How to attract potential franchisees?
Whether a new Franchisor or a well established franchise brand most franchises are continually recruiting new franchisees. Initially a Franchisor is growing their franchise network & when this is completed over time Franchisees will come & go. This is not always due to failure it could also be due to other reasons including health, retirement or just wanting a change of career direction. Keeping a good flow of quality franchisee enquiries is essential to both growing & maintaining a strong franchise network, so how to attract potential franchisees?
Firstly how to reach the right potential Franchisee’s?
“I wish I could clone my best Franchisees?” Ever said that? As a past Franchisor myself I know I have! Before you ask how to attract potential franchisees ask yourself what sort of potential franchisees do you want to attract?
“There is no pattern, every good Franchisee is different!” I have heard this a lot over the years & this is possibly true in terms of career background, age & experience. I have been working with a lot of clients profiling existing franchisee’s recently & if you go through this process you would be amazed at how many similarities there are between your successful Franchisees. I am not referring to the above career background, experience but the character traits of a franchisee & beliefs that make them successful within your business.
Once you understand whom you are trying to attract it will help determine both the media & messages you will use to generate an enquiry from a suitable candidate.
How to generate quality franchisee recruitment leads?
So now you know the type of people that you wish to attract & the messages to reach & engage with them how do you generate franchise recruitment leads?
Here are some strategies to generate franchisee recruitment leads;
- Franchise portals – Yes just like Franchise UK! Why? Franchising is very niche & portals like Franchise UK have been around a long time. During this time they have created thousands of pages of quality content & built a strong, loyal following. Franchise recruitment lead generation can be very expensive & because of this portals & able to offer unrivalled value for money & generally have the lowest Cost Per Lead ( CPL ).
- Social media – Social media can be a very effective way to generate quality franchisee recruitment leads. Be cautious though, run small budgets on different platforms & test & measure results so you know 100% where all leads are coming from & gauge lead quality. Many Franchisors have wasted a lot of money on paid social media without tangible results. We have found Facebook to be the most effective for Franchise UK & we have invested heavily in building our social media audience over the last few years & have the largest social media following of any franchise portal, over 26,000 as of today!
- Google Ads – We love Google Ads at Franchise UK & have generated thousands of leads each year for our advertisers using them. Be VERY cautious though using Google Ads! I have spoken to so many Franchisors that run these completely the wrong way. Many waste thousands trying to put a square peg through a round hole! What do I mean by this? Well let’s say you have an automotive franchise & you target the highly used search terms like “franchise”, “franchise uk” etc to drive lot’s of franchising related traffic to your franchise page or website. You rank at the top of the searches & people click but how many of them do you think are specifically interested in the automotive industry? Sure these terms get a lot of traffic but at what cost? £3-6 a click maybe to rank top? If only 1 out of 10 are remotely interested in the automotive industry that equates to £60 a click & it may take a lot of clicks to get one enquiry! I have spoken to Franchisors that spent £200-300 to generate a lead & then because the campaign is so vague get very little engagement or interest from those leads. My advice is know your potential Franchisee & target people with a genuine interest in what you do, in this example search terms like “automotive franchises”, “car franchise” or “vehicle repair franchise”
- What about existing staff? – If you are about to launch a franchise have you considered that existing staff maybe interested to invest? I have worked with several new Franchisors that have done this very successfully. The great thing with this is that you know them, they know you & they know the business! Some franchises I have worked with have offered a pre launch package to make it more attractive because of these benefits.
- Use your existing resources – Don’t forget to use all your existing resources to promote your franchise such as your website, social media accounts, invoicing, van or shop signage, business cards. Basically anything you use day to day to communicate with suppliers & clients can also be used to promote the franchise opportunity. It doesn’t have to take everything over, be subtle but use what you have, if people love what you do they may well be interested to join you!
- Franchise exhibitions – In the past these have been an effective way to meet potential Franchisees but in my personal opinion they make no commercial sense at all these days. Sure you may get to meet a lot of people but are they really interested in franchising? Many of these are held at big venues. These venues usually have many exhibitions on at the same time. As many franchise exhibitions are free to attend from my personal experience of exhibiting in the past you get many people that are visiting another show & then walk around the franchise show, how can this be a targeted, quality lead? My other big issue with franchise exhibitions is many exhibitors actually mail out to their prospective Franchisees & advise them via social media they are exhibiting at a franchise exhibition? I find this very strange as they are actually encouraging their prospective Franchisee’s to attend an event where they know their competitors will be! Surely the role of these events should be to generate new, quality franchisee recruitment leads? That said I have spoken to Franchisors that have said they have recruited Franchisee’s from these events but with stands anywhere from £5k-£50k plus time & expenses you need to carefully consider the costs & risks.
How to recruit Franchisees? What’s the process of recruiting franchisees?
Once you have identified your ideal candidate & then started to drive quality franchisee recruitment leads you need a great process to follow up these leads. This will involve great quality content, an effective contact strategy for initial & ongoing follow ups plus the systems to track the effectiveness of all leads right through to conversion. You can find out more about this process in our article How to recruit franchisee’s?
I hope you have found this of interest & use. We are a very friendly bunch here at Franchise UK, if you are an existing or new Franchisor we would love to assist your franchisee recruitment & feel free to call us on 01323 332838.