2020 AFDR: How Do You Measure Up? (part 1)
Results from the 2020 Annual Franchise Development Report (AFDR) were unveiled in late October at the 21st annual Franchise Leadership & Development Conference (FLDC). The 2020 AFDR is based on responses from 122 franchisors representing 30,119 units.
Participants consisted of franchisors that completed an in-depth online questionnaire. Responses were aggregated and analyzed to produce a broad picture of the recruitment and development practices, budgets, and strategies of a wide cross-section of franchisors. The data and accompanying commentary and analysis provided the basis of the 2020 AFDR.
Highlights from the report were presented at the conference by Franchise Update Media's CEO Therese Thilgen and Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer Diane Phibbs. This is part 1 of 6 on some of the report's major findings.
Ordering information can be found here. (Conference attendees received a complimentary copy.)
The View from 30,000 Feet
The way franchise prospects research franchise opportunities is changing. With so much information about a brand available online today, prospects conduct most of their due diligence long before they pick up the phone and engage with a brand, noted Phibbs. And, she said, that initial research is not only about the brand itself.
"When prospects look at a franchise opportunity, they also look at how a brand engages with its customers. They look at marketing programs, social media, PR, and visit or shop your brand themselves," she said. In addition, she added, they often talk with franchisees well in advance of contacting a brand.
Key high-level findings revealed in the AFDR this year include the following:
- With so much initial research taking place on the Internet, it's critical to position your franchise opportunity in the best possible light online. This matters more than ever. Your website must engage prospects and provide important details to invite them to take the next step.
- Franchise development is a team sport. How each department interacts with franchisees and end customers can be a huge differentiator. It's franchise development's responsibility to get the executive team and their peers educated and invested in development.
- Business conditions at the unit level are critical to franchise development. If your units/locations aren't doing well, your ability to grow will be affected. There aren't enough leads in the world to overcome unhappy franchisees and negative sales and profits.
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