In this webinar, Charles N. Internicola, Esq. and Lisa Welko, CFE of Integrity Franchise Group discuss what it takes to make your brand attractive to franchise brokers and sell to qualified franchisees. Selling franchises and building a durable franchise system - all comes down to being a "good franchisor," making sure your franchisees are profitable, building an experienced team, understanding the franchisee journey, and adopting a process focused on educating your prospective franchisees and not just selling to them.
Recommended Steps to Attracting Brokers and Selling Franchises
- Make sure your franchisees are profitable
- Learn how franchising works and get involved in franchise organizations
- Develop a great franchise sales website and not just an add on page to your existing website
- Build strong validation materials - brochures, presentations, PR, and digital media
- Get someone on your team that is experienced in franchising
- Focus on educating prospective franchisees and not selling to them
- Understand and focus on the franchisee journey
- Know your numbers, including your Item 19
Watch the webinar above.
Below we discuss in more detail the factors common to all "good franchisors" and the characteristics and factors required for creating a franchise system that attracts qualified franchisees and grows.
Make Sure Your Franchisees are Profitable
This point is straight forward - if your franchisees are profitable they will validate franchise sales and your franchise system will grow. Most important you will be validating the trust that franchisees place in you when they invest their livelihood, savings, and time in your brand.
Even if you are a start-up franchisor and you don't have franchisees yet, franchise brokers and prospective franchisees want to see a franchisor focused on franchisee profitability and for start-up brands you need to prove that you have the business, systems, and support infrastructure necessary to make your franchisees profitable.
Remember, quality franchise brokers have options as to the brand that they show to prospective franchisees and brokers build relationships with their clients and want to see them succeed. So a good broker is not just going to show or recommend a franchise brand because of a commission.
Learn How Franchising Works
This applies especially if you are a start-up or emerging franchisor. While growing your franchise will require great advice and support from your trusted advisors - franchise lawyers, consultants, and marketing teams - success will all come down to you and, eventually, your management team. So it's important that you learn franchising, join franchise associations like the International Franchise Association and attend franchise education and networking events.
Develop the Right Franchise Sales Website and Sales Materials
This may sound basic, but you need a great franchise sales website, brochure and collateral materials about your franchise. According to Lisa Welko you need a franchise sales website separate and apart from your consumer website. Just adding a franchise sales page to your existing website is not enough. According to Charles Internicola, as an emerging franchisor you need to spend the time to do a deep dive into your brand and develop the unique factors and opportunities that your franchise offers and how your franchise system can change the lives of your franchisees. Your website, sales materials and media needs to focus on your prospective franchisees and an education based process (not a selling process) where you demonstrate the unique selling points about your franchise and how your franchise can transform the lives of qualified franchisees. You should also communicate who is not a good fit for your brand.
Build an Experienced Team
Its important that, over time, you build a team that includes experienced franchise veterans. According to Lisa Welko, one mistake that startup and emerging franchisors make when working with franchise brokers is that they expect the broker to do too much. Franchise brokers are looking for franchisors that have experienced team members that can qualify franchisees and walk them through the validation, education and sales process. As a franchisor, its important to understand that a franchise broker will be presenting multiple opportunities to their candidates and that it is up to you, as the franchisor, to close and convert the sale. So, having an experienced franchise sales representative who can work with the franchise broker and his or her franchisee candidate is critical.
Focus on Franchisee Education and Not Selling Prospects
A good franchise sales process is driven by education and not selling. As an emerging franchisor its critical that the franchisees you on-board be the right fit and quality for your brand. On-board the wrong franchisees and you'll have trouble validating your brand. On-board the right franchisees and you'll be creating a run way for future validation and growth. In the webinar Lisa Welko makes a great recommendation and observation that good franchisors create an education based process that isn't focused on just selling, but, rather, is focused on informing and educating the broker and your prospective franchisees about your franchise, what it will look like to be a franchisee of your system, and the criteria and factors that you are looking for in a candidate. Honesty and integrity is key and will help you build credibility with brokers and hopefully, help you avoid the mistake of on-boarding the wrong franchisees. Overall, your focus should be on "education" verses "selling", and "awarding franchises" verses "selling franchises".
Understand the Franchisee Journey
To effectively qualify and award franchises to the right franchisees you need to focus on and understand their journey. Why they are contacting you, what they are looking for, their fears, and how your franchise may or may not improve their lives. As you develop your franchise sales website, materials and conversion sequences, start with an understanding where your franchisee candidate may be in his or her journey. There are different stages to this journey and you need to account for each stage.
Know Your Numbers
There are legal restraints on what you can and cannot say to prospective franchisees when it comes to financial performance representations. If your FDD contains Item 19 financial performance representations you need to be prepared to understand and know them when speaking to brokers and candidates. If your FDD doesn't have an Item 19 or contains an Item 19 that is extremely limited, you need to be ready to explain why.
Overall, according to Lisa and Charles these are just some of the factors that makes an emerging franchisor a "good franchisor" and one that will, over time, prove attractive to franchise brokers and franchisee candidates. You can learn more about Lisa Welko and the services she provides by visiting: https://www.integrityfranchisegroup.com/ or connect with her on LinkedIn.