Your 5 Step Local Business Guide to Digital Marketing

Download your free franchise marketing guide.

It's time to put your franchise on the map, improve franchisor/franchisee communication and build a better digital marketing strategy. When you download this guide, you'll get tips for all of these as well as:

  • The franchisor guide to franchise growth
  • How to build better relationships
  • Tips for growing your franchise
  • The franchisee guide to franchise growth
  • How to build your business's online presence
  • Tips for communicating with your franchisor

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The Franchisor Guide to Franchise Growth

Whether you’re established as a franchisor or you’re just getting started, there’s always room for business growth and improvement.

It takes a lot of effort to run a business, but this guide will help you work through the big and small things you can do each day to start to grow your franchise and see success as well as our principles for growing and nurturing a successful franchise.

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.

The Franchisor Guide to Franchise Growth - Continued

Build Better Relationships for Franchise Success

In order to grow your franchise and be successful, you’ll need to build a positive, productive relationship with your franchisees. Those happy franchisees will support growth from the local level up. How can you build better relationships with franchisees? Here are some tips for building that franchisor/franchisee relationship.

Build Franchisee Trust

Building trust takes time, but it’s worth it. The following tips will also help, but the best way to build trust is to trust your franchisees first. It can be hard to trust someone to run a franchise, adhere to brand guidelines without going rogue, etc. but letting go a little will go a long way toward business success.

Three Factors of a Good Franchisor/Franchisee Relationship

Communicate Openly and Honestly

Open communication is a crucial part of both running a successful franchise and building positive relationships with franchisees. Be as honest and open as you can when communicating new ideas, policies, etc.

Be a Good Listener

You know a lot about your franchise, and that’s great, but that doesn’t mean you have to do all the talking. Let your franchisees voice opinions, concerns and ideas. Actively listen to what they’re saying, and make sure they know you’re paying attention.

We know you’re busy, but if you want to nurture your franchisees (which will ultimately lead to franchise growth for everyone involved, including you) you need to start by really listening to them.

Your franchisees have probably worked in the field before taking the leap to become a business owner, so they will bring a fresh perspective. Sometimes, as a franchisor who is always looking at the big picture, it’s easy to miss opportunities that your individual owners will see from working out in the trenches every day.

Listen to them and not only will they feel heard—but you’ll see brand growth as well.

Host and/or Attend Annual Conventions

Many franchises hold yearly conventions, featuring presentations, partners etc. If your franchise has a similar event, make sure to attend and listen to feedback and go to presentations whenever possible. This type of face-to-face networking is unparalleled as far as building relationships. Simply by putting yourself in front of franchisees, you will seem relatable, approachable and involved.

Top 3 Factors Contributing to Franchisee Happiness

Hold Annual Regional Meetings

Don’t forget to hold smaller, regional meetings yearly (or more often if your network is on the larger size). This will help you the same way attending yearly conventions will help. You will be more approachable and more connected with your franchisees.

This is also a great way for franchise owners to come together to share ideas and get to know the business. It's a key way to build trust and help drive success by reviewing overall company goals.

Have an Open Door (or Even Better—No Door) Policy

At RevLocal, any employee can walk into the company president’s office. This fosters a culture of openness, honesty and, well, comfort. Make sure your franchisees know they can come to you when they need help. Nothing builds a relationship like being the franchisee’s go-to person when an issue arises. Let them know you want to celebrate their wins with them as well as help them through any inevitable failure.

You might not have time for all this, and that’s fine. It’s a good idea to hire someone who can be the go-to person for franchisee help.

Growing Your Franchise

Once your franchise is established, there’s nowhere to go but up. In fact, 90% of franchises are still going strong 10 years later, whereas most small businesses don’t make it that far.

Let’s talk about growing your franchise and our best tips for franchise marketing.

Think (Inter)National. Start Local.

A big part of successful marketing with any franchise network or multi-location brand is to start at the local level. Make sure your locations are ranking in the local pack, because if people can’t find your locations, you’re missing out on a lot of sales and foot traffic!

This is a common mistake big brands make, focusing on branding and large-scale campaigns rather than building up a solid local marketing strategy that gets your locations on the map.

You can think of it as your marketing foundation—without that local awareness, the rest of your marketing strategy will crumble.

While you probably don’t have time to do all this yourself, this is a task you 82% of new franchise business owners have never owned a business before... can give to franchisees. Give them a guide, the tools or suggestions for a digital marketing agency that focuses on hyperlocal marketing so that you can work on the larger projects and your locations still rank for relevant searches.

Nurture Your Franchisees

This guide is probably starting to sound like a broken record, but nurturing your franchisees (and again, giving them the tools they need to help market their locations) is the best way to build your franchise brand.

Make sure employees have the proper brand usage information so that they don’t end up going rogue and doing their own thing instead of following brand guidelines.

At its worst, marketing in the franchisee’s hand can dilute your brand. At its best, though, it can support your larger brand image and goals in a way that helps you build a cohesive, highly effective marketing machine.

So, give your franchisees the tools they need and be there for them. You will see a positive return if you do.

Be Brand Consistent

Along the same lines, make sure your brand image is consistent. You’ll need to keep an eye out for anyone going rogue and make sure that all franchisees have a set of strict brand guidelines to follow. If you do that and make sure your brand image is featured on your marketing materials, you’ll build a strong brand image.

Make It a Friendly Competition

Obviously, you don’t want to pit your franchisees against each other too much, but a fun competition can work wonders for your marketing.

You could do something like see which location can get the most reviews over the course of a month, a few months, even six months. Make sure there’s incentive for franchisees to do so—that should keep them motivated and on track.

The great thing about competitions like these is that even though there’s one clear-cut winner, everyone wins.

So, hold a little competition and your franchise will grow as a result.

Find a Good Agency

As we mentioned before, finding a great agency that specializes in local marketing and brand compliance is a great way to make sure your franchisees have the tools they (and you) need to make your local marketing support your brand-level marketing.

Agencies can help you communicate with your franchisees and grow your franchise from the local level, resulting in large-scale brand growth! Just do your research and find a true partner with your best interests and a proven history in franchise marketing as well as working with both franchisors and franchisees.

And, feel free to send out this next section to your franchisees! It’s all about how to successfully market their locations.

The Franchisee Guide to Franchise Growth

Running a successful franchise business presents its own set of challenges, but when done right, the benefits far outweigh the hurdles.

Need a refresher on how to make your business the best it can be? Read our tips below to grow your franchise and build great relationships that will provide many returns in the years to come.

Success Is in the Commitment

Starting your own business can be scary, but you likely began with a lot of enthusiasm, feeling committed to the idea of owning a business and driving its success. Here are our tips for keeping up that enthusiasm and maintaining your commitment even when you’re working long hours to build your business.

Spread the Word

Get the word out about your business by being more involved locally.

Participate in local events. Network. Do what you can to be a presence in your community, and while you’re out there making a name for yourself, talk about your business.

People will want to hear about your passions, and if you’re enthusiastic when talking about your business, they’re going to want to check it out and see what the fuss is about.

Wall Street Journal Quote

Work on Your Online Presence

One of the main ways to put your business in front of more customers is to make sure your local search presence is accurate and consistent across the biggest search engines and directories.

As long as you’re not working against brand standards and guidelines, it’s a great idea to make sure you’ve claimed your Google My Business page as well as top directories. Make sure your information is correct everywhere so that customers and search engines don’t get confused.

That could result in you losing customers to the competition, so talk to your franchisor about how involved you can be in the marketing of your location.

Put Branding First

Lots of franchisees want to do their own marketing, and that’s great, but make sure you have franchisor guidelines and permission.

Your brand is already established, so make sure to adhere to your brand guidelines and use appropriate materials. Not only will this keep you brand compliant, but it will also help you bring in more customers since they are more likely to make a purchase when they recognize your brand.

You’ll need access to branding materials and any locally focused marketing agencies your brand recommends in order to do the best job of marketing your business while keeping yourself brand compliant. Following the branding rules is the best way to not only grow your business but support the brand and ensure that you are supporting brand growth.

Communicate With Your Franchisor Often

Make sure to stay in contact with your franchisor regularly. The franchisor probably has plenty of resources that will help you with operations and marketing, so stay in touch and keep on top of any updates.

Attend conventions and regional meetings; send emails and pick up the phone once in a while. Open communication is the best way to build trust and foster a strong franchisor/franchisee relationship.

Don’t forget to ask what the best way to communicate with your franchisor is. Some will want a phone call while others prefer email. They will appreciate that you want to communicate with them in their preferred method, making conversations and your relationship a lot smoother.

Keep in Touch With Other Franchisees

Other franchisees can be your best support system, so stay in touch with them.

While no two franchisees will deal with the exact same things, you still understand what the other person is going through every day. Staying in contact will give you a support system and help you find new strategies to market your business as well as help you stay ahead of the trends.

Don’t Forget About Customer Service

Customer service issues can make or break your business, and no amount of branding or marketing can save you from poor customer service. Make sure you and your employees focus on keeping customers happy and treating them well.

Businesses in the U.S. lose more than $40 million yearly...

Be Coachable and Willing to Learn

A big part of running a business is coaching and managing others, but you will also need to remain coachable. Seek out franchisor training and make sure to train your employees as well.

Follow Best Practices for Growing a Business

Marketing and keeping in contact with franchisor as well as other franchisees are great ways to grow your business, but don’t ignore the smart business practices that successful business owners follow.

These include:

  • Finding ways to minimize costs and shrinkage
  • Recruiting hard-working, enthusiastic employees
  • Dedication to your business’s success
  • Maximizing sales and upselling

There you have it! Put branding first, keep open lines of communication and network locally to ensure your success as a business owner.

Don’t forget about your all-important training and coaching. Make sure your employees are trained regularly on both new and old business practices—but, always be open to being coached as well. Keep learning. Stay hungry. If you do, you will keep moving forward.

And, remember that sometimes you can’t do it all yourself. That’s fine. That’s when you should turn to the experts for help. Find a trusted partner to help you build an online presence that gets your business found and chosen by more customers. Not sure where to start? Contact us today to learn how we can help grow your business!