Dream, Plan, Reduce Risk & Take Action

Seen lots of great stuff on our website but want to read more first?

Our book, written by Sarah Carlile, will bring you right up to date with the most effective systems and strategies for expanding your franchise network, whether you’re new to franchising or a seasoned professional. Please note that franchisors who attend a Coconut Workshops will receive a SIGNED copy of the book for FREE.

Through personal experiences, case studies and research findings, Sarah Carlile shares her expertise and guides franchisors through every aspect of recruitment marketing. From branding and budgeting, to franchisee profiling and implementing really effective Discovery Day programmes, Sarah shows you how to structure your approach and maximise the resources already with your business.

Recent Reviews:

“Everything a Franchisor needs to know about successful franchise recruitment is contained in this book,” Jeff James, the Editor of Making Money Magazine.

“You are an inspiration. Your book is amazing. I didn’t know what to expect. Everything you have said so far is spot on. I love it,” Tara Howard, Venus Awards.

“Just a quick email to say thanks very much for the book, indeed the signed copy! I have only got as far as chapter 4 but it is making for very interesting reading,” Gerry Ussher, Go-Kart Party Franchise.

The book allows access our Free Resources page where you can download items such as a Franchisee enquiry form and our tried and tested Budget Matrix. BUT, to access this section of our site, you have to PROVE you’ve read the book by answering our multiple choice quiz about the book’s contents. Click here to try your luck at the quiz!

Stand out from the crowd – Sarah Cook writes for The Franchise Magazine, Feb/Mar 2012

You know how some franchises just seem to be everywhere? Ever wondered how they do it? Follow an integrated marketing approach and you’ll be one of them.

A perfect pitch is a psychologically proven method of engaging with someone to help them understand quickly and simply, what you do, how you do it, why you are good at it and why it is relevant to them.

In short this process goes through four fundamental stages of:

1. Clarity

2. Credibility

3. Relevance

4. Believability

Across the business world outside the franchise industry, it is common for a company to have a perfect 90-second style pitch that they use at networking events or to train the sales team. They understand the value of having it, the power it provides in consistency of approach and how it helps engage their target audience.

This is such a powerful tool in franchising, once you understand how important it is and what impact it can have on your business, then you will realise why spending time developing your perfect pitch is paramount.

By utilising a perfect pitch approach, you can train your staff on the phone, email, on your website and at events to engage more effectively with prospects. As so many franchisors and franchise owners attend exhibitions (and we have the spring exhibitions approaching fast) we are also sharing some thoughts on improving your event success.


Getting to the exhibition with an innovative stand design, appropriate merchandise and plenty of enthusiasm is a great start but there are a few more tricks to a successful show. We always prefer to have at least two people working on a stand, or more depending on stand size. Brief your stand team on what you want them to do and how you want them to record the number and details of visitors to the stand, remembering to cover any data protection issues. We like to set our clients’ stand teams individual goals. For example, if you want 100 leads over a two-day show and you have five people working on the stand that is 50 leads a day, 10 leads per person. Five before lunch and five after lunch each, per day. Breaking it down like this makes it less daunting for the team.


An exhibition provides an excellent opportunity for you to showcase any videos, testimonials, events, discovery days, case studies and product demos on a screen. Visitors naturally stop and watch and this gives your team a chance to approach them.

On-stand speaking

Some of our most successful clients adopt a system for attracting visitors onto the stand in a non-threatening way. A great way to do this is through the use of speaking slots. By scheduling a few speaking slots on your stand, you attract prospects to you.

Speaking at the show

Most exhibitions offer breakout rooms for seminar sessions. At the point of booking your stand, it is vital to get one of these slots. They massively affect the success of your presence at the show.

Don’t forget the press

Leave your media pack in the press room for any interested journalists to pick up to find out more information about your franchise. Always ensure that you include your perfect pitch in your press pack too.

After the show

Details of interested prospects that have actively opted in to receive further details on your franchise should be followed up fast! An eye-catching branded email and personal phone call works best.

Marketing to support your franchise network – Sarah Cook writes for Franchisor News, Summer 2012

Through our work at Coconut Creatives, we have been able to help franchise companies identify and streamline the best marketing solutions for their franchise recruitment needs. This type of experience is something we are keen to share, as we believe that the art of franchise network growth and enrichment is something that any franchisor can adapt to suit their business and individual industry.

Franchisees are all individuals. They are governed by their own unique needs, desires and business objectives and therefore their interpretations of your marketing support and how it relates to their individual territory, will vary. You therefore need a well-defined blend of options that will give you a clear scope of coverage in accordance with your franchise network team.

An organised, well-guided plan is essential

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we have implemented a professional marketing structure that has been underpinned by Chartered Marketer principles. This means each plan is SMART: specific, measureable, achievable, realistic and timely.

Every plan is then explained and delivered to new franchisees through the initial training process with ongoing ‘check points’ to ensure they are undertaking key activities. This is a structure and system that Coconut Creatives has put in place for a wide range of franchisors across industry and sector both very large established brands and small start-ups.

Who does which bit?

As most franchisors take a royalty from franchisees, it is important to show them value for money!

Communicate all the brilliant activity you are doing in a number of ways:

  • Newsletters
  • Intranet
  • Forums
  • Webinars

Also consider circulating the core marketing plan so franchisees can arrange complementary activities in their area. By demonstrating to your franchisees that their hard-earned cash is being spent on promoting the brand nationally, it helps to benefit them as more people will be aware of their business and what it offers.

Don’t forget that communication is a two-way thing. Involve them in the process, take onboard their ideas and suggestions, yet ensure you stick to your overall plan on the best way forward. Some fantastic ideas have come from the Rosemary Bookkeeping network in the past and many of these are now implemented across the network, alongside the activities that were already planned.

Regular contact

Regular contact with the franchise network is essential – via telephone and email communication as well as regularly scheduled face-to-face meetings, ideally with these being held in groups and on a one-to-one basis.

Building and maintaining a relationship with the franchise network adds value to their investment but also ensures that the franchisees feel supported and appreciated both as individuals and as part of the team. Whilst being part of a franchise can provide franchisees with the freedom and flexibility that is not always associated with more traditional roles, they still need to know that they have a point of contact should they require – this of course being a major benefit and attraction to prospects when considering franchising from the outset.

Showcasing case studies

Once you have built a strong relationship with your franchise network and assisted them to win business, you can help them further expand on this.

This task should be quite straight forward as franchisees are often keen to promote their territory and the good work they are doing. Case studies and testimonials are one of the best tools for new franchisees to use when looking to win business in their territory. It says to prospective clients of the new franchisee “I’m new to this business, but the business isn’t new”.

The other bonus to this is that franchisees are often keen to talk about their experiences and successes, in a tone that is relatable by the prospective franchisee audience. Give them the best opportunity to do this by holding an interview with them in their work environment, and if you can video at the same time you have a useful tool for social media too. You never know what you might gain from the material that you collect as well as receiving first-hand feedback about your franchise. This material is great for inspiring other people to take the plunge into franchising, as well as winning more business for the network as a whole.

Public relations

PR is also very important when creating a strong national strategy, especially during the launch of a new franchise territory. Yet PR doesn’t work alone. It is a proven fact that people need to see or hear a product or service at least 7 times before they will engage with it. You can help your franchisees build up their communication touch points by providing them with templates and structures that support key messages and their fundamental activities. For example: if your business is highly dependent on business networking, then providing them with e-shot copy and templates to use on a monthly basis to keep people they meet at networking warm, is another touch point ticked off the list.

Press releases, keep warm activity and well-scheduled newsletters are great to encourage and maintain interest. You may also find that national press releases can be incorporated within your POS and marketing collateral designs. Again, franchise case studies can be used as PR but, if so, we recommend for there to be a clear message or story that resonates with the target audience.

Social Media

Social networking as a promotional tool is gaining pace like the proverbial juggernaut. On Facebook there were 901 million monthly and 526 million daily active users recorded on average at the end of March 2012. Also at the end of March, Twitter is said to have had more than 140 million active users posting 340 million tweets a day.

Originally designed for friends, family and businesses to communicate and stay connected through text and photographs, the coverage of social media is something that can be tapped into quite readily. Twitter has already proved useful to the emergency services for sending out vital information like emergency phone numbers or locations of hospitals requiring blood donations. Users have even beaten traditional media in reporting news such as when the US Airways Flight 1549 experienced multiple bird strikes in January 2009 and crash landed in the Hudson River in New York. A passing ferry passenger took a picture of the plane as passengers were evacuating and tweeted it via TwitPic before traditional media arrived at the scene to report the news. Just think what this tool could do for a business!

As the internet is being used more frequently for business, utilising the possibilities for sharing your product information with different target audiences is becoming easier and cheaper. As well as Facebook and Twitter, you can also use LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, blogs and many more.

Unfortunately, many people can become so focused on utilising the different social networks that they attack it in a rather hap-hazard way; posting updates and messages that haven’t been thought through. We say integrate it into your marketing. This way, you will know what you are going to say and when, therefore you’ll also have a better handle on whether it is working for you.

You can encourage your franchisees to utilise social network sites for themselves. They may then be able to generate additional local interest and build relationships with their customers. It is worthwhile to consider some guidelines however, to ensure the brand message is conveyed accurately and that external comments are managed in the most appropriate way. Having a dedicated ‘Social Media Keeper’ at head office is a good option.

In Summary…

Talking to your existing franchisees, building and maintaining trust is the best way to ensure your company continues to flourish. It’s very much a case of keeping an ear to the ground and being conscious of the fact that the best feedback to use within your marketing may well come from those outside the head office who have day-to-day direct contact with the end-customer and portray the brand in the public domain.

If franchisees understand the importance of the marketing you deliver for them, you should find that they are willing to return support as it protects their individual investment, return and territory reputation as much as it does for the overall franchise.

If you wish to discuss your franchise in more detail, or have any queries about the content of this article, please contact me at coconutcreatives.co.uk or call 01725 511673.

Strategy Session

Join us at one of our Coconut offices in Barnsley or Andover for a strategy session to review your current marketing.

Our strategy sessions are for you if:

You’re an established franchisor and…

  • you don’t hit your recruitment targets
  • you spend too much money to generate leads
  • you don’t have AT LEAST 3 to 4 ideal franchisee profiles

You’re a new franchisor and….

  • looking to develop your recruitment strategy
  • looking to recruit your first franchisees
  • looking for guidance and support with your recruitment marketing

At our strategy sessions we will suggest improvements for:

  • YOUR marketing strategy and it’s overall impact
  • Increasing your franchisee conversion ratios
  • Using tools that deliver results.

Our strategy sessions have proven effective for so many franchisors who gain significant clarity on the positives and negatives of their current campaign. Often undertaken by a Coconut Director (Sarah Carlile, Paul Clegg or Adam Lovelock), we will go through all your current materials and activities. This review will help guide you forward in a structured and organised manner for the next recruitment season and beyond.

Franchisors are encouraged to bring along ALL their branding, franchise recruitment collateral including prospectus, flyers, adverts, press releases, case studies and anything else important for review. We will go through all your current materials and activities, review your messaging and target audiences to uncover where things can be improved. This review will help give clarity on ways to improve your current approach and achieve more leads!

In short, your entire current situation is reviewed in line with what you want to achieve (franchise sales objectives). We will help organise you and put together a road map of activity for you to go away and implement, by way of a written Action Plan.

This session including the follow up Action Plan is chargeable at £397 + VAT. The Action Plan highlights all of the activity you need to do in order to get you the best possible chance of achieving your objectives for growth. This is a plan that you take away and implement yourself, with your own team, or we can do all or parts of this for you.

If you are interested in learning more about our strategy sessions please contact us via the form below and one of our team will be in touch!

How To Improve Your Franchisee Conversion to 1-in-28 – Midlands

With the franchise industry changing fast, it’s vital to keep up with the latest thinking for franchise recruitment.   This is a unique opportunity to gain up to date insight on the latest marketing techniques that can help boost your franchise recruitment.

Topic: How To Improve Your Franchisee Conversion to 1-in-28
Date & Location: 30th May 2013 – Midlands
Places available: 10

View our 3 minute workshop video

Coconut Creatives is the ONLY franchise marketing specialist offering workshops that bring together independent experts in the key fields of marketing, PR, copywriting, branding, social media and events to show you how they all effectively combine to produce excellent results.

You’ll take away some really valuable pointers to utilise within your own business, including:

  • Your perfect business ‘elevator pitch’ for use on flyers, prospectus & at exhibitions
  • Top copy tips for franchise advertising and PR
  • Franchise branding ideas to help you stand out from the rest
  • Video concepts that get prospects listening to you
  • An applied budget matrix to manage your recruitment
  • A professional structure for your marketing
  • Benchmarking your current performance against other Franchisors – see how you currently perform!
  • Plus, personal feedback on our 1 to 1 afternoon sessions, worth £450!

“Warm, engaging and creative workshop.  We found the day extremely motivating covering so many relevant topics inspiring us to move forward with many of the ideas given.”
Janet Walmsley, OSCAR.

Current Promotion
Places booked 6 weeks in advance will be entitle to our early bird offer – 2 places for the price of 1.

Email Lucy or call 01725 511673 to check availability, for more information, an agenda or a booking form.