My Podner in this episode is Jackie Hoegger and she’s going to talk with us today about how to market to prospective franchisees. This conversation spans topics such as website design, digital marketing, even down to how you treat your existing franchisees. This is our first episode on the topic of marketing and we came out of the chute with a GREAT one.
Jackie Hoegger Intro
Get to know Ms. Jackie
Topic Segment: Marketing to Prospective Franchisees
Topic Segment: Quick Draw Questions
TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE:
Brand on Fire (00:21:49) – Elevate your brand as the key authority in the franchise world – Go beyond simple brand awareness and stand out….provide MORE value than your competitors.
Know your “story”
Know your passion and learn to convey your passion to the prospective franchisee
This is a marathon, not a sprint
Hone in on your God given skills
What is it that makes your concept special
Most franchisors will need help developing this point
Social All The Way (00:29:12) – Tell your story as a Franchisor on social media – your new franchisees are watching. Get them to trust you as a leader before they ever make the call or the link online to talk.
Social media is the best ROI on delivering your message
Know the target profile of the perfect franchisee, then dial in your social media advertising
Social media not only allows people to see you from the outside, it also allows people to be able to trust you
The Power of the Existing Franchisees (00:32:16) – Let them sing your praises! Let them garner the attention of YOU!
Your franchisees are your #1 asset. Nobody can credibly sing your praises better than your current franchisees
Prospective franchisees are most interested in what your existing franchisees say about you, and the WILL ask.
Coach your prospective franchisees before they make the validation calls so that they know how and when to ask follow up questions. If they talk to an existing franchisee who does not sing your praises, then teach them how to ask questions such as “How much do you spend on marketing?”
Marketing isn’t just advertising, it is much more. It also includes soft skills such as how you treat your franchisees. Existing franchisees are a DIRECT arm of your marketing
Communication is king
Web oh Web (00:37:02) – Your website needs to simply rock – It’s the front door to your business and future franchisees will go there FIRST! Make it EASY PEASY to find out how to gee a Franchisee.
Spend money on your website – it IS marketing
Spend money on a good CRM software that will allow you to grab a lead and not lose it
Calculate the value of a prospective franchisee over the life of the contract to help you stay motivated NOT to lose a lead
It may take several touches with a prospect before they decide to move to the next step. Use the CRM to maintain communication with a prospect.
Keep is Simple in a Complicated Process (00:46:00) – Give them a simple process from the first bite. As you discover if they can fit into your culture ad family – make them feel welcomed! Of course – Discovery Day is your wow factor!
They should look back and thing, “This was the easiest thing I’ve ever done.”
Make it fun, energetic, and educational
Assign the prospect to one person and that person “owns” them. This makes the prospect feel special and prevents them from falling between the cracks
Eyeballs and Attention (00:49:04) – Optimize your Appeal and let them see the way you treat your current franchisees as true partners…..support programs – rapport with each other – and mostly – the dream to have multiple units.
Treat franchisees as true partners
Franchisees are watching EVERYTHING you do, as if you were on a first date
They pick up on kindness, humility, and compassion, and this is the best marketing you can do
The power of corporate culture is under-appreciated
You can do all the marketing you want, but at the end of the day, if your guest experience isn’t there, you are fighting a losing battle.
Hire an Agency (00:55:21) – They can develop a 3 pillar strategy to drive conversions to your website which leads the first touch.
Do what you do well, and hire done what you cannot do
It’s OK if marketing is not your “gig”, but if it isn’t, you should hire it out.
Have a marketing budget before you begin. Your marketing “war chest” should have $50K+. However, every marketing campaign is different.
My Podner in this episode is me, Kit Vinson (finally!), and I’m going to talk to you about what franchisors should know about their franchise operating manual. The guest host for this episode is Mr. Jack Monson from Social Geek Radio.
Kit Vinson Intro
Get to know Kit Vinson
Topic Segment ?The franchise operating manual
TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE:
What?s Included in a franchise operating manual?
Every manual is customized to the industry of the company, but there are elements of a franchise operating manual that are common to all manuals.
Human Resource chapter
Daily Operating Procedures chapters
What is the process for producing a franchise operating manual?
Creation of the custom outline for the manual
Legacy documentation review
Identification of the content experts
Information gathering phase
Make the manual creation process fun so that you can start the flow of your team?s creativity juices.
How often does the typical franchise manual need updating?
Manual updates should be completed on a regular basis. Younger franchise systems will need to update their operating manual more frequently because their systems seem to evolve at a much faster pace than that of a mature franchise system.
If you do not keep your franchise operating manual updated regularly, you increase the probability of you having to explain to a judge why your manual isn?t up-to-date.
How are franchise operating manuals typically distributed to the franchisees?
Hard copy (paper)
Web based platform (Wiki-style)
Hard copy manuals have extreme limitations. They are not secure. They are only a snapshot of your system on that day. Media limitations.
PDF manuals are searchable, but they are not secure. They are also a snapshot of your company?s system on that day.? They are relatively easily to update but you run the risk of having multiple versions of your manual floating around your system.
Web based, online operating manuals are secure, they are extremely easy to update, you can track your franchisees activity in the manual, and you can include multimedia content such as videos.
What are the functions of a franchise operations manual?
First, the Franchise Operations Manual is the authority document of the franchise System Standards. The System Standards are the standard procedures that a franchisor requires of all franchisees in order to duplicate the customer experience in every location. The customer experience is the driving force behind profitability. If you can duplicate a favorable customer experience, then you may have a business that you can franchise. If you have a well prepared Franchise Agreement, it will refer to the Franchise Operations Manual as the System Standard. This way, as your system grows and your System Standards change, you only have to update the manual instead of updating the Franchise Agreement.
Second, the Franchise Operations Manual is the most effective tool for protecting your Brand. A company?s Brand is one of its most valuable assets. The Brand is also the asset that is at most risk when a company decides to franchise. When you franchise a concept, you are putting your Brand in the hands of other people, all of whom likely have different ideas about the best direction for the company. A properly prepared Franchise Operations Manual, with well-defined and organized System Standards, will be one of the few tools you have to manage the Brand and control the franchisees when they try to act on their vision for what is best for your Brand.
Third, the Franchise Operations Manual will likely be the principal tool for training new franchisees. It is the ?Your Company for Dummies? book. You have to assume that most of your franchisees will not have experience in your industry. They may not have any business experience at all. It is very common for a retired schoolteacher or a retired military person to invest in a franchise. This is not to suggest that schoolteachers or military personnel don?t have any business savvy, it is only to say that they were not formally trained in business and have not practiced it during their career. Your manual needs to be a document that not only trains them on your system of providing a favorable customer experience, but also one that brings them up to speed on how to manage a business.
Fourth, a well prepared documentation of the procedures that has helped make your company a success will help you sell your concept to potential franchisees. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential franchisee. If you received a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) that showed you that the company had a 50 page document describing all of its operating procedures, you might be a little concerned.
You will also take your Franchise Operations Manual with you when you meet with potential franchisees for the first time. In that meeting, you will attempt to sell the concept to the prospect. Like all good sales people, you will likely have a few sales tools to assist you. You will probably present a PowerPoint presentation of the concept, you will review the company?s performance in the FDD, and you will present the Franchise Operations Manual as your proof that you have a well documents system for success.
Fifth, you don?t get very many opportunities to convey your corporate culture to your franchisees. Initial training lasts a week or so. Annual conferences last a few days per year. Ultimately, it is the franchise operating manual that will have the most contact with your franchisees, so what better place to show them who you are.