Finding a franchise that’s perfect for you is one obstacle, but making sure you take proper steps to ensure its success is entirely another. Careful research and dedication are key. Starting any business is a challenge, but the structure afforded by franchises can help guide you in ways a traditional startup or small business venture could not. If you’re lacking ideas, this article will help you find appropriate inspiration and build a stronger foundation. When you’re able to combine your franchise plan with unique strategies of your own, you’ll increase your chances of turning a major profit. Here are five tips for running a successful franchise:
1) Host Events
Hosting events for your venture will help you spread the word about your franchise business and meet new people. The key here is to think outside the box when it comes to event planning. You’ll need an event that’s relevant to your business without letting the event feel like carbon pop-up of your franchise establishment. You’ll also need to make sure that your event doesn’t deviate from any of the rules set out within your franchise’s rulebook.
Coming up with the right ideas may be difficult, but it’s worth the researching. For example, let’s say you’re an Ace Hardware franchisee. You might want to host a local woodworking workshop and teach guests basic woodworking projects using supplies you can find at your hardware store. At the end of the class, you could out coupons for future purchases or collect emails for marketing purposes.
2) Talk to Other Franchise Owners
You’d be surprised at how much other franchise owners are willing to help you out — especially if your business doesn’t directly compete with theirs. For example, if you were looking into Checkers and Rallys franchising, you might reach out to other Checkers and Rallys locations in the same state, or cities similar to yours. You can easily find the name of current franchisees, and should make a list of those you plan to reach out to. Arrange a phone call or in-person chat, and come armed with a slew of questions for them. Here are a few questions you might want to ask:
- Did you learn anything about starting the franchise that you didn’t learn from your research?
- Is the franchise supportive and helpful?
- What challenges have you experienced?
- Has it been difficult to turn a profit?
- What efforts have you made that proved futile, if any?
- What do you most enjoy about owning this franchise?
3) Plan A Grand Opening
A franchise grand opening can help you get your business running up and quickly, and give you much needed exposure as you get off the ground. This will also help you generate quick sales and establish your customer base early.
During your event, offer coupons and free samples. It may also be in your best interest to involve the community, as this could help boost your event. For example, consider starting a fundraiser that’s relevant to your business. Or, work with other local business for a larger community event; this way, everyone can throw cash into the marketing budget and collectively work to publicize the event.
Lastly, don’t ignore direct mail when it comes to events. It can be highly effective for this purpose, and is ideal for reaching a target market when you don’t have email addresses or other personal data. However, your direct mail should be well designed and offer value to the potential customer. In addition to providing event details, you might throw in coupons to entice them to attend.
4) Set Your Own Goals
The franchise model is built to help you launch a successful franchise operation. All the rules are in place for execution, and these procedures have been tried and tested. However, in addition to playing by the rule book, it’s important that you have your own, independent methods and goals to help increase your chances of success. Creating goals for yourself and developing ways to achieve them holds you accountable to your numbers.
5) Always Be Marketing
The most successful franchises have a knack for marketing their businesses. The age-old adage of “if you build it, they will come” doesn’t apply so much in the business world anymore. In today’s competitive market, you have to go out and find your target market, and draw them in. You can achieve this through advertising, promotions, public relations, SEO, and other avenues. Facebook’s finely tuned ad model is a great place to start. You can set your own budget, and hone in on local customers who share interests relevant to your business.