Six golden steps to creating a recession-proof franchise

The looming recession doesn't have to spell doom and gloom for your franchise's growth. Use these six proven strategies to see your business soar.

Six golden steps to creating a recession-proof franchise

The news of a global recession is ubiquitous. The Bank of England increased interest rates and predicted a long recession is imminent. Inflation in Europe’s largest economy – Germany – has reached a 50-year high. Goldman Sachs’ economists warned that UK inflation rates can reach up to 22.4%. We are steadily heading towards turbulent economic times at the end of the year or even beforehand.

So, what can franchisors do to protect their network and continue to grow their business? You read that right: continue to grow, not to exist. I firmly believe growth is at the heart of franchising, especially during economically challenging times. This is when people are made redundant and seek new (often entrepreneurial) opportunities.

Following the pandemic, businesses hastened to operate at full throttle to make up for lost ground. But this period of recovery and stabilisation is rapidly coming to an end. Predictions by Goldman Sachs indicate that the post-pandemic, pre-recession window will close next quarter. This means you only have three months or less to prepare for what’s ahead.

There is, therefore, no time to waste because you have a very slim but critical window of opportunity.

So, how should you act?

In the next quarter, it is not impossible to CREATE a recession-proof window. The acronym CREATE is a strategy to make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity. Here’s what it stands for:

1. Create buyer personas

2. Revise costs and budgets for your marketing campaigns

3. Estimate efficacy through tracking ROI and measuring results meticulously

4. Amend campaigns to make sure you’re making the most of them

5. Think in perspective, you are doing this for the long run

6. Eliminate excess costs, try to be as lean as possible

1. Create buyer personas

Knowing who you’re targeting is of the essence to stay cost effective and reach the right audience. Speaking from experience over the years, there have been countless cases of franchisors advertising to highly broad audiences, trying to achieve healthy results, while spending much too much on ads. Make sure you revise your buyer personas. If you have these already, updated them quarterly at the very least. Not sure where to start? Download the ideal franchisee avatar template from our website.

2. Revise costs

Revising your marketing costs and budgets will empower a lean approach with your marketing spend. Search trends change all the time, and with them, so do keyword bids and strategies. As a result, your marketing spend/budget must be updated regularly to ensure you aren’t spending too much on terms that bring no leads or which have low value.

3. Estimate efficacy

Measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. With the right tracking tools in place such as Google Analytics, Facebook pixel, various cookies and heat mapping tools, you can measure the efficacy of each campaign, as well as its ROI. Seek clarity about the most important metrics you should track such as cost per lead, cost per acquisition etc.

4. Amend campaigns

Next, have your marketing staff or agency amend, update and continuously optimise your campaigns. Ensure that you aren’t overspending and that you’re bringing in leads to your funnel for the lowest cost possible. Campaigns need to be continuously looked after and optimised. Simply building them and letting them run is not ideal.

5. Think in perspective

You are in this for the long haul. While short-term results are welcome, you’re preparing your business for a recession that will last for the next few years. Because you want to ensure your business continues to grow incrementally, don’t be lured by short-term goals or threats. Just keep going.

6. Eliminate excess costs

Eliminate costs and apply lean franchise marketing. Explore your expenditure. What are you spending on that doesn’t bring immediate value to your business? Look at subscriptions or software you don’t use or costs such as tools with free alternatives. Perhaps there are services you retain in-house that you could outsource for a fraction of the cost? Think critically and shop for no obligation quotes. Savings have a way of building up.

Want to know how lean your franchise marketing is? Use our scorecard to test your franchise marketing and get a personalised report.

Dani Peleva
Dani Peleva