Taking risks is one of the greatest obstacles standing in the way of achieving success. For those with the entrepreneurial itch, yet still, a bit concerned about the associated risks, buying into a franchise is an excellent opportunity. Franchises allow consumers to essentially invest in a brand and run a chain for themselves.
While the associated risks of running a franchise are fairly minimal, the amount of success each franchise has depends largely on the owner. The franchise upholds its end of the bargain, but each franchisee must do the same to see growth and success. Since we’re all human and make mistakes, we’ve identified a few problems new franchisees often run into.
Mistake #1: A Lack of Cohesive Marketing
One major way franchisees hurt their efforts is by not having a cohesive marketing message. The franchise that franchisees have bought into will typically have an established and credible voice, so franchisees need to continue to remain on-brand to ensure their market associates them accordingly. It’s critical that franchisees utilize the franchise’s Marketing Resource Management (MRM) software to ensure all of the content they disseminate is accurate and brand compliant.
KFC is a famous example of how this can go horribly wrong. After an appearance on Oprah stating that customers can download a coupon to receive 2 free pieces of grilled chicken, along with two sides and a biscuit, franchisees struggled to fulfill. Some even outright refused on the basis that they were not reimbursed for their investment in the promotion. Part of the problem had to do with the limited access franchisees had to the corresponding marketing resources to appropriately promote and execute.
Mistake #2: Relying too Much on Brand Web Presence
You spent a premium for brand recognition; They should handle your local web presence for you, right? The answer is usually “no”.
Failing to pay attention to your local market on the web will drastically impact the success of your franchise. You run the risk of missing out on new customers and converting existing customers into repeat visitors. You also lose a valuable opportunity to connect with your community and establish a brand voice that encompasses the persona your franchise aims to convey.
Maintaining even a social presence is better than nothing at all. Just make sure you’re acting in line with the brand’s overall guidelines, or that you receive approval to go it alone on a new strategy you devise. Remember, your etiquette affects the entire franchise, so act accordingly.
Mistake #3: Forgetting the Basics
Franchisees often forget the basics of running a business at the local level. It’s easy to get obsessed with the national brand. You’ve studied the figures, you understand the model and you have set your sales goals.
Did you remember to list your business in the local business directory? Have you announced your launch on social media? Are you aware of what your Google Business presence looks like?
Forgetting these basics is a surefire way to get nowhere fast as a new franchisee. Sure, some people get lucky, but it’s a risk that you can minimize with even a small amount of time and effort invested.
Don’t forget to read your contracts and to understand the business model thoroughly before you invest. If you’re paying continued franchise fees to run the business or neglect to forecast potential expenses not included in your initial cost analysis, it can throw off your launch and make it much harder to succeed.