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Can I advertise or promote my business outside of the marketing support the franchisor offers me?
Louise Harris writes:
Franchisors operate in different ways since they are offering different business models and are at different stages in their development.
Undoubtedly, the web is one of the primary resources for marketing, and typically this needs to be, and is, tightly controlled by the franchisor. Local opportunities should be explored and discussed and there should be clarity about expectations of you as a franchisee.
Your Franchise Operations Manual should guide you on what marketing you can and should do – and what you should refer to your franchisor. Collateral, style, brand guidelines, and routes to market should all be clearly articulated in the manual, along with expectations of monthly or annual spend on marketing. It’s an area that should be regularly updated as different channels are developed, and feedback from franchisee success with those channels is received.
Marketing is an area that is usually both fluid to react to opportunities, and controlled, because the brand is, and should be, protected. A franchisor will have tested the market for what works and produced a strategy for success. In a young business, this will typically be less structured than in an established business, which should be able to provide empirical data about the right channels for marketing.
It is a topic you should explore thoroughly with any prospective franchisor to make sure that you are comfortable with what will be expected of you.
Louise Harris has been in franchising since 2006 and has been both franchisee and franchisor. She runs Franchise Projects, completing critical tasks for franchised businesses.
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