There are some positive statements coming out from a few different sources, including The Federal Reserve, stating that we are either at the end of our recession here in the US, or really darn close to it. Is it time to start thinking about growth?
In the franchise industry, growth comes in a few different ways:
- New unit sales are the bread and butter of a franchise organization. Without unit sales, the brand can’t grow. The system can get stagnant quickly, and other franchisees can start to get affected by it.
- Current franchisees experience revenue gains
- The revenue gains translate into increased royalty amounts paid to the franchisors
- The franchisors expand their infrastructure
If you are a franchisor, there are a few things that you can do to get ready for things to start turning around in the US. You’ve probably been busy trying to cut your expenses by doing things like scaling back your payroll, re-thinking some of your marketing and advertising strategies, and looking at some of your internal controls.
Here a few things that can help you get ready for more activity as the economy starts growing:
- A professional well-designed website is essential to establishing the credibility of your franchise. Pertinent information on your franchise, along with lead collection forms, should be readily available on your website. Make sure that prospective franchisees don’t have to work hard to get the information they need. Here are some design tips.
- Your franchise sales team may be a little stagnant. You definitely need a specific sales process. This is a great time to get back to the basics. Maybe you can do a one day off-site motivational seminar with your sales team. Get them re-energized!
- Are your company operations a smooth, well oiled machine? Can you streamline some of your day to day activities? Maybe a new set of eyes can improve things, and get your franchise system to a new level. Sometimes, an outside consultant is just what the doctor ordered.
- You may want to get your franchisee’s local marketing activities more automated. I found some folks who specialize in this through Twitter. Check out Balihoo.com
- Is your franchise organization up to speed on social media marketing? It should be. Check out this article on franchise social media. It is not the wave of the future. The future is now.
- Is your IT team ready for an increase in business? Is it time for some computer system check-ups? How tight is your internet security? The time to check is now.
- Are you using the right type of software? Could you find better software solutions? Could these solutions help your productivity, and your bottom line? Look into new software offerings. You may be surprised by what is available now.
- Is your franchise operations manual user friendly? Does it still work? Could it use some tweaking? Making sure that it is current and written correctly could be some time well spent.
- Are you allowing your employees to have some fun during work? Could an innovative program like this one, spark some creativity, and increase company morale?
- Physically write down your specific goals for the second half of 2009. How many new franchises would you like to award? How much royalty income would you like to see in the next 6 months? When would you like to launch a new product or service?
As our economy continues to recover, the companies that are prepared for a burst in business will be the big winners. The ones that just wait for things to happen will lose.
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