Get more value from your franchise

Tech4T is often asked on how best to get more value from a franchise business. Graham Barlow, Managing Director, provides seven steps to help achieve this

1. Profile your customers; check there is sufficient market potential

Correctly identifying the profile of your customers is crucial, as is sourcing the right demographic data to determine market potential. Geographically display this information using ‘heat mapping’ techniques to identify areas with high potential. Take account of the competition when deciding the true level of opportunity that exists for every franchise owner, especially as this must be considered when pricing each franchise.

2. Use a territory design to deliver equal opportunity to each franchise owner

Having the right number of right-sized territories is crucial; otherwise you will not maximise the financial potential from your business. When designing territories:

a) Take account of the sales process and the time it takes the franchise owner to acquire and grow a customer.
b) Ensure each territory is balanced to provide equal sales potential and takes account of drive times.
c) For an existing franchise, assess unsold territories using up-to-date demographics. Then realign boundaries as needed.

Remember, a prospective franchise owner needs to see that income potential is realistic and this is helped by demonstrating that a high level of detail, investment and effort has gone into the territory planning process.

3. Analyse and compare territory performance to steer business decisions

Regularly assess franchise areas’ return on investment (ROI) by identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) and use these to compare territory performance. Use a business intelligence system to simplify the process of identifying change so you can quickly examine cause and effect, and put in place corrective measures.

Consider using a ‘building-block’ approach – combining several smaller territory elements to form the final territory offered – to take account of the varying entrepreneurial styles and the performance of your franchise owners.

4. Use your website to aid the sales process

On your website, show territory availability by labelling territory maps with their status – sold, under offer, available, etc. This lets potential franchise owners see what is taken and what is available. Use a ‘find your nearest…’ search engine to enable potential customers to quickly find where to obtain your product or service.

5. Source the right prospect lists and data

There are so many companies offering data these days it’s all too easy to go for the cheapest deal and sacrifice quality. If you provide your franchise owner with marketing support based on poor quality data, then it will do little to grow your business.

6. Ensure all marketing collateral invites the prospect to provide their contact details

It’s surprising how adverts, leaflets and other forms of advertising simply direct a prospect to browse a website rather than interacting with them to obtain their contact details. With contact details – mobile phone, email, etc. – you and our franchise owners can undertake proactive marketing!

7. Manage your data, your sales and your business with the right single customer view CRM/ERP solution

The data each franchise owner collects is worth a great deal to your franchise business as a whole, but if stored on disparate databases then it will be difficult to maximise its value.

Consider employing a centralised ‘single customer view’ CRM system that all franchise owners can keep up-to-date.