We are kicking off a blog series on planning your franchise development program for 2021. Before we get into strategy and tactic recommendations, we want to address something we feel is a big concern – the proverbial elephant in the room. In this blog, we’re going to confront it head-on.
Portals, Brokers and Reliance – OH MY!
Because many franchise brands use franchise brokers and franchise portals to sell franchises, internal franchisor efforts often slow down, and it’s not the fault of the brokers or portals. Over time, many brands stop using dedicated funds and resources to build their own marketing and strategies … and eventually, they lose them.
There are pros and cons of using brokers for franchise sales, but this heavy reliance on brokers is leaving gaping holes in many franchise development internal marketing programs. Brokers and portals can have a seat at the table, but they should not dominate the dinner.
Any time someone else is doing the heavy lifting for your brand’s sales strategy, that leaves your franchise vulnerable. Often, it means your own program isn’t where it needs to be. The reality is, whether they are assisting you or not, brokers and portals need to provide just an assist, not a reliance. With ad funds typically going to the consumer side, investing in franchise development often gets pushed to the back burner, which can be dangerous for brand growth.
A heavy reliance on having brokers market your franchise is not a long-term solution. Remember, they’re often selling hundreds of other brands, too.
We aren’t saying to avoid using brokers. We’re saying if and when you do use brokers, your franchise still needs to make building your own internal franchise marketing program a big priority.
Build Up Your Fran Dev Program
And here’s a little secret: The more you build up your program with the tools and platforms we are going to share with you in our next blog, the more it will actually help you close the sale, no matter who is bringing the deal.
When the franchise CEO or founder comes in and asks the franchise development staff to grow more or take things to the next level, many franchise development directors and franchise sales teams find themselves behind the eight ball. At no fault of their own, the brand’s heavy reliance on brokers and portals to fill the pipeline, combined with a lack of funding from the franchisor, means there’s a lot of catching up to do when the CEO asks for a quick growth spurt. It’s hard to suddenly be successful – especially in new markets – when the right strategies and tactics haven’t been in place for a while before the foot hits the pedal.
Franchise development directors, franchise marketing directors, franchise founders and CEOs need to have more proactive conversations, starting now, about building a stronger internal franchise development marketing program and what it will take to do that. The foundation for your marketing program has to not only be right, but also it has to stay updated.
Check out our next blog to find out more about how to plan your franchise development program for 2021.