There are a lot of factors to weigh when choosing the appropriate franchise opportunity. Not only do you want the franchise to be a good fit for you – you also need to work with a franchisor that’s going to be around for a long time.
How can you find out if a franchise system is healthy? In the franchise book, The Educated Franchisee we believe in sharing knowledge. A little franchise education could be useful in this area.
One fundamental measure is the system’s pace of franchise growth.
Too quick: Quick franchise development may seem like a good thing at first but it is conceivable for a system to grow too fast. It is crucial to be sure the franchisor has the people and systems in place to thoroughly oversee your training and on-going support. For example, if a system of 50 franchisees brings 30 additional franchisees in a year, the rate of franchise growth may be too fast.
Too Slow: If franchise growth is slow there could also be a problem. Why isn’t the franchise attracting new people? Possibly there are concerns with the business model – problems that make it difficult for existing franchisees to succeed. When potential franchisees do ‘validation calls’ they may hear about problems and decide to look elsewhere for a business. Or perhaps the franchisor doesn’t have the right staff and has to limit franchise growth. Either way, a lack of new franchisees may be a sign of an unhealthy franchise system.
Just Right: even franchise growth over time is an indicator of effective management and a healthy system. One way to gauge steady franchise growth is to determine the pace at which the franchise grew each year both in absolute and percent terms. To find this data for the past three years you can look in the Franchise Disclosure Document under Item 20 – the List of Outlets. All the data you need regarding franchise growth will be there for you in a clear, easy to understand format.
Rule of Thumb for Most Franchises: As a rule of thumb for medium-sized franchisors, the number of franchisees brought per year should be between 10% and 35% of the total number of franchisees. For example, a company with 100 franchisees should possess the infrastructure to add up to 35 new franchisees in the coming year.
Rule of Thumb for Large and Small Franchises: This formula doesn’t work for very large or very small companies, however, so when analyzing behemoth or boutique franchise systems consider the ratio of operational support personnel compared to new franchisees. A ratio of one support person for every 10-20 new franchisees tells you that new franchisees are likely getting the preparation and support they need to succeed.
Talk to Franchisees: But don’t assume! It is decisive that you talk to existing franchisees. Find out about the training they had initially and what they receive in terms of on-going support. Do they find the staff to be knowledgeable? Responsive? Does the franchisee feel comfortable calling on them for help? Pay particular attention to the information you glean from new franchisees. Your experience will most closely reflect theirs.
Meet the Support Staff: Generally, a good franchise investigation ends with a visit to the franchisor’s headquarters to get last queries answered and meet the staff face-to-face. Spend extra time with the support staff. Make certain you are comfortable with their experience, competence, style, and ability to communicate, since you will have to work well with them and trust their advice on an on-going basis.
There are a lot of things to consider when researching a franchise business that will match your needs, but it doesn’t matter how much you like the business if the franchisor isn’t viable. Gather the franchise information you need and be certain the system you choose is growing and has a good number of satisfied franchisees. Franchise growth is a key part of your due diligence. Only a healthy franchise opportunity can support your long-term growth and success.
Positive thinking may sound like mumbo-jumbo to some people, but other people firmly believe in it. Positive thinking is the act of staying optimistic, even when faced with difficulties or challenges.
Staying positive, even in the face of adversity, can help you conquer challenges. When you think positively, you are envisioning your success. Failure will not be an option; you will move past the obstacles in your way. When a person thinks positively, they will attract positive people and positive outcomes in their life.
When you find yourself facing a roadblock, try to find a way around it. It can be easy to give up. Giving up will not bring you any closer to accomplishing your goals. In fact, giving up can make you feel even worse and cause more stress.
Reaching your goals and accomplishing tasks will make you evolve as a person. You will exhibit more confidence and accept new challenges.
You can’t change your way of thinking overnight. Big changes can come from taking small steps.
Start your morning with positive thoughts. You’re going to have a great day. Nice things are going to happen to you. Picture all the new clients you’ve attracted or a reporter who wants to do a magazine story featuring you.
Create a “dream board” or “dream book” to collect all the things you would like to accomplish or just add pictures that you like from a magazine. You can pin these to a bulletin board or just paste them to a scrapbook.
Don’t limit your ideas. If you have a picture of a house that you love, put it on your board. Is there a car you’ve always wanted or a place you’d love to travel?
Take that moment each day to check your dream board or book. Think positively and tell yourself that “one day, that car will be mine” or “I’m going to vacation here”. This can be the motivation you need to work and achieve success. Your dream book can give you a glimpse of your rewards. It is up to you to make it happen.
As far as selling tips are concerned, if there is one you should write out and plaster on your wall it’s this … “Never come across as a desperate salesperson.”
The market is full of desperate sales people yet the sad part is, many just don’t realize they are acting desperate and it generally stems through poor training and mentoring. Those who are classed as desperate sellers are the ones who go at a prospect from the moment they meet them either personally or on the phone and hammer them with their offer.
It eventually disintegrates into the seller telling their prospect that if they don’t join they will either never see financial wealth or miss out big time. Let me ask you this…would you be impressed by this rhetoric?
Not likely and neither should you be. Where is there any value to the prospect with this type of interaction. There’s none, so keep this impulse under check and develop the mindset of help first benefit later.
Take this selling tip to the bank… when you first speak to any prospect remember, it’s all about them. Here are some tips in creating a good impression first up …
– Make a proper introduction. Always ask if this is a good time for them. Once the initial introductions are out of the way then…
– You need to establish the prospect’s why and desires. What time frame they have set themselves to achieve these.
– Make sure you listen carefully to their responses. Write them down.
– When you ask a question, avoid interrupting the prospect or cutting them off. Remember, it’s about them. Before you ask a question, wait until they have finished speaking and then pause briefly before asking your question.
What not to do as far as selling tips are concerned, avoiding a desperate demeanor on the phone is high on the list. For example, many new recruits are so excited about speaking to their first prospect they already have them recruited before they’ve even spoken with them!
You should never ask your prospect to buy your product because you’re in the best company which has the best products, life-changing in fact, and they have the best compensation plan bar none.
Yes, you know this is true but all the prospect will see is a desperate individual trying to sell to them at any cost. In fact, you’ll come across as having no interest in their needs, only yours.
This first contact should be limited in time. Your main aim is to understand what’s important to the prospect and then leave them with some information to go over before your next appointment. This is one of the best selling tips you’ll ever hear.
I’d love to have your input or questions … as I’m sure many others would, so let’s have your comments below.
As a business owner, you are both the boss and the employee. Some people can thrive in this type of situation and achieve more than they could in a traditional work environment. For other people, this situation can spell disaster. That is why it is important to analyze yourself several times a year to make sure you are staying on track.
Are you focused on your business? This alone can throw your business into high gear or create a standstill. It can be easy to lose focus when you work at home, as there will always be other things competing for your attention. It is okay to let the laundry wait for a few hours while you work on your business. Your laundry can’t pay your bills, but those few hours you put into your business could reap you many financial rewards.
It’s not only important to focus on your business, it’s also important to focus *in* your business. It’s easy to get sidetracked from one task by some new idea or offer. Spreading yourself out over too many projects means none of them are going to get done effectively. It’s all about focus.
Are you being productive? At the end of the day, do you ever feel like you worked all day but accomplished nothing? Take a look at the tasks you are working on, and whether they are actually important to your success. If you find yourself getting sidetracked by surfing the web, chatting in forums or reading blogs, try to schedule time for those activities after your “real work” is done.
If your day is being chewed up by answering email, updating your websites or doing research for your next product, you might want to consider outsourcing those things to a virtual assistant. This can free up your time to work on the most important things that only you can do.
Are you reaching your goals? If you find that you are constantly missing your goal deadlines, you may want to take the time to revamp your goals. Create an action plan that will be easy to follow and help you get to your end result.
Would I hire myself? This is a tough question to ask yourself, but it is very important. It may sound silly, but perhaps you could write out a job description and give yourself an interview. Are you the type of employee you would want to hire?
If you answered “no” to the above question, take some time to write out the areas within yourself that you would like to improve. This can be a hard exercise to complete, but once you have analyzed yourself, you’ll be on your way to becoming a better business owner and having a better business.
Advertising is one of the best ways to get your business noticed. Advertising and business promotions don’t stop with television or radio advertisements as there are also more inexpensive ways to get your company name out there to the general public.
There are some companies that specialize in business promotions and it might do you some good to see what they have to offer. Not only will you find ideas for your promotional needs, you may find gifts and incentives to hand out to employees for rewards. Some of these items double as rewards and promotional tools all in one shot. That is a great investment for any company to make.
If you attend trade shows, you want to have something to hand out that has your business name on it. This is an essential part of business promotions and there’s a reason so many people do it. The common items personalized for business promotions are pens, caps, notepads and mugs. If you look online, you may find great items that are hard to forget. When you use these for business promotions, you are doubling your chances of getting your name remembered.
You can find a magic eight ball online that can be printed with your company information or logo. There are many other unique items for business promotions that will leave a lasting impression on potential clients. If you can’t think of something that is different from the norm, you can find something to spark your imagination online.
Prices for these items will vary, so make sure you ask for an estimate as you shop. Also remember to over estimate your needs when you decide to buy. It is far cheaper to buy bulk than to go back for repeat orders when you have run out before you expected to do so.
You may also find that the more interesting the object, the more you hand out and the more you hand out, the more results you are going to see. Anyone can give out a pen, but if you hand someone something they have never seen used as a promotional tool before, they are going to remember. The key to good business promotions is getting noticed and getting remembered. This is why you should probably put more thought into this than perhaps you would almost anything else when working on street level person to person promotions.
Many businesses are finding life hard at the moment and are finding that they need to be looking at what they can do to build up their customer bases. Measuring footfalls through the front door shows how busy you are. Without people arriving in your shop, you are going to find there’s no-one about to buy your products.
It’s also essential in these hard times to ensure that your current customers return to you as loyal customers and that they keep buying from you and not your direct opposition. Once you have got a customer in to visit you, make sure that they come back again. That can be far easier than finding new customers. And this is where giveaway promotional items or specials can help, realistically.
Why is it easier to work with existing customers? Well, presumably they are happy with your services and then you have started to build a bit of a positive reputation with them. You also have them visiting you in one way or another and maybe even have their contact details. It’s far easier to hit them with marketing material directly, then marketing at them through press adverts and other media.
How can you make this happen? The answer can be quite simple – some giveaway promotional item or special discounts. Simply get some promotional items produced and see how many ways you can distribute them.
It may be that you have an address book of existing customers and can go through the addresses and send them a mouse-mat, calendar or diary printed with your contact details. This has brought in plenty of repeat customers for a business who had been forgotten to exist until they received their promotional reminder.
If you are a shop and aren’t storing lists of customers’ addresses, then personalized promotional gifts such as keyrings, pens and other cheap items that you can drop into customers’ bags as they checkout can be used equally effectively.
You should be looking at personalising an item that the customer is likely to want to keep, so that when they find it they put it somewhere safe and your business name is on their mind for a while. Hopefully, by the time the pen or whatever runs out, they have been back and bought again. In doing so they are reinforcing their buying relationship from you and there’s a second chance to give them a promotional freebie.
If you are not dealing face to face with your customers the idea of promotional gifts can seem more daunting. But there are a load of even better uses! Try offering a promotional gift in return for signing up to a newsletter and watch the newsletter signups increase. This is a great way of increasing the circulation list for your newsletter, which in turn should increase the sales it produces.<
There’s plenty of promotional items out there to use and give away to customers and prospective customers. Have a look at what is available and let your imagination run wild as to how you can make sure that these items find your target audience!
Think about cheap promotional mugs and never forget to include your offer.
If you want to get publicity for your business via the media, press releases are an excellent way to do it. Here are 5 ways to boost the appeal of your press release.
Correct Format: There is a format that press releases need to follow. Make sure yours is written in the correct format, as you will want it to look as professional as possible. It is also a good idea to double-check the grammar, punctuation and spelling before you send it in for submission.
Keep it clear and to-the-point. Your press release shouldn’t be any longer than two pages. Media outlets receive a lot of releases and they won’t take the time to read a long report. Keeping it clear and concise will let you fit in your important facts without going beyond two pages. And remember to answer the important questions – who, what, why, where, when and how.
What’s in it for the reader? Make sure you include a call to action in your press release. Put something in it that’s going to inspire the reader to go to your event, visit your website, etc. If you write a blatant ad, it’s going to be obvious and it won’t get picked up by anyone. Include the features and benefits of what you’re promoting, and tell your target market what’s in it for them.
For example, if you were promoting a new food processor, you need to go beyond just saying it’s smaller and takes up less space than other models. You need to state that the smaller size gives the customer the full power of a larger model, while helping them to save precious counter space in their kitchen.
Make it interesting. If your press release is boring, nobody is going to read past the first couple of lines. Try to find the line between simple facts and excitement. Back to the food processor example, instead of just saying “our new food processor will be available in the spring” try something like “our new space-saving food processor will be available this spring, just in time to help you chop the fresh vegetables you’re growing for your summer salads.”
Remember Your Target Market: As you write and submit your press releases, keep your target market in mind at all times. By keeping your audience in mind, you will be able to focus on what information to include and where to submit your press releases. For instance, if you are promoting an event related to children’s health, submitting a press release to the travel editor of your local paper isn’t going to help you.
The media won’t run a story on every single press release they receive, but if you follow these steps it’s going to put you above a large percentage of the other releases coming across their desk.
Promotional umbrellas are one of the promotional products that you might be considering. They have an excellent area for printing onto and can be bright, eye-catching and extremely useful.
From giving them out, to leaving them around where people might be able to use them if they wish to.
Here’s some ways to put them to use.
1) If your shop has an outdoor area, or trading with you involves stepping out of the door, why not leave a few printed umbrellas by the door. Not only will customers be pleased that they were sheltered from the rain whilst visiting you, but if any accidentally go missing, they are carrying your advert around for you.
2) Certain sporting events, especially golf, have spectators and competitors hanging around in the open for long periods of time. You only need to look at the stands around a golf course during a major tournament and if it is windy, people have their golfing umbrellas open to block the wind – with the logos facing outwards for all to see. On very hot days, other people will use the umbrellas to shelter from the heat of the sun. Sell the umbrellas cheaply if the weather looks bad or give them out to anyone who will carry one if rain looks unlikely.
3) Trade shows are also a good opportunity to give out umbrellas. One I am attending next weekend is traditionally on a wet day. Being given an umbrella there would be useful for many people as they walk back to cars or stand around watching the outdoor events. Grab your public’s attention with umbrellas and you might just find potential customers visiting you to collect an umbrella, and then becoming paid customers.
4) If your business is in selling beach products then visit beaches during the summer and give out the umbrellas to the families you find on the beach. Especially on hot or breezy days. The recipients will be glad of the shade afforded to them by the umbrella, either from the sun or the wind.
5) Want to be seen to be supporting local charities? Well, look for events that are supporting them, such as runs, bike rides and walks. Go along, whatever the weather and supply spectators, and in the case of walks, participants, with your umbrellas.
And as I always say, once you have produced a stack of nice, shiny, new promotional umbrellas, do what you can to get them to your public. They are serving no purpose locked in your storeroom! If you see an excuse to give someone an umbrella, do so. They might just be so pleased with their present that they’ll buy from you, else they will hopefully parade your logo for other potential customers to see.
The standard promotional keyring is a very powerful selling tool for gaining repeat business that is often overlooked by many potential businesses. They are cheap enough so that they can be bought in bulk, sometimes for next to nothing when you are looking at the cheaper plastic keyrings. This makes them well worthy of mass distribution techniques to get them out to your potential client base. But sometimes business owners don’t realise that they could be using them to increase their turnover, for next to nothing.
I was recently talking to a local locksmith who was keen to get more repeat business – aren’t we all! In his business he is handling hundreds of locks and keys daily, and sometimes these locks are being sold with quite high price tags. But he hadn’t even thought of using promotional keyrings to boost the number of return customers and referrals.
So I made the suggestion that he had a few hundred promotional plastic keyrings made up, just with his logo and contact telephone number and maybe his website address on them. Just a simple keyring that reminds his customers where they got the lock or keys from and allows them to contact him again in the future. It seemed strange to me that someone handling hundreds of keys, both car keys and house keys, could neglect to attach a simple keyring that costs so little to products that can cost hundreds. It’s such a simple idea, yet it works.
My recommendation is that every lock being despatched has at least one keyring added to the box of keys for the customer to find. If he wants to, he can even announce in his sales materials and on the website that there is a free keyring with every order. Why not? It might just be the incentive that entices someone to buy from him – at no extra cost.
Also with every set of keys cut for customers that visit the shop or he goes out to see, either slip a keyring onto a key or again, just include it in the box of keys the customer takes home.
This simple technique works on many levels for tradesmen always dealing with their public.
Advertising is one of the best ways to get your business noticed. Advertising and business promotions don’t stop with television or radio advertisements. However, as there are also more inexpensive ways to get your company name out there to the general public. There are some companies that specialize in business promotions, and it might do you some good to see what they have to offer. Not only will you find ideas for your promotional needs, you may find gifts and incentives to hand out to employees for rewards. Some of these items double as rewards and promotional tools all in one shot. That is a great investment for any company to make.
If you attend trade shows, you want to have something to hand out that has your business name on it. This is an essential part of business promotion, and there is a reason so many people do it. The common items personalized for business promotions are pens, baseball caps, notepads, and cups. If you look online, you may find great items that are hard to forget. When you use these for business promotions, you are doubling your chances of getting your name remembered.
You can find items online that can be printed with your company information or logo that will leave a lasting impression on potential clients. If you can’t think of something that is different from the norm, you can find something to spark your imagination online. Prices for these items will vary, so make sure you ask for an estimate as you shop. Also remember to over estimate your needs when you decide to buy. It is far cheaper to buy bulk than to go back for repeat orders when you have run out before you expected to do so.
You may also find that the more interesting the object, the more you hand out and the more results you are going to see. Anyone can give out a pen, but if you hand someone something they have never seen used as a promotional tool before, they are going to remember. The key to good business promotion is getting noticed and getting remembered. This is why you should probably put more thought into this than perhaps you would almost anything else when working on street level person to person promotions.