In the competitive world of franchises, recruiting new franchisees is crucial to ensure the growth of your network. However, finding qualified and interested candidates is becoming increasingly challenging. Relying solely on advertisements in franchise directories for sale yields disappointing results.
The situation for many franchisors is clear: they urgently need franchisees to expand their business, but they are not attracting enough qualified candidates.
Why is there difficulty in recruiting new partners for your franchise?
The answer to this question is simple: franchisors don’t know how to effectively “market” their franchise.
So, what does it really mean to “market” your franchise?
In a highly competitive market, recruiting a sufficient number of qualified candidates is a significant strategic challenge. To succeed, it is essential to implement a comprehensive and thoughtful strategy, with an adequate budget to achieve your goals. It is also crucial to consider the brand’s reputation to determine the budget required.
There is no universal method, but here are 10 essential bases (1):
- Define a strong message highlighting what sets you apart as a franchisor and your unique business model.
- Develop coherent communication tools to effectively convey this message.
- Create a clear and scientifically validated development plan to enable you to recruit in the most promising markets and allocate franchises with relevant data.
- Create attractive content dedicated to franchisee recruitment and share it on your social media platforms.
- Establish a dedicated website for franchisee recruitment instead of a simple page on your main site.
- Adopt digital marketing tools focused on conversion rather than brand awareness.
- Display everywhere that you are looking for franchisees, whether on your bags, vehicles, advertisements, in front of your establishments, etc.
- Regularly approach local economic development organizations to present your franchise. Take this opportunity to share your successes, challenges, and the need for new franchisees. They are great referrers.
- Mobilize your entire ecosystem to provide potential candidates.
- Implement a clear and rigorous qualification and selection process.
Now, what is the “secret sauce” for making all of this work?
Three basic ingredients are essential:
- A budget aligned with your objectives. To succeed, you should allocate at least 25% of the franchise entry fees you expect to receive during the year to your franchise recruitment advertising budget. Franchise marketing requires a real financial investment, especially considering the fierce competition.
- Unwavering discipline regarding the follow-up and handling of qualified candidates. Respond promptly to any candidate’s information request, preferably within 4 hours of their inquiry. Remember that you are in fierce competition, and the initial contact with the candidate is often crucial, as many franchisors lack the same rigor in their follow-up.
- Mobilization of all members of your organization for growth. Growth should be a constant concern, even before it becomes a reality. Encourage the growth of your excellent franchisees by organizing local or regional recruitment events, meeting franchisees from other brands in markets of interest, giving conferences, etc.
The “secret sauce” enhances the taste of success when you, as a franchise leader, fully commit to implementing and activating it. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet, over 60% of franchisors in America have fewer than 25 franchises after 10 years.
Remember that the value creation of your franchise relies on the generated recurring revenue. By choosing the franchise as a value creation strategy, you have chosen to develop your network. Be assured of one thing: you will never stop “marketing” your franchise if you want to create value for your company.
To quote Conrad Hilton, founder of Hilton Hotels: “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
(1) I assume that your business model is effective. Otherwise, forget about it and reinvent your model to avoid creating unsuccessful franchisees with no chance of survival and development due to an insufficiently performing model.