7 key ingredients to choosing and growing a successful franchise according to Snap Fitness 24/7 Director of Development.
Go for a category that excites you
You’re investing your hard earned cash into a new business venture, you’ll be involved in the operations so it’s critical that the product you are selling sparks excitement within you. We often find being passionate about something in our day-to-day life results in a more focused, creative, and positive approach. Apply this to your franchise category decision and you’ll be set to elevate the growth potential.
Compare brands within the category
Select a brand that matches your ethos. Be confident in your decision to be part of a franchise that you can be proud of; one that has already paved the way to ensure your success and that when joining the community of like-minded business owners, it ticks all your boxes with regards to sustainability, financial growth, support, brand position, and future proofed for swift changes in economic, political, and social factors.
I’d also recommend choosing a franchise that is accredited by the British Franchise Association. This will give you faith that your business is ethical and bolster your confidence that you’ll be supported for the lifetime of your franchise.
Research, research, research
Great franchisors will have systems in place to help you with this. They will be able to source the right locations using customer demographics and insights to ensure the business is profitable. But it’s equally important that you do your own research; immerse yourself in the community, speak with your potential neighbours to get a better understanding of how your business will be received in the area. And don’t forget to speak to existing franchisee to get a non-biased opinion of what it is really like to be part of the brand.
Hire an “A” team and keep the engaged
People are what make a business successful. Your team need to be strong, self-starters who are excited by the opportunity too. Experienced and trustworthy management of the day-to-day dealings of your business will free you to focus on the higher level requirements for business success and growth. Your franchisor should be able to support you with recruitment and training – not just in the set-up phase – but on an ongoing basis. But, ultimately you are the boss and need to establish strong relationships with your team to keep them engaged.
Boldly market and advertise
You’re part of a proven brand and you franchisor will have national marketing plans in place but building brand loyalty is tough. You’ll get a natural churn of customers so you need to be forward thinking and ensure you have an always on approach to marketing. A digital marketing only approach is not enough, you need to ensure you have an ‘offline’ plan, this could be simply giving your team the tools to get out speak to people and other businesses in the local community.
Manage your reputation
We now live in a world where people love to, and can easily, share their experiences for all to see. You can never make everyone happy all the time but attention to detail and “the little things” that really make a massive positive difference and can determine success. Make sure your team are focused on a fantastic customer experience but are also managing reviews, respond to the positive but also the negative as this shows you care. I am a firm believer that all purchases and brand loyalty is based on emotion; invoke a positive feeling towards your business in everything you do.
Be an active participant in the brand’s growth
Your franchise will have the experience to guide you on what works and what doesn’t so you don’t have to spend time reinventing the wheel. They will have data to measure performance but not on the human reaction. Feedback is king, and the on-ground experiences from you and your team can help to build an even stronger brand experience. So don’t be shy in sharing, it’s to everyone’s benefit – the franchise model is all about partnership after all.