We are often asked how best to get more value from a franchise business and this post outlines some vital factors to consider.
1. Profile your customers and benchmark against your market potential.
Each and every one of us is different, your customers are no exception. Using demographic data, like our SONAR solution, allows you define and understand the common characteristics shared by your customers. Are they homeowners, how old, how wealthy, where do they live, how far do they travel to you? etc.
If you know how many customers you have in a geographic area you can quickly compare this number against the number of “target” individuals present in the area thereby calculating your current market penetration.
This simple but effective technique helps thousands of companies, including your competitors, focus their marketing effort by geography or region and allows them to be really targeted in their marketing messages for different profiles.
Remember people respond better if you tailor a communication to them rather than blanket “vanilla” approaches.
2. Give franchisees the best possible start to growing long-term business
Having a large number of territories is good for the franchisor but ensuring territories are the right-size for the franchisee could make the difference between success and failure or a relationship going sour.
When designing territories…
- Take account of the sales process and the time it takes the franchise owner to acquire and grow customers.
- Ensure each territory is balanced to provide equal sales potential within it and takes account of drive times. If in doubt apply the profiling principles above.
- For an existing franchise, assess unsold territories using up-to-date demographics. Then realign boundaries as needed to make them more attractive for sales.
Remember, a prospective franchise owner needs to see income potential is realistic and this is helped by demonstrating that a high level of detail, investment and effort has gone into the territory planning process.
3. Consider splitting up territories into smaller units of geography.
Consider using a ‘building-block’ approach to franchise territory design – combining several smaller territory elements to form the final territory offered. Some franchisors use this as a way of catering for different types of franchisee and entrepreneurial styles.
Some franchisees may be happy operating a small patch on a part-time basis whilst others could be recruiting their own franchisees in the “master franchise” type model. This “building-block” or sometimes called the “sub-territory” approach provides an additional level of flexibility.