine letting the good ones go to your competitor and you haven’t even put up a fight?