Franchising is currently experiencing a significant increase in interest, growth and profitability. Many of my franchisor clients have shared their positive trends, increased sales, and strong performance at the unit level. Generally, if your businesses survived the Covid factor and you are still operating, almost everyone I'm working with is seeing favorable outcomes.
With these positive trends and franchise forecasting in mind, I thought sharing three new tips for growing your franchise business would be helpful.
Number One: Take a Closer Look at Your Competitors
For the Franchisor: It is clear that just about any successful brand out there, in any category, has heavy competition. There is great value in looking closely at your competitors and being sure you can articulate the differentiation between them and you. If you're a franchisor, this means understanding how your brand compares to the others in your category. It can be informative to look at competitors' franchise disclosure documents (FDDs), which, in most cases, are easy to find online for free. Look at how your fee structure compares, how your store numbers compare and how the unit-level performance compares. This can be beneficial in identifying the differences of how and why your brand is better and comparative factors that would be important to the franchisee.
For the Franchisee: Look at your competitors in your local marketplace. Look at what they're doing and how they're doing it. Some areas to focus on would be: What are their staffing levels? What are their local marketing techniques? As a franchisee, search inside your brand for other operators in your system who are ahead of you. I recommend reaching out to those other successful franchisees and learning from one another. Contact headquarters and request information for other franchisees in similar size markets, stores at a similar age or franchisees with similar personal backgrounds. You can learn a lot from these other owners if you reach out and share ideas; you are in the same business, only in different markets.
Number Two: Articulate the Stories About Your Brand
For the Franchisor: As a franchisor, this is an excellent time to talk about your brand history, the team at headquarters, the systems and technologies you use, and the growth factor in recent months or years. Can you tell a good story about your company, the business, the people, and the culture? A strong and meaningful story about your brand will draw in more interest from customers and potential franchisees which can put you in a position to create real understanding and an emotional connection to your brand.
For the Franchisee: As a franchisee, can you tell the story about your local staff and your background and history since you opened the unit? Can you talk about the happy employees and customers or the community engagement you have created locally? Stories can make the difference. Be sure you can tell a good story about your business. People want to do business with people they know and trust. By developing and telling a good and meaningful story, you can help foster this within your business to drive continued growth.
Number Three: Assess Your Current Staff and Provide Them More Clarity
To achieve growth in your franchise, you need to have the right people, the staff and employees that are motivated and have a growth mindset. Regularly discussing their path in the company and providing resources for training will give you a better chance of attracting and retaining quality talent to help you achieve your business goals. The people in your business are your most essential asset, and they can make all the difference. Show them their future and how to get there.
For Franchisors and Franchisees
When was the last time you objectively reviewed everyone on your team and ensured they were the right people in the right places? Would you hire them again for the job they have today? If that's not the case, it's time to discuss changes that likely need to happen. Also, it's been my experience that people respond when they have clarity and enthusiasm for a career path and growth options for their future. Talk to them about where they are and where they might go next in the brand. This goes for the franchisor headquarters staff and the franchisee operating unit-level team. Talk to your people and ensure they understand your business's vision and how they play a part in that future. Offer them personal development strategies, and send them to workshops, seminars, and training courses. What do they need to be able to do a better job or have more fun with the job they already have?
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They may need some courses provided by other outside resources. Don't be afraid to offer more training, retrain experienced staff and cross-train; training truly never ends, and you can continuously improve upon existing systems and relationships by doing so often. Open up these conversations and your people so they can develop themselves, experience greater performance in their role and help you further grow your brand.
By integrating these tips into your business practices, you can continue to foster growth in your brand and franchise units. If you are looking for more guidance on achieving success in your franchise, I'd love to offer my support and advice. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation, and let's talk!
John Francis of Johnny Franchise is an enthusiastic, engaging, and entertaining public speaker, advisor and franchise coach; he speaks from experience and the heart. He is the creator of the successful Franchise Lifecycle Program that will take your franchise to the next level. Franchising is in his blood, and his parents were true pioneers in the industry, turning their family haircutting business into a 1,000-salon franchise empire. He has been a franchisee and a franchisor and has a deep understanding of the issues both face. Connect with John, and you and your franchisees will learn how to look at your business in new, positive, and profitable ways.