Franchising is one of several ways of growing your business. If you’re looking to streamline your operations and scale outwards, franchising is a fantastic choice. It shouldn’t be taken lightly though, or as a quick route to success. Franchising requires a lot of time, effort and money – even though the franchisee pays for their unit and access to the brand. If you do go down the route of franchising, one of the most important aspects is having a good, consistent brand.
First lets take a look at franchising and its benefits for the franchisor.
How Does Franchising Benefit My Business?
At immediate glance, the biggest benefits seem like those to the franchisee. They get a business in a box, quick access to an established business model and are running your business in their own area. They pay the investment and in return you provide training, support and the necessary materials – along with the brand – to give them a head start into the world of entrepreneurship. But how does franchising aid the business founder?
1. Stand Out From The Competition
When you’re running an independent business, a single unit business, your existence is really only noticeable locally. You’ll likely advertise in local media, place an ad in a nearby shop, or pop flyers through neighbours doors. Even if you have a Google My Business to aid your SEO, this will only be shown to people who either a) search your brand name, or b) use a relevant keyword(s) in a close geographic area to your business listing. Even then, you’ll have competing businesses. Who do they choose? Chances are, if they’ve never used any of them, it’ll be based on reviews and word of mouth, besides luck of the draw.
Franchising enables your business to stand out from this competition. And one of the reasons why brand consistency is important. Franchised businesses use the same brand name, deliver the same services and offer the same products, to customers, covering a wider area. As more franchisees operate under your business brand name, the brand becomes better known. Standing out from the crowd becomes a lot easier.
2. Less Cost to Expand
Other routes to business growth and expansion may require you, the business owner, to raise the capital needed to grow. With franchising, this financial weight is on the franchisee. You’ll work with a franchise consultant to determine how much the franchise investment should be set at, the franchisees and other costs. The franchisee will pay this to you, and in exchange you’ll provide them with the tools needed to run the business. Franchisees should also expect to have working capital, to keep the business running effectively until a return on their investment.
So you’re achieving greater reach and better brand recognition at a lower cost to your business.
3. Faster Growth Potential
There’s no reason why you can’t recruit multiple franchisees at the same time. Onboarding multiple franchisees in a close timeframe can easily blow your competition’s expansion plans out of the water. With franchisees covering the capital needed to grow, you’ll spend less time finding money, and more time growing your business.
Why is Brand Consistency Important?
Franchising your business has many benefits such as those above, but without a good brand, expansion is a dead duck from the start. Using that branding to tie the businesses together as part of a network is one of the reasons franchising is such a powerful method of growth. Franchising is a powerful method of growth and is incredibly well supported thanks to the support from consultants and the British Franchise Association. Whether you’re franchising a van based business or a coffee shop franchise in the UK, maintaining a good brand, story and image is essential.
Let’s look at the reasons for a good brand and maintaining consistency throughout.
1. Brand Consistency Makes a Franchise Business Recognisable
If you’re already running a business then you’ve probably already got a brand name and logo, but it pays to work with a professional marketing consultant to ensure your branding is effective. Important points to ensure brand consistency on marketing and branding level:
- Logo should be a reasonably straightforward design. Intricate logos aren’t easy to remember, a logo should be simple. It should match with a choice of colours that define your brand. Some excellent examples of franchise brand consistency are ChipsAway, OSCAR Pet Foods and Fantastic Services. Take a look around their websites and see how well their brand consistency flows.
- Define a font family and stick with it. Create a file of brand guidelines that should be followed with whatever marketing you do. Flyers, social media graphics, vehicle livery, it should all follow the exact same colour scheme and font styling.
The main benefit of franchising is to attract most customers, build a better reputation and ultimately grow, expand your operations and increase your capital. Take the time to get the brand consistency right, even if it means completely rebranding your business before you jump into franchising. Get the business brand organised, define the offering and work with a franchise consultant if necessary.
2. Increased Customer Loyalty and Repeat Business
As your franchise network grows, even from 2+ franchisees, your brand becomes better known. And as it does, too grows its reputation and the number of customers associating positively with it. Having a consistent brand means that wherever your customers are, they’ll know they can get consistent quality and the same products and services at a competitive price. Opening units in as many places as possible makes your brand more accessible. The more units you have, the more the brand will resonate and stand out from competition. It will also mean attracting repeat business from customers through increased loyalty. Maintaining a look and feel of the brand, both outside through marketing, and inside the business – for example a shop, restaurant or a van based coffee business right down to the paper cup, makes customers feel comfortable with your brand.
3. Reduced Marketing Costs
By providing the same products and services across all franchisees, marketing costs can be minimised. Directing marketing to your central website where all franchisees are listed means you can make the marketing non-geographically targeted. It is up to you whether you run marketing on franchisees behalf, but franchisees will expect some form of group marketing in return for their monthly fees. You and your franchisees should aim to stay as digitally active as possible. A dead social media page will not generate clients. By using the same marketing, whether its in print or online, you can save time and money.
Franchising is all about the branding. Delivering the same message across all of your franchisees. You should take the time to get the branding of your business right before you start franchising. Once the franchise network is off the ground, ensure franchisees comply with the brand guidelines and you’ll find that growing your business can be smooth and effective. Looking to advertise your franchise opportunity? Get in touch with the UK’s most cost effective franchise directory to start promoting your franchise for free.