Paul Clegg takes over the reins at Coconut Creatives

As you may already know, our Founding Director Sarah Carlile, is taking a short step away from Coconut Creatives to have her second baby. From April onwards, Sarah will be putting her feet up and waiting for baby to arrive in early May. However, the Coconuts are sure she won’t be disappearing completely as Sarah has never been known to fully sit back and relax! Paul Clegg will be stepping up as Managing Director and taking the reins at Coconut Creatives.

As the former Franchise Recruitment Manager at Mac Tools, Paul has a great understanding and knowledge of the franchise industry and really knows what makes franchisees and franchisors tick. Having joined the team last summer, Paul has embraced the Coconut Creatives ethos and takes care of the client management and keeping the team motivated and organised!

Paul will be aided in his duties by two more Directors, Adam Knight and Adam Lovelock, as well as the usual Coconut team made up of Rebecca, Helen, Tania, Amy and Rachel who help to take care of the client work and keep the Coconut Creatives cogs turning!

“I’m happy to be leaving the day to day management and running of Coconut Creatives in Paul’s hands. I will be taking a short space of time away from the business but I will still be working away behind the scenes! The Coconuts know that they can call on me anytime. With the business in Paul’s capable hands, our clients both present and future can be assured that there will be no disruption from the Coconut service in my absence. The team are excited about the changes being made and we’re stronger than ever. Every member of our team has something different to bring to Coconut Creatives and Paul will be keeping them all in order and making sure we continue to provide our outstanding service,” explains Sarah.

It’s business as usual at Coconut Creatives and they will be continuing to work hard to make sure that each and every client receives the very best service and continues to recruit those all-important franchisees.

“It’s been an exciting couple of months at Coconut Creatives and I’m really looking forward to managing the team on a daily basis. They’re great to work with and have adapted really well to the change of directorship! They accepted me straight away as part of the team and are always receptive and responsive to new ideas. It’s great to see the way Coconut is evolving whilst still maintaining the core services and values. I hope to keep these as well as bringing my own ideas to the table,” adds Paul Clegg.

Harnessing The Power Of Your Franchise Network For Recruitment Marketing

Using your network of existing franchisees for recruitment marketing is one of the best and most effective ways for you to continue building your franchise network, explains Sarah Carlile, Founding Director of Coconut Creatives.

Referrals from existing franchisees have proven to be one of the most successful ways to generate new leads and recruit new, successful franchisees. Referral candidates are more likely to be seriously interested in a franchise opportunity because they have seen first-hand, the benefits of owning a franchise because they are a customer, friend or family of an existing franchisee.

To increase your chances of gaining referrals it is important to make sure that your existing franchisees are satisfied with the training, support and service you provide to them. Referrals are much better leads because people feel more comfortable with investing a large amount of money into something that has been recommended to them by someone they know and trust. Referrals are warm leads because there has already been a certain degree of interest, comfort and credibility established between you.

Engaging your franchise network

Implementing a formal referral system to reward your franchisees who recommend your franchise is a very worthwhile activity but do spend some time explaining this system to your franchise network otherwise you will only get a few ad hoc referrals. Let them know how beneficial a referral system is to the franchise network as a whole. Expansion provides the whole network with greater brand recognition and greater market share for individual franchisees. When individuals within the franchise network are productive, everyone benefits.

Your best-performing franchisees are most likely to bring in the highest quality leads. Referral candidates often share the same values, skills and experience as the franchisee that referred them. The basis for most referrals is often not an incentive provided by you but pride in their brand and joy in sharing their success story with friends and family.

Understanding top performers’ characteristics

Look at your top performing franchisees and identify characteristics or interests that they have in common in order to narrow down your target market for franchise recruitment. You can then tailor suitable messages and use relevant media to target similar people and generate new prospects. When asking existing franchisees for referrals, let them know the type of person you are looking for. For example, if you find that many of your top performing franchisees once took a managerial position within a service industry and enjoyed team sports, ask your franchisees to talk to colleagues within their business networks who share those characteristics.

Supporting events

Another way to use your franchise network for recruitment purposes is to take existing franchisees with you to exhibitions and events. This has a two-pronged effect; it will show prospects that you value your franchisees, their opinions and input into the franchise system and it also gives prospects the opportunity to talk directly to someone who actually has been through the franchise buying process.

Building trust

These activities are all trust-building exercises during the franchise recruitment process but franchisors can also build this in to all of their franchise recruitment collateral – online and print. Keep an up-to-date bank of testimonials from your franchise network to use in your collateral. Create franchisee case studies so that you can drip feed these throughout the recruitment process – always providing a realistic view of your franchise network, how it performs financially and how the culture of the business can benefit the prospect.

Ultimately, using your franchise network as your brand advocates will strengthen your position as a reliable franchisor and, in turn, support your franchise recruitment targets.

Market Your Franchise Aids Award Success

Coconut Creatives would like to congratulate Wagging Tails for being shortlisted in the 2016 Franchise Marketing Awards. They were up for Best Franchisee Marketing Support this year and part of their success and growth of the support on offer to their franchisees has included the Coconut Creatives Market Your Franchise Programme.

The Franchise Marketing Awards are one of the biggest accolades in the franchise industry. The awards recognise those franchisors who offer innovative and effective marketing support to their franchisees to help them become as successful as possible.

Wagging Tails have been using Market Your Franchise for just over 12 months and they’ve seen great results for their franchise network. Through using Market Your Franchise, Wagging Tails have helped the turnover across their business network increase by over 75% in the last year.

Market Your Franchise is designed specifically for franchisees, to guide them through marketing their businesses in their local areas through a series of online training modules that can be undertaken at the franchisees own pace. Franchisees have access to a wealth of resources and materials including customisable templates, planning tools, best-practice models and market-leading knowledge.

“Being shortlisted for their award is testament to the hard work and effort that Wagging Tails put in to their franchise network. They’re constantly looking for ways to help support their network and make sure that each and every franchisee is as successful as possible. We were delighted when Wagging Tails decided to sign up to Market Your Franchise and it has proven to be very successful for them,” explains Sarah Carlile, Founding Director of Coconut Creatives.

To help increase turnover in your business network, please contact Helen on or click here to find out more about the Coconut Creatives Market Your Franchise Programme.

Understanding The Journey Of Prospective Franchisees

Buying a franchise is an intense decision-making process so it is important that as a franchisor you understand this process to help you convert as many leads as possible says Sarah Carlile, Founder of Coconut Creatives.

It takes an individual, on average, around three to six months to decide whether or not to buy a particular franchise. The decision-making process is long and is not based on prospects having read just one magazine article, attended one exhibition or visited your website for a quick browse.

Prospective franchisees embark on a journey that will probably involve a combination of all those things and more so it is important to understand their journey so that you can provide the right communication at the right time. This way, you can ensure that you stay ahead of the competition by successfully converting some of your leads into franchisees.

What is involved in the decision-making process?

It is often useful to regard your prospects as consumers who are looking to buy a product, in this case they are looking to buy your franchise. Doing this will make it easier to analyse your prospects’ decision-making process.

According to the Business Directory, the consumer decision-making process can be defined as the process by which consumers:

  1. Identify their needs
  2. Collect information
  3. Evaluate alternatives
  4. Make the purchase decision.

Each of these sections of the process will be different depending on your target audience. The decision-making process can be influenced by psychological, economic and environmental factors, such as culture, group and social values as well as how the individual feels at the time. To understand the factors affecting your target audience, I recommend that you research your existing franchisees and their decision-making processes, allowing you to find out which communications affected their decisions.

A franchise is at the high-involvement end of the consumer decision-making process because a large amount of money is being invested and the individual commits to a minimum five year relationship with the franchisor so it is important to them to make sure they’re making the right decision. Investing in a franchise involves taking a leap of faith and trusting that what they have seen and what they have been told by the franchisor will actually work for them.

In many cases it is not just the decision of the individual but it also involves the opinions of their support network which usually consists of their close friends and family.

There is a lot for your potential franchisee to consider and so the stage they are at in the process when you receive their initial enquiry will determine how long they take to make a decision to join your network, what type of questions they ask you and, indeed if, they decide to rule you out and move on. Throughout this process the individual will be seeking counsel with their family and friends and taking on board other people’s opinions. Buying a franchise is a more emotional decision than taking a job as an employee as the individual is investing a large amount of money. They need to trust you to help them build their business, so building rapport from day one is vital in helping them towards making their final decision. It is also important to set the ground rules of operating your franchise at the outset, so that you and your franchisees know what is expected of the other in order to achieve success.

Want to out more about understanding the journey of prospective franchisees? Contact us, we’re happy to share our expertise!

Guest speakers at 2015 Best Franchise Conference

Coconut Creatives were recently guest speakers at the Smith & Henderson 2015 Best Franchise Sarah Smith and HendersonConference. Our Founding Director, Sarah Carlile, explained all about the 5 ½ marketing mistakes made by franchisors and even had a little guide to give away as a bonus!

We were delighted to be asked to speak at the event and hope that everyone who attended enjoyed finding out more about the mistakes made by franchisors and how you can avoid making the same mistakes!

The Best Franchise Conference is designed to offer advice and guidance to franchisors looking to recruit more quality franchisees and improve network performance. The guest speakers come from all sectors across the franchise industry and each and every one of them has valuable advice to give.

Other guest speakers included:

  • Dave Williams, RBS
  • Jo Stone & Tracy Townend, Puddleducks
  • David Paulson, TaxAssist Accountants
  • Matt Davies & Rod Levington, Business Doctors
  • Graeme Payne, Victoria Hobbs & Shelly Nadler, Bird & Bird
  • Chris Roberts, Franchise Finance
  • Carl Reader, Social Media Exchange
  • Martin Jones, Home Instead Care

The key note speaker was Neil Clough, a finalist on The Apprentice in 2013. Since The Apprentice, Neil has gone on to build his own highly successful sales training and recruitment business. Neil gave an inspiring talk and inspired our franchisors to go home and push their networks forwards.

The Best Franchise Awards also took place during the conference. These awards recognise the very best franchisors in the industry based on feedback from thousands of franchisees. Being recognised in these awards helps differentiate franchises from the competition and build trust with prospective franchisees.

Winners included:

  • Best Franchise (less than 25k investment) – diddi dance
  • Best Franchise (£25k-£75k investment) – EweMove
  • Best Franchise (75k plus investment!) – TaxAssist Accountants

Please contact us
to get a free copy of our 5 ½ marketing mistakes guide. We can help you avoid them!