Festive franchising - 12 days of Christmas...
As Christmas approaches and the year draws to a close, it’s both a time for reflection and looking to the future. If...
You’ve been successful in your franchise application and you’ve survived the first few months of the initial set up of your own franchise business, but how do you go from simply surviving to prospering? The initial months will require a lot of work to get going and it comes with a steep learning curve but just because you have done this part doesn’t mean it’s clear sailing from here. If you don’t start thinking” how do I improve this further?” then you will be stuck in survival mode.
If two adjacent shops sell the same products for roughly the same price, which shop would you enter? The answer, 99% of the time, will be the shop that displays their goods more effectively, in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Ideally, your shop window (whether that be physical or digital) should do the leg work for you, however, this goes further than just the shop front; it should be applied to every aspect possible that is customer facing. The brochures that you hand out, the display stand at events, your employee’s attire; these are all areas where branding comes into play and can influence a person’s perspective of your business.
When thinking about your favourite TV adverts, what comes to mind? For most, it will be the Christmas commercials, from the likes of John Lewis. Festive TV adverts are now a paramount marketing opportunity for companies and the anticipation that surrounds the advert premiere is huge; the battle to win the seasonal top spot has become rife, and a perfect way to promote brand awareness.
Not everyone is privy to the same comfortable budget as the recognised retailers but, you’re still able to utilise the Holidays and market yourself on a localised scale. What works best is to think of something particularly good for your industry; for example, a delivery franchise could have “Santa’s Delivery Men” on the side of their van. Whatever you sell, there will be a way to utilise seasonal trends to attract customers or improve brand awareness.
What is the most common attribute amongst any kind of franchisee? It’s their drive to succeed. Franchisees are driven by nature as they want to run and own their business and make it a success for themselves, however, this attribute sometimes leads them to a house of card scenario. Just because your franchise is running smoothly, doesn’t mean you are now ready to expand as business security can come and go in any month and your house of cards can come crumbling to the floor. Instead of expanding as soon as you are comfortable, here at Start Your New Franchise, we recommend that you move your current franchise business from comfortable to mastered, meaning you optimise what you currently have to improve its efficiency. Once you are at this point and feel you can’t gain too much more from your current franchise, then expansion is good option.
The other area that often gets overlooked when franchisees are considering an expansion to a multi-unit franchise model, is the change in their role. When you are operating a single franchise, it will be common to deal with the day to day running of the business but as soon as you are managing a more than one, you need to start delegating and focus on managing the business as a whole. As a franchisee, you need to be comfortable with this as if you try to continue to do everything you will find the workload impossible and you will become the bottleneck that’s inhibiting the success of your business.
Networking isn’t just useful to get more customers, it can also be very useful to acquire information that can help you improve your business. When considering data collection, who better to gather information from then your franchisee counterparts.
Networking with existing franchisees within your franchise can be useful but don’t stop there, they’re many franchisees that operate within your market (or may not even be in your market) that can help you in running your franchise. You should keep an eye on the calendar to see what networking events are coming up as, if convenient, we recommend that you attend as many as you can as you never know what useful information can be gathered from others.
You can only overcome challenges if you are aware of them. After 3 months, a business may look like it’s going well because you are bringing in a lot of new customers, but what’s important is to understand is the retention of clients. If you are bringing in new customers, great, your shop window is working, however if they aren’t coming back then there’s something wrong with your service.
The sooner you identify a problem, the less of an issue it will cause; for this reason, we would recommend that you carry out surveys with customers to gather a real insight into the customer buying and servicing circle. You need to structure the survey to generate a true representation of your business. Its better if you identify a problem, so you can fix it and improve your business.
The overall advice we at Start Your New Franchise recommend is that you always continue to evaluate every aspect of your business, just because it looks to be going well, doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way. The best method to stay ahead of your competition is to improve your own business.