Just like in F1, franchisors have huge wins to make by focusing on the smallest of details
One of the more memorable presentations I’ve enjoyed at a franchising event was delivered by Marc Priestley, former pit crew mechanic for the McLaren F1 team. In a sport where hundredths and even thousandths of a second can be the difference between the race winner and the rest, Priestley eloquently described how every facet of a pit stop – which lasts less than four seconds and involves around a dozen people – was pored over in granular detail to shave off every fraction possible of the time the car had to spend stationary.
The relevance to business operations could hardly be more distinct. And in a time when uncertainty is the dominant force on the UK economy and the big-ticket purchase considerations of its people, the small things can make a big difference in the race to attract new franchisees. Here are just three areas where incremental improvements can quickly add up.
Perhaps the easiest place to measure the difference a subtle change can make is in digital marketing in general and on pay-per-click landing pages in particular. Ultimately, people are more likely to follow through and enquire when they see something on the page that relates directly to themselves and their aspirations. Even with a detailed franchisee persona to work within your marketing, there’s diversity in your target audience – the devil’s in the detail and armed with digital data you can see that for yourself.
By split-testing two or more different landing pages with minor differences, with both delivered alternately to the people clicking, it’s easy to compare which designs, images and copy deliver better results. From our experience at Chantry of managing PPC campaigns across several different franchisors, the impact of adjusting even seemingly innocuous details can be surprising.
The position of the call to action and even the colour used for the button have made notable impacts. So too the gender of franchisees used in images and even what they’re wearing – one campaign showed a stark contrast between the same franchisee dressed in business attire versus more casual clothing. And when it comes to the copy, testing one streamlined version against a lengthier and more detailed page can also highlight differences in enquiry quantity and quality that you may not otherwise consider.
Comparing your results and adjusting accordingly will deliver stronger performance when it comes to leads and a more cost-effective use of your budget.
From initial contact through to signing on the dotted line, the little things on the prospective franchisee journey can have a significant influence on results and, because there’s so much data captured in most modern CRMs, there’s a treasure trove of information to show where you’re potentially able to increase conversion rates of people moving through your process.
Regularly revisiting and, where necessary, refreshing email content – whether automated, first response or newsletters – gives an easy before and after comparison as to whether it’s more engaging. Does a different call to action on a newsletter have an impact? Does lengthening or shortening your first personal email or even simply changing the subject line, bring through more people? Leading email software has long since allowed for such testing to highlight the differences, for example by allowing two subject lines to be used on the first portion of your recipients and automatically using the most effective option for everyone else.
The same is true of discovery meetings content: adjust, measure and compare. Taken over the longer term to allow for sufficient sample size, you’ll be able to see if more people are progressing further than they were before as a result of the updates you’ve made.
Before the humble CRM became central to most businesses, lead handling usually centred on Excel databases or similar – and before that people obviously used files and papers. The advancement of business technology is generally aimed at making us more efficient and effective in our jobs – and of course it comes at a price.
But improving tech doesn’t have to mean huge investments in new systems when you’re looking through the magnifying glass. Messenger programmes like WhatsApp or Slack are becoming widely used within teams. And they come with two big wins: fewer emails in everyone’s inbox and less time spent on the formalities of communication. It might only take a minute more to put something in an email but how quickly do those minutes add up for your recruitment team and how much better can they use that time to engage leads?
The same is true of reporting. This can be a consuming task, so a small change to automate something that saves even just minutes can add up to a lot over the course of a year. Could your CRM work harder in this area so that your people can focus on other things? Records are important but is there a better way to compile and present them than a huge Word or PowerPoint document? Remember this isn’t about wholesale change, it’s about finding what the business gurus like to term as a 1% better way of doing things.
That might seem like a small number but a few of them quickly add up to something more substantial. Sweat the small stuff and your team can be more efficient and effective, producing better results for your franchise.