I never have time!

Most brands find themselves in a bit of a lull at some point, when it comes to franchise recruitment.

I never have time!

Most brands find themselves in a bit of a lull at some point, when it comes to franchise recruitment. And as the summer holidays commence for many households, life-changing decisions are usually  paused. So, argues Paul Clegg from Coconut, this is the ideal time to find the time you say you never have!

There’s not a week goes by when I don’t say, or hear, “I wanted to do such and such, but I ran out of time”. Or something along those lines. What about you?

If you saw Coconut’s recruitment update video for the end of June, you’d have learned there is a change in the annual cycle for franchise-related search terms on Google. We regularly analyse the data, because this helps to build a picture of franchise recruitment within the UK. Normally, during the summer holiday we would expect to see a slow-down, when it comes to people looking for information about franchising. Add this to the fact there has been a decline in search terms, since the pandemic. Although, there does seem to be a current trend for people searching for information around “starting a business”.

People are, and will remain so for a little while longer, anxious about the future. I recently had a conversation with one of our clients, who told me they’d sent out the contracts to two new franchisees, when both called to say they were going to pause, as they wanted to “wait and see what was going to happen”. Others who work within the franchise recruitment may have had similar conversations: Things seem to be going well, the prospect is keen, and then their feet are cold. It’s not a hard-no. It’s a pause.

According to the latest Government Labour Force Survey, released in June:

  • The number of self-employed workers fell during the coronavirus pandemic, and remains low
  • The number of full-time employees increased over the quarter to a record high
  • The unemployment rate for February to April 2022 decreased over the quarter 

What this tells me, is due to the cost-of-living crisis, and the uncertainty people are feeling, they’re more likely to seek the security of employment, than start their own business.

So, what does this mean for you and your franchise?

As I’ve said before, some sectors are finding recruitment challenging, at the moment. Whilst others are generally doing really well, and the network is growing. It can be easy, to decide to make cut backs on your recruitment strategy, but I would advise against this. Even if you need to reduce spend, and change your message, it is important you ensure your brand remains visible.

The old saying, “out of sight, out of mind” is so true within recruitment! You don’t want your prospects, or those who are currently watching you from the shadows, to forget who you are because you’re not pushing any content out.

Part of your strategy HAS to include facts around your franchisees enjoying growth, stability, and the proven risk-reduction your brand offers. Use real data, real people, and real success stories. This helps to reassure your prospects you’re not about to disappear.

Using your time wisely

During the summer months, I always believe it is worth making preparations for the next spike in franchise enquiry activity, we usually expect to see in the Autumn. Whether it will happen this year, remains to be seen, given the current state of the UK. But, I still think it’s worth you investing the time in preparing your brand, in readiness. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

Looking at your priorities for the year, or looking back at priorities you’ve not had time to focus on, could be more easily achieved at the moment. In speaking with some franchisors, I know they’re keen to make changes to their CRM systems, based on franchisee feedback, or to create a new franchisee-led initiative within the network. Some goals need to be worked on, when recruitment is quieter. For example:

This is the ideal time to focus on your brand

Have you been thinking about a rebrand? Or wanted to tweak something within your messaging? Now is the ideal time to make those changes, and roll them out across the network.

It’s also the ideal time to assess your systems & processes

Why not take the time to review what you do and investigate new, smarter ways of doing things. This could be systems or new processes.

It’s a good time to strengthen your network

Is there something you shave been holding back on, which could have a positive impact? The next few months are a good time to speak to your franchisees, and start to implement anything which will help them grow stronger.

Now is the best time to make time

I know it would be brilliant if every brand could be super busy onboarding new franchisees. It’s been a hard slog, and some of you are having to make difficult decisions. However, don’t lose hope! With a little wisdom, and a whole heap of togetherness, you and your franchise network can weather this storm, and see your efforts rewarded with profitable growth.

If we at Coconut can help you to assess where your marketing is, or help you review your systems, then please do not hesitate to contact me. Our team of experts can help you make the best use of this time.

Paul Clegg
Paul Clegg