If you have a proven, profitable business model that you believe would be replicable and sustainable in other markets, then you may be a good candidate for franchising. The world of franchising is a different beast than that of owning and operating a business.
Many successful business owners discover they do not have the bandwidth or the expertise to successfully navigate franchising on their own, which is why we have put this “How-To” guide together as a good starting point. As businesspeople supporting other businesspeople, we hope you find the information helpful.
Step 1. Ask Questions
If you have not done so yet, you should ask yourself the following questions:
Is my current business model one that can be franchised?
Does my current strategic plan support franchising?
Will franchising a business leverage my skills and abilities or detract from them?
Take some time to review your current strategic plan and determine where franchising your business lies with your current goals and objectives. Is franchising part of your growth plan, or is this a newer area of interest that may conflict with your current strategic initiatives?
Are you interested and prepared in leading the initiative, and, if so, does that decrease your bandwidth in other important areas of the business? Evaluating your business and ensuring franchising has a specific place in the strategic plan (along with allocated resources) will help reduce scope creep, align resources, and foster collaborative buy-in from your stakeholders.
Step 2. Develop Operations Training, Manuals, Policies, and Procedures
Training materials, manuals, policies, and procedures are not deliverables that should wait until the sale of a franchise is complete. While these items do not replace marketing material, they are part of the sales process.
Presenting these types of materials to potential franchisee prospects allows you to get into the nuts and bolts of the process. As you move forward, they become legally binding reference guides for established franchisees and methods of quality control. These things also limit your liability as a franchisor.
Step 3. Meet All Legal Requirements
Selling a franchise requires certain documentation to be filed. Filing requirements vary by state, so you will want to be clear what the laws are in your state as well as in the state the franchise will operate if it is different from its point of origin.
This documentation is in addition to the typical state and federal regulations and compliance requirements to which businesses are legally responsible. Preparing legal documents and state filings can be cumbersome, and it is best to have legal representation to help you along, whether that is through private counsel or leveraging the legal team of a contracted franchise development resource.
Step 4. Create and Execute Your Marketing Plan and Tools
A good sales process is a replicable one, and part of this process includes a marketing plan. We leverage digital formatting in our marketing strategy and include things like videos and web pages with SEO optimization.
At Raintree, we focus on digital formats as a function of marketing and rely heavily on them to communicate your message. Digital media is vital to the sales process, and it can also be useful for training new owners and their teams.
Step 5. Sell, Sell, Sell
Finally, you’re ready to close the deal! You have determined franchising is right for you, you’ve performed your due diligence, ensuring you are covered legally through documentation and state filings and developed your marketing plan. Now the right prospects should be identified, vetted, and engaged.
Raintree makes this happen in several ways:
Established relationships with business owners looking for franchise opportunities
Relationships with numerous brokers where volume sales can occur at discounted rates
An internal sales team skilled in franchise business development and sales
Raintree consists of seasoned partners who are skilled at working with business owners to determine franchise ability, coach them through the process, ensure all legal requirements are met, and to help market the franchise and close the deal.
We’re proud to introduce career coach Susan Scotts as our July pick for Franchise Coach of the Month!
Susan is a highly respected Career Transition Coach with The Entrepreneur’s Source with many awards under her belt, including 2018’s Consultant of the Year. With nearly 30 years of experience in franchising, Susan’s been involved with just about every aspect of the industry, including publishing books, hosting presentations, conducting public speaking/sales training, marketing- and everything in between! She focuses her coaching around the idea that anyone can have their dream career and life, and helps to manifest this mindset in her clients as well.
Susan’s transition into career coaching stemmed from years of frustration in her own career; an experience that has helped her relate to her clients as they come out of corporate America and work toward owning their own business, where they can feel fulfilled, have a sense of purpose and experience the freedom and flexibility that come along with it as well!
How Susan Transitioned Into Franchise Coaching
Susan’s introduction to the franchising industry came at a franchise trade show she was attending. Her glowing personality and natural sales ability caught the eyes of a Franchisor who was so taken by Susan that she asked her to come work for her company. At a crossroads in her career and on the lookout for a new venture, Susan felt everything had perfectly aligned for her to take this position. During her 14 years in franchise development there, Susan established a strong relationship with The Entrepreneur’s Source, assisting in recruiting new Franchise Owners to their system- an experience that opened her eyes to career transition coaching.
Susan Finds Fulfillment as a Career Transition Coach
Though Susan thoroughly enjoyed how her position in franchise development allowed her to empower others to achieve their professional dreams, she felt that there was little room for her to grow beyond her current role. Coaching with TES would allow her a more dynamic opportunity to look at a variety of different concepts for her clients and match them with the perfect one. She also enjoyed the freedom and flexibility to create her own schedule, work from home, care for her mother, travel, and enjoy other hobbies.
Since joining TES in 2009, Susan has helped hundreds of people better their lives through business ownership. While every single person she worked with has touched her life in one way or another, one of her favorite “stand-out” moments in her franchise coaching career was receiving a cookie bouquet from a client with a note that said “‘Thank you for changing my life! You’re changing the world one person at a time!’ She keeps this note on her desk to this day.
What advice does Susan have for other Coaches?
Susan has many takeaways from her time as a franchise career coach, but her top 3 MUST-DO’s for coaches are:
1- Listen It sounds simple, but it is so true! Susan explains, “I don’t talk – I listen when I need to.” When people are looking to completely change their lives by investing in a franchise concept, there will inevitably be fear and concerns, and as a Coach, it is your job to address them in such a way that instills confidence and demonstrates that you genuinely care. Every client is different. This is not a “one size fits all” type of situation. The answer for one will not be the same as the answer for another. By truly learning about your client and discovering what makes them tick, their “why,” and their motivations, you will be able to answer them in a way that instills trust and strengthens the relationship.
2- Involve the Spouse Whether or not your client has a spouse that will be involved in the business, they are still 50% (or more!) of the final decision. By involving the spouse from the very beginning, they will get to know you and see that you want the very best for them and their partner. You will also be able to address their concerns earlier on in the process, rather than have a roadblock come up just as they’re getting close to the finish line.
3- Excellent Follow-Up
Being in close contact with the development team as your client progresses through the education process and even beyond as they work through the steps to open their business is imperative to thriving as a Coach. You never know if they may want to expand their portfolio down the line, and you want them to come to you when they decide to do so. They should have full confidence that you are truly interested in their future. For this reason, Susan is highly appreciative of the communication between Raintree’s development team as they work with her clients, providing deep and detailed information following each call. It makes a world of difference. As Susan puts it, “a great consultant is genuinely interested in the success of their clients, so they appreciate the follow up from the development team more than you know!”
Consistently implementing these three key imperatives has been instrumental in Susan’s long-term success.
Congratulations, Susan, on being named Raintree’s July Coach of the Month and adding this title to your list of prestigious awards! We look forward to continuing to work with you as you “empower individuals to ‘make a life, not a living’ through franchise self-sufficiency!”