While a franchise business model can certainly be lucrative, making the commitment to grow your company through this category can still be intimidating. After all, the decisions that you make today can set the course for your business for years to come. You’ve worked hard to establish your brand, so how can you best protect it, and how do you maintain consistency through the brand’s growth? With expertise in franchise/franchisee business communication, we at Fort Lauderdale and Aspen-based public relations agency Durée & Company know that in order to achieve success as a franchisor, it’s imperative to have a solid marketing plan in place.
And while this unique business model gives you an opportunity to expand your business through the partnership of like-minded business professionals, a strong foundation must be in place. Here are D&Co’s five key marketing components to establish as you set out to franchise your business:
- Establish brand guidelines. Branding guidelines are the rules of the road when it comes to keeping the essence of your business in check. A style guide is a must ― a go-to for all franchisees when they have any questions about how to present the brand. This includes information such as size and usage of the logo, the color palette and approved PMS colors, fonts, taglines and more. This visual roadmap should be instantly recognizable and identifiable to your audience.
- Have legal documents and forms in place. As many potential franchisees will conduct a search online and end up on your website, it’s important to make sure forms are easy to understand, free of errors and can be filled out and submitted online. This is often the first step in the partnership, so all documents and forms must include required legal language. A knowledgeable franchise attorney can provide this, as well as required documents, including franchise agreements, franchise disclosure documents, multi-unit development agreements, and others. This information ultimately outlines all terms and can help determine who will be a fit for your business.
- Ensure consistent content creation & messaging. This includes the website, blog content, brochures, marketing decks, videos, and more. A master content document, such as a style guide, states approved verbiage and messaging to provide consistency. For example, the video should match the brochure, which should match the website. Creating a franchisee toolbox that includes a protocol for establishing each new store’s social media presence, signage, interior and exterior design, promotional items, etc. will help eliminate confusion and wasted time once a new franchisee has come on board.
- Establish your online presence. Whether it’s effective search engine optimization (SEO), sharing your message on social media channels, or ensuring your standing on third party sites (associations, etc.), it’s critical to have a strong online presence. Should franchisees be required to post corporate-generated content or do they have the autonomy to post more local content? Who monitors this and what guidelines should be in place? These and many other questions should be thought through so there is a precedent set.
- Connect with your audience. Participate in franchise trade shows, which take place across the U.S. throughout the year. These provide a great setting to meet potential franchisees and check out what other franchisors are doing. If you do have company-owned stores, use these locations to access what your customers really want, and how their needs and wants are changing; and to provide a model for franchisees. Join business chambers and associations, such as the International Franchise Association that has a number of resources, including lead generation, in place to assist its members. Not only can they help you grow your business, but they also provide excellent networking opportunities, exposure, and additional resources.
If you’re ready to take the step to begin franchising your business, D&Co can help you get and stay on the right track when it comes to marketing. We have the expertise and longtime experience of working with franchisors to ensure that your branding, messaging and identity are consistent, legal and effective. Contact us today to find out how we can help you successfully market your franchise business.
About Durée & Company
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service public relations, marketing, and special events firm founded in 1999. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Aspen, Colorado. Durée & Company serves the corporate, agency and nonprofit arenas for local, national and international clients. Services include public relations, social media, marketing, content development, advertising, special events, branding, radio promotions and more. Durée & Company clients include well-known names in business, fashion, hospitality, travel, wellness and CBD, marine & yacht, art and culture, nonprofit organizations, legal and professional services and real estate. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms. To learn more, go to https://dureeandcompany.com/, visit Durée & Company on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DureeCoPR/, Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/dureecopr Twitter at https://twitter.com/dureecopr or YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/DureeAndCompany, or call 954-723-9350.