How can franchise brands successfully use segmented market availability to their advantage? Raintree CEO Brent Dowling shared his thoughts and expertise with Cristina Merrill in this 1851 Franchise spotlight article. Read on to learn more about Raintree’s unique philosophy and tactics that have been proven to help drive franchise hypergrowth across multiple industries.
It’s safe to say that every franchise brand wants to achieve significant growth, but what happens when a brand has officially crossed the line into “established” territory? When you’re a large brand, there’s usually only so much more room in which to grow.
Fortunately, there are many ways for established franchise brands to successfully approach segmented market availability and use it to their advantage, according to Raintree co-founder and CEO Brent Dowling. Raintree is a franchise sales organization that provides brands with services such as lead generation, content management and more. Raintree currently works with 17 franchise brands, including Anago Cleaning Systems, Cheba Hut, Footprints Floors and songs for seeds.
Established franchise brands with limited market availability have plenty of options when it comes to strategic growth, Dowling said.
“Facebook targeting reigns and would be our first choice as a marketing channel when heavy geo-targeting is required,” Dowling said. “Ultimately, though, we are advocates for national growth in most situations. Given that the brands we work with have specific supply chain challenges, we have strong geo-targeting campaigns in place to help. But for most brands, we look to national growth.”
When it comes to approaching segmented market availability, Dowling believes franchise brands should consider growing in available markets through their current operators.
“As a franchise, it’s far more efficient to support one owner with 10 locations than 10 owners who each only own one location,” he said.
Some established franchise brands might consider opening corporate shops and then selling those to Franchise Owners.
“It really depends on the brand and their infrastructure,” Dowling said. “We have some brands with only one location or territory. Then we have brands such as Nekter Juice Bar, which successfully runs 50 corporate units while doing a great job supporting 120 franchise units. Ultimately, if we see that a brand’s new franchisee growth is outpacing its support infrastructure and that the cash flow is tight, offloading a corporate location or two onto a franchisee is a great strategy to ensure you have the necessary capital to support your franchise growth.”
Of course, some established brands might want to grow within a market in which they already have a presence. If that’s the case, the brands will need strong testimonials from the successful owners within those markets, Dowling said.
“From a franchisee-franchisor relationship perspective, I suggest reaching out to the franchise owner in that market as the very first step and clearly communicating the intention to grow,” Dowling said. “Ensure that the franchisee is aware of the strategy and give them the opportunity to purchase the territory first. Doing so can prevent conflict.”
And brands should nix the idea that growing close to company headquarters will yield significantly better results.
“While understanding that many brands want to grow close to home, we no longer see the advantages in that strategy,” Dowling said. “At Raintree, across 17 brands, we see no correlation between franchisees who are close to a brand’s corporate headquarters in terms of financial performance, as opposed to those in markets geographically far from them. As a franchisor myself, I’ve realized it’s far better to find the right franchise owner then the right market. That strategy continues to pay dividends for us as we grow.”
Just because a franchise brand is officially an established one with many, many locations doesn’t mean there isn’t room for further growth. Franchise brands simply need to continue focusing on what they’ve always done: finding the right franchise owner, whether that is an existing franchisee or a new addition to the system, and making sure they are entering a viable market.
Raintree has been helping franchise brands achieve exponential growth through our proven, multi-faceted franchise development program that is second-to-none in the franchising industry. To find out more about how Raintree can help your franchise brand experience significant potential growth, visit us at raintreesales.com.