What message is your franchise sending to potential investors?

We all know that attracting suitable candidates to your franchise opportunity has become significantly more challenging in 2018.

For some brands it is getting much harder to attract suitable prospects. While at the same time, in a relative sense, for other brands it is actually becoming easier.

‘How can that be’ you ask?

It’s mostly because they have a good story to tell, and they tell it consistently well.

For those that don’t, throwing more money at the problem doesn’t help, given you are advertising in more channels with the same story that isn’t working any more.

The climate change

The climate that the franchise business model operates in has changed forever. Not panic stations at all, and certainly not like the hysteria of some agenda based commentary around the model being irrelevant, that’s simply untrue.

But, for a time some brands have been able to throw more money at the challenge of franchise recruitment, and get a result.

In the current climate (and that of the future), it matters so much more what you say, as opposed to how many times and how many places you say it.

The franchise business model itself had almost unquestionable trust and integrity on it’s own in the opportunity seeker market. The model had created its own aura of assumptive profit, that everyone leveraged in their sales process.  I’ve often said that the business model of franchising in some ways has been a victim of its own success.

Generally, brands were able to leverage off this perceived success because they were a franchise. This is not a judgement of any particular business’ value. It’s just that the climate facilitated the attraction of a volume of candidates to talk to. Finding candidates was mostly an enough budget issue.

Welcome to the new franchise climate

Your messaging and the way you present your brand business opportunity messaging needs to adapt to our new climate.

Now, we have reached a tipping point where people don’t assume because you are franchise you are worth the risk. You /we have to work much harder.

If, in the last eight months, you have not changed an aspect of your pitch, the market is moving past you already. This change could be in story angle, focus of key features and benefits, or the execution of your message to the business opportunity seeker or many more.

You need a franchise recruitment strategy

Not enough brands have a bona fide franchise recruitment strategy, along with a plan to execute. It sounds silly I know, but mostly in my experience, many brands have at most an advertising budget, as well as where and when they want to spend that. It’s basically an advertising schedule.

To consistently attract the attention of suitable prospects for your franchise you will need to be certain you have reviewed and updated;

  • Your brand position in the opportunity seeker market,
  • Your prospect engagement process and flow,
  • Identified your key appeal to an opportunity seeker,
  • Who your ideal persona(s) are to target,
  • The key and most efficient channels for you to reach your ideal persona targets,
  • The components of your recruitment content marketing plan that interplay with each of the above points.

With these foundations to your strategy reviewed and re-set for the new climate to attract franchise candidates, you’ll then need to ensure you have a plan of attack in place for implementation and execution on them.

A great content plan fully-integrated into a dedicated website for all your franchise investment information and collateral, is the foundation for your expansion into the future.

With this in place, all on-message and consistently added to, you have a 24/7 franchise recruitment system generating leads, and over-coming objections before you even speak to prospects.

Know who you want to recruit as franchisees

The national scattergun, one-size-fits-all marketing approach of old is gone. If you want to grow into the future, the most effective way to do that is going to be by identifying exactly who is your best-fit candidate, so you know who to go after with your budget.

The current climate for attracting candidates to your brand is characterised by, noise, competition, and a level of skepticism. To make matters worse, it’s combined with an abundance of channels vying to carry your recruitment message and take your budget dollars.

This makes it all the more crucial to identify exactly who is the best-fit for your network, and go after them. It’s important not to hedge too much, so make sure you create content that when they see it, within the channels that you know where they are, that they will feel like the content is speaking directly to them.

Now that is the way to attract your best-fit franchise candidates in 2018.

A word of caution, however.

If the strategic look at your franchise recruitment opportunity doesn’t deliver the answers you’d hoped, don’t respond by trying to ‘craft’ messaging using smoke and mirrors. If you’re honest with yourself, and realise you actually have significant holes in your story to the opportunity seeker market, take a step back, consolidate and work on your business so that you do.  You will be better for it.

Adding more franchisees to an existing ‘poor story’ business is not the answer. As we’ve recently seen, that story doesn’t end well for anyone.