Motivating Franchisees to Succeed without Driving them into Failure.

NervousIf you have started a business before that has failed, you certainly know what the feeling is like. Your rent payment seems like it comes every week and your customer’s payments get smaller in amounts and longer to collect every month. When a business is at that teetering point and will either fall into oblivion or rise through it to success, it’s easy to lose your nerve as a business owner and maybe throw in the towel on your business venture entirely. Franchisees go through this learning curve when they are working in their franchise business during the first several months of operation. Many franchisees purchased a franchise due to the fact they had never operated a business before and they wanted coaching, support and guidance that can come through a franchise model, so this sense of anxiety may be at all time highs for many new franchisees during these initial months of business.

As a franchisor, sometimes this is easy to forget and hard to relate to when coaching and mentoring new franchises to success. In fact, many franchisors make very poor coaches simply for the fact that they are wired differently than a franchisee and don’t understand the idea of being unnerved by risk. Herein lies one of the most significant issues related to new franchise growth is the franchisor’s ability to coach new franchisees through this initial ramp up phase and get them to maturity. So as a new franchisor, where the initial franchises are critical to the long term success of the franchise system, what can you do to support franchisees being more successful while maintaining that relationship?

  1. Put yourself in their shoes. They have probably not started a business before and this early venture for them can become overwhelming quickly. If you were a new entrepreneur, you’d want someone to work with you, respect your position and speak with you out of respect and concern for your success. I have found that good franchisors look to their franchisees as they would customers and they make sure they are happy and have a good experience in as many ways as possible within the franchise network.
  2. Focus on what is important to the Franchisee. Don’t spend time talking through operational, strategic or high level topics with an early franchisee who is consumed with generating revenue to cover their expenses and survive in their new business. It would be like speaking with a drowning person and explaining to them that after several years of swimming lessons, they will be able to deal with this scenario without any difficulty. The swimmer doesn’t care, they feel like they need to be saved from going under. Work with early stage franchisees with a keen eye for prioritizing elements of your discussion to focus on their concerns first. If a franchisee is having trouble generating leads, focus your support on lead generation, ask whether your recommendations worked, assess and continue.
  3. Relationships matter. So much of the early stage franchisee’s reason for investing in your franchise model was because they believed in YOU as the founder or leader of the company. If it weren’t for you, they most likely would have invested in a larger brand. They saw qualities in you that they were attracted to and pushed them to invest in your franchise. I have seen times where a franchisor who is great in pursuing the franchisee and then not so great at maintaining the relationship after the sale which really puts off the franchisee with a sense of “now you don’t care about me?” Take the extra step, put in the extra effort and spend the time on the phone, in dinners, getting to know people’s families and lives so that you can show franchisees that you care about them and their success.
  4. Know the numbers. Understand when the business should begin to cash flow and how to reference your corporate numbers and experience. Know what the benchmarks should be for ROI for the business and be able to reference your experience accurately and with specifics. A Franchisee wants facts, details and analysis of where they are as a business and what can be done to help move the business forward. Using generalities or statements like, “You need to spend about a thousand dollars a month on marketing, that should be good for your market” doesn’t help the franchisee’s confidence in themselves or the system. Come to franchisees with a detailed plan that is validated based on your experience. A good way to instill confidence in your franchisees is to use accurate numbers and detailed recommendations.

For more information on how to franchise your business, contact Franchise Marketing Systems:

info@FranchiseMarketingSystems.com

Senior Care Franchise Market Segment

seniors-playing-cards-purchasedWe’ve all heard the continued praise for senior care and the market segment that seems to grow with no limit to it’s potential.  It makes sense after all with the explosive baby boomer population entering their late 60’s and 70’s who will all be needing some form of care in the next 10 years.  With longer lifespans, that means a customer for 10,20 or 30 years and an infrastructure that is racing to keep up with the coming demand.

What does the market look like today?

To put simply, the market is big and getting bigger.  Over $13 billion in annual revenues to be exact with a significant growth percentage in excess of 6% per year.  (http://www.ibisworld.com/industry/in-home-senior-care-franchises.html)  The Franchise industry, as it typically does, is a great litmus test for where an industry segment is headed and what is happening in that particular market category.  One not need look any further than the in-home senior care market segment to realize that there are a large number of businesses that have spawned out of this growing market segment:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/franchises/category/perssenior

The market shifted in the last ten years to a significant focus on in-home care versus care provided in a licensed facility.  This shift was caused by several factors, one that the typical customer who could still be at home, typically was choosing to stay at home and receive care that came to their house as opposed to going to a facility.  Another factor driving this transition was the low capital barrier required to open an in-home senior care business as opposed to a fully licensed senior care facility operated from a fixed location.  This lower cost of entry gave rise to hundreds and thousands of “mom and pop” in home senior care service providers across the country in addition to successful franchise networks.

Some favorites in the space:

www.CaringMattersHomeCare.com

www.VisitingAngels.com

In the past several years there has been a renewed growth in the market to fixed location care facilities which has been driven by several factors.  First, the labor market is tight, it is difficult to find good caregivers and fixed location facilities can typically get more from their staff than an in-home care business model.  Second, the senior home concept has changed drastically.  Large fixed location facilities now have lavish, high-end décor and amenities that would make the Ritz Carlton proud.  There also is a segment in senior care franchising that has come to rise with this return to fixed location facilities, a smaller, more cozy senior facility.  The Haven Franchise is a good example of this:

http://thehavenfchs.com/

Regardless of your choice, the senior market continues to be filled with opportunity and seems to be full of growth opportunities for the coming years.  Choose the model that makes the most sense for you and your financial scenario and make sure you are comfortable and driven to take care of people.

For more information on Senior Care Franchises, Contact Us:

www.FranchiseMarketingSystems.com

IFA Conference 2016

The IFA Conference 2016 – San Antonio, TX

San Antonio IFA, Christopher Conner, Franchise Marketing Systems, Franchise Exposition

The conference yet again attracted large crowds of enthusiastic franchise professionals and industry experts from around the world.  The convention was held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and attracted many of the world’s best in franchising.  Last year in Las Vegas, attendance numbered 3,880 and over 330 booths, this year in San Antonio was expected to be significantly larger.  Some of the shows premium sponsors included PepsiCo, Berlitz, Franconnect, Menchie’s, BDO and other industry advocates.

https://higherlogicdownload.s3.amazonaws.com/FRANCHISE/4ea56050-5ed6-4b77-8200-af13b46f4919/UploadedFiles/ConvFacts_2016.pdf

The conference kicked off with an amazing presentation by Stanley McChrystal, the Former U.S. General.  Stan McChrystal commenced the general session with a presentation focused on leadership, team development and our evolving business landscape.   Sheryl Connely with Ford Motor Company presented on business trends, the globalization of today’s business environment and overall consumer trends. 

Speakers: http://convention.franchise.org/scheduleprogram/keynotespeakers

The Conference offered a wide variety of mini-super sessions which were full of valuable content and great speakers.  One presenter which left a strong impression  was  Walter Bond who as a former NBA player, presented on Franchise Harmony:  Keys to Building A Strong System Positioned For Explosive Growth, his relating business and franchising to his sports career was entertaining and relevant.

FranPAC (Franchising’s Political Action Committee) was involved in the conference and their presence was felt throughout the meetings and convention hall.  All involved in the franchise industry are aware and interested in the ongoing joint employer negotiations taking place in Washington.  (http://www.franchise.org/franpac)

The franchise round tables were as always a hit and seem to provide some of the most immediate value for franchisors and franchise professionals in attendance.  Tables seat 10-12 people and are lead by panelists to keep the discussion open and productive.  Topics included sales, operations, strategy, training and other core elements of franchise management.  Franchise brands with hundreds of locations shared ideas from a mature brand’s perspective and newer franchisors discussed pertinent issues for start up brands.  All together, the feedback for roundtable sessions was again over the top.

 

 

 

Why do some franchise brands take off?

how to franchise

It is always incredible to see a new brand hit the market and in a short time period take over an area or industry segment.  It almost seems effortless for some franchise systems that get a foot hold in a market and establish themselves over night.  Why is it that some franchises catch hold so quickly and others just don’t get momentum?

First it seems to be driven by a competitive differentiator that others in an industry space just don’t have.  Creamistry, an ice cream brand, delivers ice cream products to customers with a proprietary liquid nitrogen system and creates an experience for the customer, Jimmy Johns used aggressive marketing and a hard push to millennials and younger generations to compete with the sub sandwich market and systems like Hampton Inn offered value and professionalism at a price point not seen in the hotel franchise segment while Restoration 1 utilized a unique marketing and sales model to generate business in the restoration franchise field.  All of these brands set a new norm for their market segment and created a competitive advantage for their franchise. 

These high growth franchise brands committed to marketing and branding.  They look, feel, smell and exude professionalism in all of their marketing and branding.  The website looks great, brochures are high quality and signage is sharp.  When you see a brand that is on fire, you recognize it immediately and with only a glance they create an impact on you.  Investment in branding and then in the franchise marketing plan take these businesses forward quickly in the franchise market.  

Great operating models are inherent in any systems ability to scale and grow into new markets.  Quick moving franchises have solid unit level economics and deliver a consistent customer experience in their locations.  The product looks, feels and tastes the same whether you are in San Antonio or Los Angeles.  Operators and employees are running the business to a solid set of operating protocols and are enthusiastic to be part of the brand.   Company culture is apparent in not only corporate stores but also throughout the franchises locations.  

All together, great franchise brands come from all industry segments and areas of the world.  It seems to take a leader with vision, the aptitude for growth and a willingness to sacrifice short term profit for long term gain.

Contact us if you’ve ever thought about franchising your business; Chris.conner@fmsfranchise.com

Franchise Marketing Systems Client Growth

growth image 1252016The Franchise Marketing Systems suite of brands has expanded to include some truly global franchise systems.  The excitement around the franchise industry and potential for growth in franchising has continued to drive more companies into the ever-expanding franchise industry.  With that energy around the business, Franchise Marketing Systems client’s have experienced record growth in 2015:

http://www.franchisemarketingsystems.com/blog/the-most-performing-franchises-of-2015-franchise-marketing-systems/

The franchise industry in 2016 should have another strong year despite oil driving the stock market down and the pending presidential election.

 

Chris Conner: Franchise Development

The art of franchise development is one that takes time and effort to define.  Good franchises are composed of strong systems, dedicated marketing models, great training platforms and good brands.  Most importantly they always include solid leadership who understand the value of scaling a business.

Christopher Conner has spent almost over 12 years in the franchise consulting field working with small businesses to expand and grow their concepts through franchising and has truly seen the good, bad and ugly in the franchise process.  What is it about franchising that brings out the worst in some business owners?  We read about the lawsuits, angry franchise owners, online rants about some conflict between franchisors and franchisees along with a myriad of other issues that seem to stem from the franchise expansion process.  The fact is that some business owners just aren’t made for franchising.

http://www.franchisemarketingsystems.com/our-team/christopher-james-conner-president-franchise-development/

In Mr. Conner’s experience and time with several hundred different business owners transitioning into the franchise model, there have been some evident truths to the process which have become apparent.

  1. Franchisors need to be patient….and some business owners just don’t have the time or ability to wait.
  2. Business owners who wish to franchise a business need to be long-term, value-oriented professionals.  The franchise business is all about seeing where the voyage is headed, not focused on the mile markers along the way.
  3. Franchising requires strong relationship skills, a good franchisor knows how to get people to like them and then keep that relationship past the sale.
  4. Great franchisors are always looking for ways to add value to the franchise relationship and will continue to invest in the long term vision for the overall business.
  5. Business owners who “Get It” understand that the profitability you make from one or two businesses doesn’t add up to much when compared with the potential for true scale through franchising.

Safari Run Franchise on Blog Talk Radio

Safari Run on Blog Talk!

Join us for a blog talk radio program on the Safari Run franchise. Christopher James Connor will be on the program with host, Paul Vann.

Safari Run is a unique, cutting edge business that is designed to provide children with a fun, intertaining place where they can learn about nutrition, fitness, and healthy life styles.

Click on the link below to log into our radio program!

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/paullawrencevann/2010/07/08/franchise-marketing-systems-christopher-conner-dis

Franchise Marketing Systems is Growing

With the Addition of James Conner to the FMS team, the consulting operation has added an experienced business person with over 30 years of experience in International business work. James Conner is based out of Chicago, IL and brings an MBA from Thunderbird School of Business in Arizona.