6 Tips To Grow Your Brand
You've put in the sweat equity to turn your great idea into a successful franchise. You're ready to see it take off and grow, ready to take on the world and become a leader in your market. That's the kind of drive I love to see. It's the personality trait that lets me know you're a true entrepreneur.
But pump the brakes a second and do some thinking. Before you push growth, have you laid the groundwork that will make it sustainable? You want to grow, but too much rapid growth too soon can set your franchise up for failure. You've got to make sure your planned growth is scalable and that your franchise infrastructure can handle it. Growth must benefit your franchise owners, too -- not just you.
If you want to see quality growth for your franchise brand, turn that entrepreneurial energy toward building a strong foundation -- before you push to grow too many new locations too fast. These tips can help you get solid before you get growing.
- Build a great system
Part of the value of buying a franchise is the proven system that comes with it. The best franchise brands offer business owners a recipe for success and help them every step of the way. Before pushing for massive growth, get your franchise system as close to perfection as you can. The model must be sustainable for both the corporate office and the franchise owners.
- Make it a win-win
Franchising must be a win-win for everyone, or it won't work. It's that simple. Areas of growth must be profitable, not just for the franchisor, but also for the franchise business owners. Anything you add must be at least as profitable and desired as your current products or services. I've seen too many companies add products or services that are not profitable for the franchise owners. Make sure your plan for scalable growth includes models that increase the bottom line for them.
- Hire the right staff
Your corporate team sets the tone for your franchise brand as much as you do. You need the right employees in the right positions, and they need to be a good cultural fit. Their ideals and values need to match yours and those of your brand. Ability is important, but the right employees need to have buy-in and be excited about what they do every day. A great culture in your corporate team will help build enthusiasm and buy-in from your franchise business owners too.
- Build excitement
To get the right people opening franchises and cheerleading your brand, you need to know what you're actually selling and why. You need to realize that with franchising you're not just selling a business. You're selling a lifestyle that your business owners will enjoy as much as they will enjoy the income that business will generate. Be authentic about who you are, and the right people will be drawn to you. They'll have a better chance at being successful because they will be happy to be part of your family.
- Find the right franchisees
Your success depends on your local franchise business owners. They are the face of your company, and their success or failure will make or break your plans for growth. It's vital that you find the right people to buy franchises. Their values and goals must align with yours. They need to be engaged, dedicated to following the system and growing. The key is getting them motivated and energized. I've found that the business owners who are the least interested in profitability are the ones who cost the most in terms of time and effort. Make it a priority to find, train, and motivate the right people.
- Take it slow
Franchising is not one-size-fits-all. Some models work with pop-up shops in every mall. But if you're looking for lasting, long-term growth that outlives fads, slow and steady is the way to go. I don't think it's possible to grow too much, but I do think it's possible to grow too fast. It's a balancing act. You want to be fast enough to get ahead of the crowd but not so fast that you aren't able to support that growth. Do the heavy lifting on the front end, making sure you have good facilities, good support staff, a great system, and excellent business partners that generate high revenue.
A considered approach may take more time on the front end. It may conflict with your get-it-done entrepreneurial spirit. Taking the time to plan for scalable growth will help your brand grow beyond your expectations, creating rewarding careers and profit for you, your franchise business owners, and your headquarters office staff. It's that perfect win-win scenario, and a scalable growth plan can make it happen.
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