Using Cloud-Based Technology Solutions to Drive Change in the Franchise Industry

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Many franchisors utilize Twitter to communicate their products and services to would-be customers.  But how do you know if your social media efforts are paying off?  Can you pull up a real-time report to see just how many new leads you’ve created over the past week?  If you find an interesting conversation taking place about your franchise opportunity, are you able to effectively get a business development rep involved and respond in real-time? We’ve posted this video to demonstrate the powerful functionality that’s created by integrating Salesforce and Twitter together in your franchise lead generation process. ... (more)

Designing a Process for Awarding Franchises – Part 2: Management

“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” -Albert Einstein   In my previous post, titled “Designing a Process for Awarding Franchises – Part 1: Leadership”, I looked at the notion of how designing a process of awarding franchises has to start with prioritizing around the characteristics that your franchisees should have.  Without fist hashing out this issue, it will be largely unproductive to tactically begin putting together a process that can be managed.  For example, creating a system for “selling” franchises to individuals with no prior business ownership nor franchising experience is much different than creating a system of segmenting, targeting, and positioning  your franchise to individuals and/or organizations who fit certain characteristics that you have pre-defined.  Both of these ph... (more)

Are Emotionally Engaged Buyers Really What You Want?

Is creating an emotional bond or emotional engagement really what you’re after when working with prospective candidates who are interested in your franchise?  If your job function is in franchise sales you’ll probably say “Yes”.  If you’re a CEO you’re likely thinking “No?”.  The nature of the franchisor-franchisee relationship is complex and must begin with a proper alignment of expectations if you want to achieve long-term viability. By definition, an emotionally charged buyer is someone who makes a buying decision based on feeling rather than rationale and reality.  This creates fertile ground for a misalignment of expectations; the consequences of which are typically dire in franchising.  But why is franchising different? Well, in scenarios where you may be selling goods and/or services and the buyer and seller are independent of each other once the transaction ... (more)

Fundamentals: Are You Effectively Managing Lead-Flow?

In the spirit of posting helpful information that has real-world applicability, I’ve put together a short video demo of effectively managing lead flow.  This clip deals with managing incoming or reactive lead flow, as opposed to proactive lead generation. Sophisticated franchise companies will have multiple lead generation campaigns in place, at all times, and in various mediums.  The ability to integrate every lead, regardless of entry point, into your pipeline in real-time and rapidly route, contact, qualify, and follow up with these prospective customers (franchisees) would have at one time put you head and shoulders above your competition.  Today, it’s a fundamental process that every organization needs to achieve long-term success.  And it’s not enough to have a structured sales process in place.  There should be quantifiable objectives and goals built into th... (more)

Fundamentals: Franchise Lead Generation with Google Adwords

As a follow up to yesterday’s post about effectively managing lead-flow, I’ve posted another video showing what I’ve found to be very useful and effective tools for lead generation. You might want to consider incorporating Google Adwords campaigns into your repertoire for franchise lead generation. The ability to target micro-channels and create highly relevant campaigns for specific target markets, along with the powerful analytical capabilities and budget options served up by Google Adwords makes it a no-brainer to incorporate into your overall strategy. The benefits of Adwords is exponentially increased if you incorporate it into your CRM system which will allow you to more easily analyze your ROI, among many other metrics. Check out this video for an overview of the benefits of a Google Adwords and Salesforce mashup. ... (more)

The Five Most Important Aspects of IT for Franchisors

(Photo: source) I came across a rather interesting question that was posed on Linkedin yesterday which prompted this post. The question was “Which thesis about IT within emerging franchise networks most appeals to you?” The author, Heath Waldorf, is putting together a thesis paper and was looking for some insight. I obliged…. Information Technology within franchise systems would appear to be a scarcity judging by the lack of conversation on the topic. A few quick searches about franchising and technology will pull up a handful of dated articles on intranets (which are rapidly becoming a thing of the past), there are two LinkedIn groups dedicated to technology in franchising – one has 23 members and the other has 3. There are virtually no conversations taking place about franchise and IT in the cloud… that’s Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. The technology playing fi... (more)

What is a 360-degree view, anyway?

Like most companies in most industries, franchisors have plenty of moving parts and pieces in their business. For instance, there are potential franchise candidates to evaluate, real estate to analyze, franchisees to train, and franchisees to support; not to mention all of the franchise contracts, leases, and disclosure requirements to keep tabs on.  Many franchisors tout ” proven systems” as a main selling point or advantage to becoming a franchisee, however a quick look under the hood would reveal that many franchisors don’t have their own internal processes sorted out. This problem is not inherently unique to franchisors, as it’s a commonly recurring issue across most industries, but we’re going to focus on franchising here. Potential reasons why basic internal processes are not adopted include the following: Lack of understanding of what the process should be.... (more)

Symptoms vs Problems

Quite often we speak with franchising executives about the challenges they’re facing. During these conversations, one subject that is commonly broached is the challenge surrounding franchise sales/development. Many times what the organization’s leadership is explaining to us are symptoms of a problem, but they’re looking for a solution that only treats this symptom. The reality is that there is often a larger problem in play that gets little attention. That problem can usually be broken down like this: 1. Lack of consistent business processes in all areas including franchise sales, pre-opening, operations, and franchise administration. 2. Lack of IT infrastructure that enables the organization to manage their business processes. 3. Lack of analytics/reporting tools that enable management to benefit from business intelligence, or monitor and improve the business. This ... (more)

Designing a Process for Awarding Franchises – Part 1: Leadership

Designing a process for effectively awarding franchises can be challenging.  There is both a management and a leadership component to doing it.  You may recall the image that Stephen Covey paints in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” whereby a group of Workers are fighting their way through the jungle, wielding machetes and cutting through the underbrush while their Managers stand behind them “sharpening their machetes, writing policy and procedure manuals, holding muscle development programs, bringing in improved technologies and setting up working schedules and compensation programs for the machete wielders.”  The Managers are helping the Workers to be more efficient. The Leader, however, is the person who climbs the tallest tree, surveys the entire area, and yells, “Wrong Jungle!” As Covey would say, management is efficiency in climbing the ladder; while ... (more)