Lesser-Known Franchising Tips
Before diving in to any of the over 3,500 franchise opportunities out there, it’s essential that you do your research. Therefore, speaking to numerous franchisees and visiting* their HQ can be helpful when making this important decision. Here are a few lesser-known franchising tips: 1.) Conduct research. This should not be treated like a DIY project.
1) Be selective
Even when a franchise seems like the next big thing–Subway the miracle weight loss solution and OrangeTheory Fitness the workout answer–be wary. Trends come and go quickly, so make sure that whatever franchise you purchase will still be around in years’ time (at least if you plan on operating it). Franchise agreements typically cover multiple decades; thus it is wise to approach this commitment from both head and heart simultaneously.
Why does this matter?
2) Talk to as many franchisees as you can
Franchisees are an invaluable source of information about their company and a great way to gauge how the system operates in practice. Seeking advice from those who have invested their money can help you decide whether or not you take on the risk of becoming one yourself and determine whether their success or failure was more dependent on personal qualities than actual company culture.
Most franchisors provide their franchisees with names and phone numbers in the FDD. Reach out to as many current franchisees as possible and discuss their experiences working for the brand, its advantages and disadvantages, any problems they encountered along the way, as well as whether or not they would recommend this franchise to a friend or family member.
If you don’t currently own a franchisee to consult, try visiting online message boards or social media groups dedicated to this brand and seeing what others are saying about their experiences with it. Furthermore, request that the franchisor provides names and phone numbers of former franchisees who have sold their businesses.
When franchisees are ready to sell their business, they often approach fellow franchisees and offer them an incentive if anyone introduces someone interested in buying it. This approach provides both potential buyers as well as networking opportunities.
3) Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals
Referrals from existing customers can be an extremely effective way to expand your franchise. But, in order to take full advantage of this strategy, it is crucial that you ask them. Otherwise, you could leave significant revenue untapped. Here are some strategies to help make the ask easier.
When seeking referrals, it is essential to remember that it is never about you; rather it should always focus on making the other person feel important and cared for – as well as your client. When someone refers you, they do so because they believe that your service would benefit their needs or desire. It should always make them feel appreciated – making their life better as well as making sure your clients thrives.
Request referrals over the phone, via email, or in person as appropriate. Be sure to thank them afterwards and hand out a referral card – seeing physical cards will make them remember your kind gesture more vividly than sending an email or text message will.
Another effective strategy to generate referrals is keeping an eye out for people who have recently experienced life changes and may be looking for opportunities to expand their businesses. Be sure to inform these people of your availability in helping them meet their goals, or connecting them with someone in your network who can assist.
If your client and you enjoy an excellent relationship, they may gladly introduce you to their friends and colleagues. But if it remains passive or subpar, they may not provide any meaningful introductions for you.