Franchise Nurturing Should be More Than Just Sales

Franchise Nurturing is More Than Just SalesA franchise’s long-term success relies not only on the prominence of the national brand – but also on the health of its local franchisees and affiliated organizations. At Ironpaper, we’ve found that one of the best ways to ensure franchise success in competitive local markets is to incorporate franchise nurturing as part of your long-term strategy–more than just the onboarding of new affiliated organizations.

Franchise nurturing involves enabling, educating, aligning and improving your franchisees and affiliated organizations, helping them to grow, improve services and enable better direct customer relationships. This is critical because it’s not enough to simply license a powerful brand for other business owners to use – you also need to provide those individuals with the tools they need to succeed.

Here are seven ways to get started:

1. Make your service the best it can be. This is critical because nothing can make up for a subpar product or service. Make incredible service your number one priority and don’t let a thirst for sales overshadow your ability to deliver. Make sure the service you’re offering is top-notch, so franchisees and affiliates have something truly great to work with.

2. Teach franchisees how to generate leads and sales themselves. It can’t be corporate’s sole responsibility to generate leads and drive sales in local geographic markets. Make sure your franchisees and affiliates know how to accomplish these tasks themselves, using corporate marketing dollars or their own investments to improve their search engine rankings, gain a local online presence, connect with prospects, engage with leads, create original content, and so on.

3. Make sure every franchisee has an individual website. Though customers can find your brand through the corporate website, the reality is that they prefer to receive tailored information from their local area franchise. To begin, teach franchisees how to set up their websites on a sub-domain of the main corporate site. From there, train them to use their own content management system to add and edit new content customized to their local market. For example, fitness franchise owners can learn how to create and share workout advice, recipes and healthy living tips that are connected to their city.

4. Train franchisees on social media. Social media is the new word of mouth for businesses of all kinds, and it’s especially useful when it comes to promoting a franchise. To leverage it to your advantage, train franchisees and affiliates on how to have a social media presence connected to their individual websites, which will allow them to engage with their local audience and build relationships with prospects over time. Train individual franchises also on how to avoid PR mistakes and missteps.

5. Train franchisees to provide better services. Routinely evaluate customer feedback and communicate with franchisees and affiliates on how they can use this information to improve and continue exceeding customer expectations. Not only will this ensure the health and success of the local franchise, but it will also protect the national, collective brand. Create standards for service to maintain brand wide, and build an ongoing communication program that educates franchise owners and managers on this service strategy.

6. Leverage marketing automation. Through all of your communications with franchisees and affiliates, we recommend leveraging marketing automation to educate, inform and inspire in a sustainable and scalable way. This allows your corporate marketers to quickly send information to franchise owners throughout the country, automatically segmenting them by certain markers, including size, sales and geographic location. Different franchises may have challenges of different sizes and proportions–help them overcome these challenges.

7. Celebrate the success of your franchisees. Everyone wants to be celebrated for their hard work. Provide incentives and reward your franchisees and affiliates for their success. We recommend running interesting contests and setting the most competitive commission rates and rewards for those individuals that are creating the most value.



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Ironpaper is a B2B marketing agency and lead generation agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.