Many aspiring entrepreneurs turn to franchising because they like the idea of owning their own business, but they don’t want to go it alone. As they research different concepts, they pay special attention to franchisors’ support systems.
While you’ll naturally want to talk to franchisee candidates about your strong brand, unit-level sales and market potential, make sure to devote plenty of time and resources to building and promoting a robust support system for franchisees.
- Cover Your Bases
A strong support system has many facets. As the franchisor, you are the authority on best practices for your concept’s operations, hiring, finances, brand and policies. It is your duty to share this knowledge with franchisees in ways that are accessible and comprehensible. This might include:
- Online, classroom and field training for franchisees and their employees
- Help with site selection and real estate
- Brand standards manual that is updated and shared frequently
- Proprietary financial programs or software
- User-friendly point-of-sale system
- Unit-level metrics analysis to optimize profitability
- Corporate-sponsored local marketing initiatives
- Grand opening support and media relations
- Purchasing and distribution systems
- Call centers or help desks
Don’t forget about supporting candidates during the franchise recruitment process. If you’re engaged and responsive while candidates consider your concept, it signals that you will continue that support after the franchise agreement is signed. Your franchise development department should have the bandwidth to stay on top of communications and provide candidates with the information they need in a timely manner. Utilizing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system enhances your communications by sending out franchise marketing materials in between your scheduled calls.
- Spread the Word
Once you’ve built a robust support system, it’s time to weave that into your brand as a franchisor.
Make sure to feature your strong support system on every platform where you communicate with franchisee candidates. That includes your franchise development website, online recruiting platform, franchise brochure, Discovery Day presentations and email campaigns.
One way to make the most of this selling point is to conduct an audit of your recruitment communications and remove any vague language. For example, mentioning your “weekly system-wide newsletter that highlights best practices” is much stronger than touting your “frequent updates.” If you’ve worked hard to build a top-notch support system, make sure candidates know what it entails.
- Show the Proof
Your existing franchisees are your most effective brand ambassadors during the recruitment process. While it’s important to talk to candidates about the tenets of your support system, this information is more compelling when it comes from the owners in your system.
Putting candidates in contact with existing franchisees demonstrates that you’re upfront about your claims and confident in your execution. If you’ve built a sufficient support system, your franchisees can serve as a credible endorsement.
- Know What Drives You
Franchisee candidates look for brands with strong support systems because they want to maximize their chances at success. It’s important, therefore, that franchisors design and promote their support systems with franchisee profitability in mind.
A support system that merely checks the boxes might not translate into real results for franchisees. Make sure that as you craft your system, you set clear, specific goals for each component – and share those goals with franchisee candidates. This shows not only that your company is committed to franchisee profitability, but that it creates targeted initiatives to support franchisees and ensure their financial and emotional wellbeing.
Winmark Franchise Partners
For help creating a support system that drives franchise recruitment, turn to Winmark Franchise Partners. With 30 years of franchising experience and more than 800 franchise owners representing more than 1,200 locations for five brands, Winmark Franchise Partners can help grow your brand through sound strategy and expert franchise advice.
For more information, contact us here or at (844) 452-4600.