Lead Generation, Franchise Sales and Reality
By Gary Occhiogrosso – Managing Partner – Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC.
Photo by Kees Streefkerk on Unsplash
The best way to get results in franchise lead generation is to remember that NOTHING works a lot, but everything works a little. What does that mean? It means for a start-up or an emerging brand (under 50 units), you need to try various lead sources to test which “streams” bring in the type of leads at the rate necessary to make your sales plan.
Look at all the factors in the game
Cost Per Lead and Cost Per Acquisition are only two KPI’s to look at when monitoring your program and its results. It is not as straightforward or revealing to limit your decision based on “how much did I spend and how many units did I sell.” The Reality is; it takes numerous elements to gain success. Such as time to build your pipeline (5-8 months), consistent follow up by a competent, highly trained, and relentless sales staff. As well as accepting the reality of the selling cycle
(about 120 to 180 days) and a realistic lead generation budget to pursue a professional and sustainable franchising recruiting effort. Your brand will NOT “sell itself.”
The Reality is that consistency in lead flow is also essential. I have seen many start-ups and emerging brands take a hiccup approach to franchise lead generation. This approach is terrible not only because you have empty spots in your pipeline but also because an ebb and flow in the advertising plan sometimes may cause the “brand” to disappear for awhile and send the franchise buyers a less than confidence inspired massage. For a start-up or emerging brand, this is the equivalent of a jet airliner “pumping the brakes” to save fuel while attempting to “take off.” It usually leaves a mess at the end of the runway.
Royalties will make you the King or Queen
For me, the most important thing for a start-up or emerging brand to remember is the “value” of your franchisee over the lifetime of the franchise agreement. The Reality is; if you calculate the royalty return over that period, you will see the real reward of consistent lead generation and awarding a franchise. Calculate your Royalties on your AUV’s by the number of years you expect your franchisee to be in business, and it’s obvious. Do the math. Keep that in mind, and you won’t think the “Cost Per Acquisition” is too high unless you are attempting to “fund” your new franchise company from the upfront franchise fee collected. Funding your growth solely with the Initial Franchise Fees is never a good idea.
You should be in the franchising business for the royalties and the eventual exit, not the franchise fee. News Flash, focusing on the collection of Franchise Fees doesn’t work and often puts not only the franchisor in jeopardy of failure but also the franchisee. When you focus on the franchisee’s success, you will build a better organization, better equipped to support your franchisee. Successful franchisees paying long term, residual income from ROYALTIES is the way to BUILD YOUR BUSINESS.
A bigger “kiss” at the end
The Reality is; the sale of franchise companies (especially to Private Equity firms) have proven time and time again, that multiples paid on Royalty driven EBITDA at exit are more significant than the multiple typically offered on EBITDA derived from company operations. That’s because it’s scalable at a faster pace and with a lower cost.
Building a franchise business as a Franchisor requires a great concept, a comprehensive system, manuals and training, proven results, capital, planning and patience. If you remove any one of these components the journey may be an endless winding road with no clear direction.
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For more information, visit our YouTube channel and watch the videos titled:
“Using Digital to Sell More Franchises.”
“Private Equity and Franchising.”
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