A while back we examined two of our own franchisor clients, both relative newcomers, in the context of determining how they went about generating sales once we had registered their offerings. The piece, entitled “How to Develop a Franchise System, Part 2,” unwittingly raised what can be a significant issue in franchisor representation by franchise attorneys and consultants. Many franchise lawyers and consultants take the client to the starting gate by developing the business plan, creating the franchise disclosure document and registering the document where needed, but then leave the franchisor to determine for itself how to actually sell franchises. However, this may be where sensible guidance is needed the most. Obviously, actually selling franchises becomes the most important part of the equation and even the most brilliant business model will remain undiscovered without effective sales tactics.
Our colleagues at FranchiseKnowHow.com have recently published a piece on developing and increasing franchise sales. They present five initial steps to develop franchise sales: (i) learn from your competitors; (ii) learn from your franchisees; (iii) review your current franchise program; (iv) develop promotions and marketing; and (v) testing and measuring programs, all of which form a bedrock of tactics for any franchisor to continue to refer back to again and again as its system develops. The franchisors who had been the subject of our earlier piece also pointed to the need to (i) constantly refine training practices; and (ii) always make the principals available to the franchisees, as concepts that support the positive word of mouth from existing franchisees that is so essential to ongoing sales. FranchiseKnowHow has previously offered a piece on how to jump start sales for a franchise start-up, which is relevant to this discussion and worth a look.
These topics have to be a part of the discussion with the prospective franchisor from the first meeting and throughout the development process. And these topics must be continually revisited and refined if the franchisor is going to continue to enjoy sales success. Even the most established franchisor cannot afford to assume that sales growth is a given. Going back to the beginning with some of these concepts is a way to insure that the model stays fresh.