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Franchising is an excellent way for business owners to expand quickly and efficiently. Franchise owners can grow their business faster and at a lower cost than opening individual locations—but this means you need a franchise strategy.
According to Statista, franchise expansion in the USA is estimated to account for over $827B in economic value. However, making a franchise strategy profitable is not easy—from selecting the right business model to developing an effective marketing plan—preparation and planning will be key.
Franchise Strategy: Why Owners Choose to Expand Their Franchise
The primary reason for franchising is to scale up a successful business. For example, as the number of franchise locations grows, the business not only gains a larger customer base and increases sales, but a franchisor may also be able to negotiate better deals with suppliers.
As a result, franchise expansion can help owners gain a competitive advantage. They can also accelerate their franchise growth strategy by pooling insights and resources from their franchisees.
Is Your Business Right for a Franchise Growth Strategy?
When business is thriving and you’re considering expansion, franchise strategies may seem attractive. But not all businesses and business owners will be a good fit for this. While there are many factors to consider, here are a few questions to reflect on:
- Does your business have a proven track record of success, with a unique product or service that can be easily replicated across multiple locations?
- Is there sufficient market demand in the target audience for your products or services?
- Do you have the financial resources to support franchisees and provide ongoing training and support? If not, have you done some research on where you can get additional financing?
- Do you have established systems and processes in place for operations, marketing, and training that can be easily transferred to franchisees?
If you said “yes” to these questions, a franchise business strategy may be a good option for you.
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How to Make Your Franchise Strategy Profitable
The first critical step to building a profitable franchisor strategy is to choose the right model. There are several types of franchise models, each with its benefits and drawbacks. It’s essential to choose the one that aligns with your goals, budget, and expertise. Let’s take a look at the two most common models.
- Product distribution model: In this model, the franchisee purchases and sells products from the franchisor.
The franchisor provides the products, which are typically manufactured by them, and the franchisee is responsible for selling them to customers within their designated territory. This type of franchise model can be found in industries such as food and beverage, retail, and consumer goods.
- Business format model: In this type of franchising, a franchisee not only uses the franchisor’s trademark and products/services, but also receives a complete business system and ongoing support from the franchisor.
The franchisor provides the franchisee with a blueprint for franchise development strategies, including how to operate the business, site selection and training, marketing and operations manuals.
The franchisee replicates the franchisor’s successful business model in their own territory. This type of franchise model can be found in industries such as fast food or hospitality.
Key Components of Your Franchise Strategy
Once you decide on your model, there are a few key components to make sure the expansion of your franchise is successful.
- Develop a strong franchise development strategy: In your plan, outline your short and long-term objectives and vision. This will help keep you on track as you make future decisions about your franchise growth strategies.
- Next, identify potential risks, challenges, and costs that may arise.
For example, will there be additional legal fees, marketing materials or training costs that you didn’t have before? How much of your time will it take to manage the franchisees?
You may want to consider mapping out a franchise exit strategy for franchisees that decide not to continue their business as well.
- Another important step that can help make your franchise strategy profitable is to define the processes for running day-to-day operations, your franchise pricing strategy, recruiting and training for new franchisees, marketing campaigns, and technology systems.
Your franchisees will be one of your greatest assets. Make sure you’re equipping them with the right tools and technology to be successful.
- Finally, don’t forget to compile all the necessary legal, business and financial documents. Some states have different requirements for registering a franchise so be sure to do your research before proceeding.
Though franchise strategy development can take some time, it’ll help you build the foundation for success in the long run.
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Tips for Franchise Marketing Strategies
Gaining momentum on the expansion of a franchise can be difficult. Depending on the industry, business model and growth goals, business owners might require different franchise business marketing strategies and tactics. Nevertheless, here are some tips that can help you get started.
- Create a strong brand identity. Your brand is what sets you apart from the competition and attracts customers. Make sure you have clear messaging that resonates with your target audience. As the number of franchisees increase, it can be helpful to create brand guidelines and marketing materials to maintain consistency as the business grows.
- Form a sound marketing plan. How will you get your messaging out to the world and drive sales? Your marketing plan should include a clear value proposition, target audience, messaging and tactics. You should also set benchmarks and measure the success of your marketing efforts to make sure they are helping you reach your goals.
You may be wondering what the marketing strategy of a franchisor looks like or where you should start.
As many customers do their research and shopping online, you may consider starting with digital marketing. If your audience spans wider geographical areas, or if you’re pursuing a franchisor global strategy, this may be a good route. A franchise digital marketing strategy can include tactics like:
- Digital marketing
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
On the other hand, if you’ve seen success running regional promotions, local marketing or events may be a more suitable option. More likely than not, your franchise marketing strategy will probably include a combination of these tactics.
The strategies you employ may also need to shift depending on the stage of your business. When you’re just starting out, it may be beneficial to focus on building awareness of your brand. As you grow your franchise, lead generation strategies may help convert more visitors into customers.
Remember, marketing is not a one-time activity; it is an ongoing process that requires consistent effort and attention. You should regularly review your marketing plan, measure your results, and make adjustments as needed.
Additionally, you should always be on the lookout for new marketing channels and trends that can help you reach new customers and differentiate your business from competitors.
Expand Your Franchise into the Future
Franchise expansion strategies can seem overwhelming. Take the time to create a solid plan so you can move forward confidently. As you embark on this process, you’ll continue to learn what works well and what doesn’t.
The most successful franchises are always looking for ways to improve their systems and processes. Regularly evaluate your performance metrics, get feedback from your franchisees and make adjustments as you go.
Fuel Your Franchise Expansion Strategy With Right-Size Financing.
Building a successful franchise business can take a lot of upfront investment. Don’t let a lack of capital stifle your growth.
Credibly offers everything from a line of credit to short and long term loans.
Talk to a financing expert and find out which options are right for you.
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