If you have a successful store or office, it makes sense to see if you can replicate that success elsewhere. Local markets, however, are not all the same. Your overheads might vary wildly, and the pricing expectations of each local community might vary too. When you consider what these tolerances are, you might also need to consider local customs, preferences and traditions. What you need is local knowledge on the ground. But how can you effectively manage that?
There is an alternative to hiring managers that you rarely have a chance to meet up. Franchising your business might feel a little like you’re letting go of the reins. However, there are many benefits to selling licenses to trade under your name. For one thing, you know that your local branch will be managed by an entrepreneur. That person has more of an interest in making the business work because it is their business too. There are no guarantees for their success.
Of course, it is still essential that you hold the reins of marketing. After all, this is your brand, not the franchise-holder’s. Local franchise marketing is perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects that you’ll need to manage.
A good agency can help you with each of your stores, and coordinate any national campaigns at that level. You’ll need a buy-in from each store and a commitment to each campaign from them. This can be challenging. The franchisee will always feel they know best. It’s important that you include a training program and contractual details regarding this area of the business.
What The Local Operation Needs Most
It is up to you how hands-on or hands-off you want to be with the franchises. However, the point of selling them is to give you the freedom to be hands-off for the most part. You want your business to grow, but you don’t have time to scrutinize every local-level business decision. But without clearly defined and consistent marketing support, your brand might be under threat. You can’t give your franchisees the freedom to create their own campaigns without your approval. There are regulations and laws to consider and you need to protect your image.
With this in mind, you might need to hold regular meetings to discuss the individual marketing needs of each store. This might include individual web pages or even a unique website for each one. Each community is different. The customers the local store wants to reach might ‘hang out’ in a completely different place to any other store. Reaching these people is crucial. But just how bespoke can you afford to go?
Promotions are a big part of any marketing strategy. Of course, the use of promotions is usually highly regulated. How can you guarantee that your franchisees will be following the rules and protecting your brand? Chances are they will expect you to provide the promotions needed to give their business a boost. Coordinating this can be quite challenging without some help. How do you manage your franchises?