The desire to sell more franchises isn’t completely about making money—at least it shouldn’t be. It’s about expanding your franchise family and having more opportunities to serve your customers.
From a potential franchisee’s perspective, choosing the franchise brand he wants to invest in can be a daunting decision. He’s looking at cold, hard facts like:
How much initial investment do I need to get started?
How much money can I make with this brand?
What kind of competition is there in this category locally?
In this situation, when attempting to sell more franchises it’s just like selling a hamburger or a pair of jeans: you need something to make your brand stand out from all the others.
Assuming your franchise’s startup costs are identical to 10 others, and a franchisee can make the same profit, what reason do you have to compel that potential franchisee to invest?
It’s your story that separates you from the pack. Your franchise’s story is what makes it unlike any other franchise on the planet, and it’s what will resonate with the right people.
Why Your Franchise Story Matters
When people buy things, they’re looking at that hard data (price, reputation, value), but more than anything, they want an emotional connection to the brand. Who hasn’t felt a tug on her heartstrings watching a commercial like this one by Chevrolet? It turns its product, a rugged truck, into a vessel of hope for the future.
Your franchise has a story. There’s the story of how you started the business, what inspired you, and what led you to become a franchisor. Then there are dozens (maybe hundreds or thousands) of franchisee stories: what led them to your brand and how have they thrived?
These are the stories that people connect with. That they can relate to, or even aspire to.
It’s all too easy for a franchisor to come off as a big, impersonal company. But telling your story helps your brand build trust and be likable. Stories humanize companies.
All things being equal, it very well may be your story that strikes a chord for a potential franchisee and be the impetus she needs to become part of your brand family.
How to Tell Your Franchise’s Story
Not sure where to start in telling your story to sell more franchises? You’ve likely told it dozens of times already.
When someone asks how and why you started your company, what do you tell them? Maybe your story is that you were burnt out working 80 hours a week as a consultant, and wanted to nurture your lifelong passion for gardening. Maybe you were inspired by your child’s fingerpainting. Perhaps your story has an inspiring person that led you down this path, like a grandmother who struggled with cancer who inspired you to start a home healthcare business, a paraplegic who learned to walk again who encouraged you to provide physical therapy for veterans, or even a pet who spurred you to launch a business training animals.
Dig not only into the logistics of how you started your business but also the emotions. Were you frustrated at the lack of existing solutions? Did you want to give back to the community? Were you ready for a complete change in your life?
Your franchise has multiple stories, to be sure. There’s your genesis story, but there’s also your story of success and what led you to decide to franchise the business. Maybe, like with Chem-Dry, demand for your products or services exceeded what you could offer yourself, and you franchised to meet that demand.
Or maybe your story is like that of franchising expert Wayne Cavanaugh, founder of Ninja Nation, who wanted to help kids be fit, both physically and mentally, and impact as many kids as possible. Their goal is to create over one million heroes – that’s one million kids and adults pushing their minds and bodies to limits they never thought possible and doing so in their arenas.
You also have the story of each and every franchisee within your brand. Allowing them to tell their story not only lets them shine, but it also provides insight into what it’s like to be a franchisee. This is extremely valuable to a potential franchisee: rather than getting messages from you as the franchisor, here are real stories from real franchisees they can relate to.
Hearing stories like that of Kevin Kelly, a decorated fighter pilot and vet who bought his first Planet Fitness franchise six years ago and now is a partner in 19 gyms, can inspire others considering the same franchise.
Franchisees are entrepreneurs, parents, couples, veterans, people with disabilities, minorities, and humans. Let them tell their stories because they are part of your franchise’s tale.
Where to Tell Your Story
Now that you have all these wonderful stories, what do you do with them? They should be part of your digital marketing package that you use to attract new franchisees.
You can tell your story in a variety of formats: you can write a blog post telling one story at a time. You can create a video overview of the business and franchising story that you put on your franchise information page on your website. You can also publish your franchisees’ stories in your monthly email newsletter or tell them as part of the press release you publish whenever you bring on a new franchisee.
You can submit your story and your franchisees’ stories to franchising magazines and websites like Franchising.com.
If all that sounds intimidating, work with a franchising PR agency that can handle the storytelling and distribution for you.
Your franchise is more than what’s in your franchise disclosure documents. It’s more than royalty fees and revenues. Your franchise has a unique story, and that’s what attracts franchisees who help you expand your brand and help you tell that story. We love helping our clients sell more franchises and would enjoy the opportunity to hear your story and see if there’s an opportunity to work together.