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Without a successful franchise sales and development process in place, managed and staffed by dedicated, well-trained individuals, even the best systems can't expand their brand. So not to worry: you will find valuable sales and development-related content in each issue and online.

Feature Story:

Challenge The Pros: Using Social Media To Attract Prospects »

Franchise Update

How do you use social media to attract prospects and validate candidates?

Alex Samios
Director of Franchising
Dogtopia
Social media is a regular function of our franchise development team. We use it to generate leads, nurture existing prospects, and validate that the franchise candidate is right for our brand.
Today's prospective franchisees want a self-directed approach; they don't want to feel as if a franchisor is trying to sell them on the concept. With this in mind, you need to adopt a softer, more subtle social media strategy for franchise sales--especially when posting franchise development-focused messaging on your brand's consumer social media accounts.
At Dogtopia, we keep our corporate Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages separate from those of our franchise owners, who all have their own individual accounts that are updated regularly...

Feature Story:

Challenge The Pros: Choosing The Right Marketing Media »

Franchise Update

How do you choose the right marketing media to reach your ideal candidates, and how often should you communicate with them?

Mark Jameson
Executive Vice President, Franchise Support & Development
Fastsigns International
We believe in utilizing many different marketing channels to reach our candidates, and more importantly, in targeting those in the right markets and for the right category or model. Our brand relies on a strong public relations and digital marketing strategy to target and find the ideal candidates. With the help of a significant national TV buy, Fastsigns is lucky to have a strong brand presence that enables us to stay top of mind.
However, this is only a piece of how we communicate the franchise opportunity to candidates, so we must employ a variety of marketing strategies to attract the right candidates...

Feature Story:

Aiming For Aha!: Matching Your Brand To Candidates' Goals »

By Jim Bender

If you've been around the sales and marketing world for any number of years you know the concept of an "Aha!" moment. It is that point in time when the proverbial light bulb goes on, the moment when everything makes sense, the moment when someone finds what they need or, more importantly, what they want.
Aha! moments are key milestones when making monumental decisions such as buying a home, getting married, or investing in a franchise. In the franchise sales world, these moments have a special function. They confirm that we successfully matched the benefits of our brands to the dreams and goals of the candidates. As sales pros, it is up to us to create Aha! moments in the mind of our candidates. At the end of each conversation, ask your candidates to describe the Aha! moment they gleaned from the conversation...

Feature Story:

Franchise Development 2016: Your Online Presence Is A Critical Component »

By Keith Gerson & Tim Johnson

Marketing isn't what it used to be. Your once tightly controlled brand identity is a thing of the past. We live in an era dominated by social media, where literally everyone can share their opinion on what your franchise brand stands for. Supporters, detractors, activists... like them or loathe them, if you want to grow your franchise system you must know how this model works.
One of today's most critical keys to growing a franchise system is evolving into a brand that can honestly demonstrate the answer to the question: "Do they love you, or just know who you are?" The difference has proven to be critical in providing a franchise candidate with the confidence needed to move to close--as well as in improving metrics from historically lackluster closing effectiveness rates (typically about 1...

Feature Story:

Challenge The Pros: Keys To Building A Great Sales And Development Team »

Franchise Update

What are the keys to building, training, and retaining a great sales and development team at your brand?

Marcia Mead
Vice President of Franchise Development
PuroClean

The process of hiring, training, and retaining qualified individuals for sales and development is a necessary company practice that should not be taken lightly. Having a great sales and development team as the backbone of your business is critical to company success in both the immediate and distant future.
Hiring the most qualified people for your company can be challenging, but if you take the time to work diligently in the early stages of seeking out a potential employee, there is great long-term payoff. At PuroClean, we first identify which candidates can fit in with our company culture...

Feature Story:

Sub-Sectors Rising: New Concepts Provide Clues For 2016 »

By Darrell Johnson

Nearly seven years after the recession ended, the U.S. economy has become a slow-growth machine. In these years of sluggish growth, the franchise business model has found ways to expand. We examined franchising at the sector level to provide some clues and insights about what's in store for 2016 and beyond.
We are projecting that, on average, about one new concept will begin to franchise every day in 2016, continuing a streak of increases in annual new concept growth that began in 2011. If the number of new franchise concepts were a small fraction of all franchise concepts, this wouldn't be all that significant. However, we are adding new concepts at an annual rate of about 6 to 8 percent a year. That's impressive by any measure in this weak expansionary economy...

Feature Story:

Global Women: Female Leadership In International Franchising »

By William Edward

In the U.S. we are privileged to have many women senior franchise executives (some of whom are profiled in this issue--Editors). We also have the Leadership Conference at the annual IFA convention, which is put on by the very active IFA Women's Franchise Committee. And, of course, we have the Women's Franchise Network, which has meetings during the year across the country. But what about the rest of the world? There are many, many women leading franchise companies around the world. Here are just some of them.

Feature Story:

Listen Up!: Candidates Have A Lot To Say, If You Let Them »

By Jim Bender

In the life of a franchise sales professional, never a day should go by when we do not learn (or relearn) a selling skill. We are the tip of the spear when it comes to representing our brand to future franchise owners. We possess the sales skills to guide candidates from every conceivable background through a selection process that ultimately causes them to embrace risk and make a life-changing decision. And we are accountable to select only those candidates who will make positive and valuable contributions to the brand.
Wow! That is a lot of responsibility. However it is an accurate description of the contribution franchise sales professionals bring to their brand. It is also what brings us to the office day after day, year after year (or decade after decade)...

Feature Story:

Beyond Pizza: Cicis Redefines Its 30-year-old Brand »

By Darin Harris

For 30 years, Cicis has been delivering unlimited pizza, pasta, salad, and dessert to every guest who enters its restaurants. But over the course of three decades, customers evolved. They wanted something better, more innovation, more contemporary restaurant designs... something beyond where Cicis had been.
So, with the introduction of the company's new leadership team, the Cicis brand underwent a comprehensive review to pull itself out of the past and into the future. We started from the ground up to evolve every facet of the business, including product, price, place, promotion, and the meaning behind our name.

First, we listened
The first step to understanding where we needed to go was to listen in on what guests enjoyed about Cicis today...

Feature Story:

Challenge The Pros: The Importance Of Franchisee Validation As A Sales And Development Tool »

Franchise Update

Discuss the importance of franchisee validation and how you use it as a sales and development tool.

Michael Powers
Managing Director
Painting with a Twist
Unit franchise growth is the fuel that supplies life and sustainability to every franchisor's existence. Without significant annual unit growth, your brand and market share will eventually erode away while your growing competitors will gladly capture the excess and continue to grow their own brands. Simply put, you are either growing or dying. And in today's competitive franchise environment, the latter is not an option for any franchise organization.
Franchisee validation can heavily influence your development success, whether you're an emerging franchisor or a large established one...

Feature Story:

The Mystery Persists »

By Kerry Pipes

Our annual mystery shopping survey shows some improvement, with much room for more
Franchise recruiting is serious business. Incredibly, year after year, franchise brands continue to fumble the fundamentals. They are not executing the X's and O's. They are failing to meet prospects where they are (mobile devices anyone?), providing flat-out wrong information, responding too slowly to prospect inquiries, and worse, not getting back to them at all. These are just some of the key findings of Franchise Update Media's 2015 annual mystery shopping survey.
Every brand that registered by August 15 to attend this year's Franchise Leadership & Development Conference was mystery shopped by a "qualified, perfect candidate," said Gary Gardner, chair of Franchise Update Media, during his presentation of the survey results at the conference in mid-October...

Feature Story:

Getting It Right: Giving Franchisees The Information They Want »

By Darrell Johnson

"If it's on the Internet, it must be true." While we chuckle at that, franchisors also know the dark side of the Internet: that there is so much more misinformation than information out there. While it is easy to disregard misinformation for what it is, it is hard to do so when you are protecting the integrity and image of a brand. I'll describe what I see going on and, by way of example, show a way to take control of online information.
First, let's understand the problem in the context of current events. On the consumer level we use search tools to quickly determine who provides a local product or service. Then we take it further by checking any number of third-party sources for ratings on the quality of the product or service. Is it any wonder the same approach is rapidly being adopted by prospective franchisees, whether considering how much they can make, the likelihood of success with a given brand, franchisor performance relative to franchisees, or the ease of obtaining financing? After all, it's not just franchisees researching a brand; lenders are, too...

Feature Story:

2016 AFDR: How Are You Doing? »

By Eddy Goldberg

Benchmarking the good, the bad, and the best practices
Results from the 2016 Annual Franchise Development Report (AFDR) were unveiled in October at the 17th annual Franchise Leadership & Development Conference. The 2016 AFDR is based on responses from 134 franchisors representing 51,004 units (48,431 franchised and 2,573 company-owned).
Participants in the survey consisted of franchisors who pre-registered for the conference and completed an online questionnaire. Responses were aggregated and analyzed to produce a detailed look into the recruitment and development practices, budgets, and strategies of a wide cross-section of franchisors. The data, with accompanying commentary, provide the basis of the 2016 AFDR.
Highlights from the report were presented in a 90-minute general session...

Feature Story:

Study Shatters Selling Myths: The Truth About Top Sales Performers »

By Steve Olson

In my 30-plus years in franchising I have often wondered: What is the "DNA" of a franchise sales superstar? Is it a natural selling talent fueled by tremendous drive? Is it pure luck based on representing today's hottest franchise? Are service brands easier to sell than food brands (which must deal with the greater complexities of real estate, multiple employees, and back-room food prep)?
After much pondering, I enlisted Rebecca Monet, president and chief scientist of Zoracle Profiles, to help shed some light on my questions. We all know that making the right hire for your brand can catapult growth--and that poor to mediocre hires cost many thousands in lost time, marketing dollars, and royalties.
For our research project, 40 seasoned, successful sales professionals were invited to participate in an emotional and social intelligence assessment that has an 87 percent accuracy rating...

Feature Story:

Managing International Leads: There's More To It Than You Think »

By William Edwards, Michelle McClurg, William Gabbard, and Shanna Aldridge

It is the dream of many franchisors to take their concept into other countries. As in the U.S. and Canada, the lifeblood for expansion is generating leads from various sources, processing them, and signing a franchise agreement. And that is where the similarities between processing leads in the U.S. and abroad end.
As seen in the accompanying chart, getting an international lead from a broker, an Internet lead site, or your franchise website is only the start of a long and potentially expensive process and journey to signing a licensee agreement in another country, involving many, many steps. The authors of this article, with a combined 80-plus years of taking U.S. franchise brands global, aim to help you fully understand the difference between getting, processing, and signing U...

Feature Story:

STAR Awards: Honoring The Best In Franchise Recruitment »

By Helen Bond

When it comes to being a "STAR" franchise development player, the best keep winning--and they keep working to get better.
Franchise Update Media honored the top performers in franchise sales and development at its annual STAR Awards dinner, a highlight of the Franchise Leadership & Development Conference, held Oct. 14-16 in Atlanta.
The STAR Awards (Speaking To And Responding) recognize brands for overall development performance and in the key areas of franchisee recruitment, online sales follow-up, telephone responsiveness, website effectiveness, social media, and franchisee satisfaction.
"Franchise Update Media and the STAR awards are the only kind of awards in our particular part of the industry," says Pete Lindsey, vice president of franchising at Sport Clips, a 2015 STAR Award recipient...

Feature Story:

Global Tech: How Franchise Brands Are Using Technology Abroad »

By William Edwards

Technology has become essential to the operation of franchised businesses around the world. This incudes not only operating the actual business, but managing the franchisor-franchisee relationship across country and continent boundaries.
The use of technology around world is similar to that in the United States and Canada: franchise management, development, operations, training, social media, and marketing. POS systems that are web-based make keeping track of unit sales much easier and timelier no matter what country the franchisor expands into. To learn more about the use of technology in global franchising, we reached out to several franchise sector experts in key franchise countries, as well as several U.S. companies.

Chile
For the past 8 years, restaurants have used IT for better customer service and for administrative purposes...

Feature Story:

Challenge The Pros: Integrating Technologies For Overall Development Strategies »

Franchise Update

What are you doing to integrate technologies for both your overall development strategies and into how you create a profile of your best prospects?

Tim Courtney
Vice President, Franchise Development
CruiseOne
It's really incredible how much technology continues to evolve! There are so many tools available to assist franchisors with their development plans today, and at CruiseOne integrating technology is an essential part of our development strategy.
Invest in technological enhancements. Get creative with your development budget and ensure there is room for technological enhancements. We continually invest in our existing technology tools and new platforms. This allows us to continue creating innovative programs, giving us access to the latest and greatest franchise development tools...

Feature Story:

Measuring Outcomes: Strengthening The Franchise Business Model »

By Darrell Johnson

The franchise community, along with media, politicians, regulators, and others, are beginning to understand the importance of measuring outcomes in franchising as a basis for understanding a brand's performance.
Outcome measures have been led by lenders who assumed that a franchise system's credit risk could, in large part, be predicted by measuring specific outcomes. Terms such as continuity rates, historical unit success rates, and recurring revenue self-sufficiency are becoming commonly used. This focus is having a profound impact on how franchise brands are being evaluated. That's a good thing for the long-term strengthening of the franchise business model. After all, if we can't measure outcomes, how do we improve them?
Measuring outcomes is an essential first step...

Feature Story:

Sell Your Marketing Skills!: Candidates Buy Your Marketing Expertise »

By Jim Bender

Many of us have been in the franchise industry longer than... well, a long time. At Franchise System Builders we have had the fortunate experience to work with many companies and to become intimately involved with their franchise offering, franchise development processes, and resulting successful operations.
Currently, we are working with our clients to update their disclosures for 2015. Our review of several FDDs over the past weeks again brought to our attention a selling opportunity overlooked for years by franchise development teams. This opportunity runs through your website, collateral materials, phone conferences, discovery day meetings, and even the FDD. It is an opportunity to highlight a critical expertise of your brand and establish another point of differentiation...


Learn More

Consumer Marketing: From four walls to the world    

Franchise Update Magazine

Issue II, 2016

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