Coconut Creatives’ client Rosemary Bookkeeping continues to add strength in numbers to its franchise network as three more Franchise Partners complete their training. Chereen McCarthy, Fiona O’Mahony and Jon Lewis all launched their franchises in March and, having come from very different backgrounds, found their pre-launch training extremely useful.
Jon, Franchise Partner in Sutton Coldfield, after being out of civvy street for so long, felt that he would benefit the most out of the three from the training: “After 24 years’ service in the Royal Air Force as an aircraft engineer, I knew that I wanted to get into the business world. The opportunity to be my own boss really excites me. I hope that from humble beginnings I am able to grow a sustainable and successful business and hopefully reap the rewards that come with this.’’
The Rosemary Bookkeeping™ Franchise now has over 20 franchisees nationwide, servicing the SME market of over 4 million businesses in the UK. The franchise is based on a business concept that has been established and refined for over 11 years providing a unique bookkeeping system within a fully supported franchise package. Franchisees obtain huge flexibility with superb work-life balance potential.
Fiona, Franchise Partner in Redditch, is a qualified Accounting Technician and, with two children in full-time education, decided that now was the time to become her own boss: “With my experience and qualifications plus the support of the Rosemary Franchise, I feel confident that my business will flourish.”
The franchise is backed by four successful entrepreneur business women, Claire Watson-Bardot, Joanna Dennis, Sarah Cook and Lisa Curteis who have over 60 years of business and bookkeeping experience between them. As an Associate Member of the bfa Rosemary Bookkeeping has a proven ability to sustain a franchise network successfully. This is something Chereen, Franchise Partner in Chelmsford, was particularly interested in: “If you are looking to buy into a franchise, you need to ensure that you are completely committed to investing time and energy into it. What reassures me is that each of the Rosemary team are experts in their fields and can support me with friendly, professional advice to reach my goals.’’
This press release was featured on a variety of franchise related websites and also generated social media coverage. To find out how Coconut Creatives can help you generate great PR why not contact us!
Videos are a not only a great tool to allow customers, franchisees and prospective franchisees to see the human side of your business, they also feature your messages in a digestible manner, says Sally Butters, Founding Director at Coconut Media.
Videos have become an essential marketing tool in the franchise industry. They are in most cases relatively easy to make, can drive sales for your franchisees and attract new franchisees to your network. However, as with any other marketing activity it is important to understand what your customers or prospective franchisees want to see and what information they are after.
Click here to read the full blog post on Select Your Franchise or visit our services section to find out how Coconut Creatives can help you create powerful videos!
Many franchisors jump in allocating their franchise recruitment marketing budget without taking the time to really understand their ideal franchisee profile. Whether you have a brand new franchise opportunity or you have a 100-strong network, taking time out of your everyday workload to research and compile an accurate profile of what your perfect franchisees are like and how they behave during the franchise purchase journey is absolutely invaluable.
Build at least 3 perfect franchisee profiles for your franchise brand
There is never one simple perfect franchisee profile for any franchise brand so whilst a franchisor might think they know what they are looking for in a franchisee, these are likely to be general ideas rather than built on strong research and proof.
If you already have franchisees, select your top 10 performing franchisees and undertake some research to find out more about them; their skills, expectations, background, personal interests, media consumption and their journeys to purchasing your franchise.
If you don’t have any franchisees yet or if you think you don’t have enough to obtain an educated set of results, you can also extend your research to some of your hottest prospects who have been through a substantial amount of your recruitment process.
You will then be able to create at least 3 profiles of what your perfect franchisees look like.
What to do when you know who you are looking for
These profiles are not set in stone and some elements from profile 3 could be found with attributes from profile 2 (and so on) but getting them down on paper will give your franchise recruitment marketing strategy a focus. They can help to navigate around where to advertise and with what messages to make your franchise most attractive to people you already know could have great success in partnership with you.
If you uncover some similar traits then act on them within your recruitment process. Here are just a couple of examples:
Tailor your Discovery Days – if you have lots of franchisees who play golf then host a Discover Day at a golf club in a region where you wish to recruit;
Integrate case studies – prepare a bank of case studies of current franchisees so you have at least one that each of your perfect franchisee prospects can relate to.
Play to your strengths
There will also be some attributes that you know your franchisees must have to just get their franchise off the ground, some key elements that can’t be learnt and may not be found during a 1-1 meeting. Rosemary Bookkeeping is one business where franchisees must be good at networking to start building their client base; they must have the confidence to stand up and introduce themselves at a networking meeting or Chamber of Commerce breakfast club. Rosemary take the opportunity at their Discovery Days to run a mock networking exercise where they can see if the attendees have the basic skills and confidence that will stand them in good stead for business development. Think of what similar qualifying tests you could devise to help you identify if a prospect is perfect for you!
Many people may think that they are your perfect prospects and, for some mature brands such as O2 and McDonald’s, it may be a case of ruling out prospects, rather than qualifying them in, at the beginning of the recruitment process. They may request that prospects provide an evidence-based report on their suitability to be a franchisee and they can rule out those who cannot complete this task.
It’s up to you
The time you take in getting the basics right will pay dividends. Taking a couple of days to assess your perfect franchisee profiles every six months will end up saving you and your franchise recruitment team several hours each week in dealing with unsuitable candidates and give you reliable information on where to target your recruitment budget and with what primary messages.
Sarah Carlile is a regular contributor to Franchisor News on the subject of franchise recruitment. She is the Founding Partner of Coconut Creatives, the BFA’s only accredited marketing company that offers 1 to 1 franchise recruitment projects and group franchise marketing workshops for franchisors.
In this feature, Sarah discusses the use of social media and its impact on franchise recruitment, how it should be combined with offline activities and how franchisors can use it to train their franchisees to be more successful.
There is a great synergy that now exists between on and offline networking. If you learn how to harness this for your franchise, you’ll recruit more franchisees and you will be better equipped to train your franchisees to become more successful.
How should online social media be used?
The most obvious use of social media for businesses is to create and build a number of ‘raving fan’ networks across various platforms such as FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube and Linked In. These end up being networks of people who know you, have met you or know someone who recommends you and so they will listen to what you have to say, as long as you keep it brief, interesting and non-salesy.
Many people become so focused on utilising the different social networks online that they attack it in a rather hap hazard way: posting updates and tweeting messages that haven’t been thoroughly thought through. We say integrate it into your marketing. This way, you will know what you are going to say and when and you’ll also have a better handle on whether it is working for you.
By making social media an official part of your marketing plan, you can measure its effectiveness, just like having a listing on a franchise recruitment website and measuring how many leads it delivers. The first step to doing this is to assign a ‘Social Media Keeper’. This can be any person within your company that has 30 minutes a day or more to devote to updating your social network mediums. You pick the message and they send it out via the various channels you want to use. You can even hand over business cards you acquire through offline networking and exhibitions and get them growing your networks online for you by adding the details. By doing this you bring offline, online in a better structure. But where do you start to make it effective?
The perfect intro
When people find you or look you up for the first time, is it clear what you do? Is it clear how you do it and who your customers are? Your profile and key information should be planned and thought through carefully. We always work with franchisors in the morning session of our marketing workshop on their ‘perfect intro’ which is initially to support franchise recruitment through introducing new prospects to the franchise in under 1 minute. It seems ideal though that this perfect intro, once created, is used in many other places. This keeps your messaging consistent (one of the fundamentals of good marketing). When writing your perfect intro, you want to aim for about 200 words, broken down into 4 key areas (feel free to email me for a template example):
1. Clearly state who you are, followed by:
2. What you do and for who, followed by:
3. Why you are credible, different and trustworthy, followed by
4. An example of how it has worked for a customer – this gives credibility and believability.
It is definitely a good idea to spend quality time creating this and getting feedback on how it comes across and then edit it accordingly.
Once perfected, this introduction can be used again and again. It is my favourite phrase – “create once and use many times”! Integrate it into magazine features and show guide listings, use it on your website, on leaflets and literature, as long as you follow the 4 stage format and tweak the length, it will work every time.
Smart franchisors also choose to utilise their perfect intro as a training tool for the people they take along to help them on their exhibition stand at shows and events. By doing this, you suddenly increase the consistency of the way prospects are dealt with. You increase your success rate as people grasp quicker what it is you do and why you are different.
Regional use of Social Media by Franchisees
Just like you, your franchisees will be keen to use social media. Some will have a better idea than others how this can be done. The important thing to emphasis, is how to use it to aid sales. It is vital that you provide a good steer on which media to use and how to create their pages on platforms like FaceBook. We have seen cases where a franchisee has successfully (and unintentionally) taken over the franchisor’s network size and voice on a social media platform which then creates confusion for customers trying to locate their local branch and also for potential franchisees trying to locate the franchisor.
Linked In, FaceBook, Twitter or any other online tool should be used in conjunction with three other key areas when operated on a regional/ area specific basis. These are:
1. The franchisees community network
2. The franchisees professional network
3. The franchisees immediate network (family and friends)
When networking is explained in this way, franchisees start to clearly see the role that their chosen online medium can play for them to support sales. It also identity’s the other, sometimes offline areas that also need attention and integrating in with online. For example, if a lead source for a franchisee is to attend business breakfast networking events to build relationships for future sales, these people should also be networked with on Linked In.
It is also highly likely that a franchisee will have a number of potential customers within their own community network (such as fellow golfers, children’s parents and so on). By using online channels to softly inform them of their service, they keep business online and pleasure offline which, when integrated in this way, often results in additional sales as awareness increases.
As tools on and offline expand, we need to utilise many more of them to maintain business growth. Franchisors need to consider the impact of these tools on their franchise network and customers and how they can control and monitor their growth to support sales all round.
To find out other ways to improve your franchise recruitment, attend a Franchise Marketing Workshop with Sarah Cook, Sally Butters and the rest of the Coconut team. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01725 511673.
With just under a week until the next Coconut Creatives franchise recruitment marketing workshop (which is fully booked), on the 27th July, the timing for franchisors to get involved in future workshops could not be better.
The next workshop, held in Bracknell, is fully booked with a wide range of franchisors which span across industry sector and also in size. The content on the workshops is suitable for both new and established franchisors and covers the key areas of how to recruit more franchisees through marketing techniques, advertising, PR, copy writing, branding and utilising video in getting key messages across.
Sophie Brooks, Managing Director for Clive’s Easylearn Pop Music Schools attended a franchise marketing workshop a few months ago and now is working closely with Sarah on a specially devised mentoring programme. After winning the EWIF Franchisor of the Year Award, Coconut Creatives have been helping Sophie get booked up rwith activity ready for the show season ahead and ensure that she stays on track with marketing her franchise.
“I found the franchisor marketing workshop hugely beneficial, I have already been able to implement some great changes and improvements based on the advice and information given at the workshop. I found the one-to-one sessions with the experts very helpful as they were able to give specific advice on your business. Since attending the marketing workshop I am now working closely with Coconut Creatives in mentoring programme. This has so far helped us to look in more detail at our marketing campaigns, work on improving these, generating more leads and getting better results. The advice and support provided so far has been exceptional. I am really looking forward to continuing to work with Sarah and Coconut Creatives to build our business and would have no hesitation in strongly recommending Coconut Creatives to any franchisor,” Sophie Brooks, Franchisor for Clive’s Easylearn Pop Music Schools.
Coconut Creatives Franchise Marketing Workshops run monthly in different locations around the UK. Contact email@example.com for an agenda and booking form or visit coconutcreatives.co.uk for a full list of published next dates and content.
Franchise recruitment marketing workshop, with guest speaker Nick Strong in June 2011.