Your existing database is full of prospective franchisees. You may have been in touch with them when they first enquired but when they didn’t progress any further down the recruitment process, it is likely that you threw them back into the pot and you haven’t really been in contact with them since. Your database is a valuable resource and it is important to keep in contact with your prospects on a regular basis to give yourself a greater chance of recruiting more franchisees.
There are a number of reasons why prospects may remain in your database for a long period of time before they become franchisees. Personal and financial situations may change, which is why it is important to keep your franchise in the front of their minds so that when they do decide to take a leap of faith, you are the first person they will come to.
Regular communication with your existing database is crucial, especially if you are operating on a low budget. By making the most of existing prospects, you can save money and resources on finding new leads and focus more on the high quality leads you already have.
How do I re-engage the leads in my database?
For your communication to have maximum impact, it is important to make sure that it:
- Is attention grabbing
- Has a target audience in mind and has the correct tone
- Is short and clear
- Creates demand
- Includes a call to action
- Offers an incentive.
When you are communicating with your database, make sure you have something to say or something to offer to get the best response. Things you could offer include:
- Expert guides
- Hints and tips
- Personalised invitation to visit HQ
- Industry reports
- Tour of a franchisee’s business
- Monthly newsletter.
Regular activities like the ones listed above come at little or no cost to you but offer a great return – new franchisees! Even if the prospects don’t sign up straight away, these activities will keep them ‘warm’ and interested in your franchise. Regular contact also builds trust between you and your prospects which is essential once the franchisor-franchisee relationship has been formed. It will also help you to stay ahead of your competition and make sure your brand is the first that a prospect will think of when they decide to take the next step in the decision-making process.
If you’d like to find out more about making the most of your existing database, why not leave a comment below and we’ll reply!
Sally Anne Butters is Head of Media at Coconut Creatives, a marketing agency that works with Franchisors to create a strategy that fits with their objectives, skillset and budget.
New categories introduced this year led to more than a 30 percent increase in entrant numbers compared to 2013 and a very high standard across the board, with a great mixture of newer and upcoming businesses combining with some of the giants of UK franchising.
The businesses vying for the awards are:
bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year
- Agency Express
- Signs Express
- TaxAssist Accountants
- Water Babies
Emerging Franchisor of the Year
- Bright & Beautiful
- Right at Home
Award for Innovation
Franchisee Recruitment Award
- Mail Boxes Etc.
- Riverford Organic Farms
Brand of the Year
- The ZipYard
Cathryn Hayes, head of franchising for HSBC, said: “This is one of the toughest year’s judging processes I can remember. The 20 finalists should be extremely proud to have stood out in a highly competitive field, reflecting the quality and depth that is found in today’s franchise brands.
“Commiserations go to those that did not make it this far and we hope to see them again next year.”
Finalists will present to the judging panel at the Express Newspapers offices on 21 or 22 May. This year’s guest judges are Adrian Price of Menzies and Suzie McCafferty of Platinum Wave, who join regular judges Brian Smart, Cathryn Hayes and Sean Hammond, head of franchising for Express Newspapers, for this year’s awards.
Winners will be announced at a black-tie gala dinner on 26 June at Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire.
The former Olympic athlete will talk about her sporting career and evolution on the second day of the event, surely mentioning the stories behind the many medals conquered while competing at the highest level.
According to Pip Wilkins, Head of Operations at the British Franchise Association, “Kelly will be sharing her exceptional and inspirational journey on winning two gold medals in one Olympic Games – becoming the first British female athlete to win both the 800m and 1500m”.
However, the former athlete won’t be alone. “The annual conference is the highlight of the bfa calendar and promises to be an unmissable event with inspirational keynote speakers, a restructured conference programme offering a broader range of franchising topics and increased networking opportunities,” Pip Wilkins adds.
The association will also organise the prestigious bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year Awards, on 26th June. Pip Wilkins reminds all franchisors that “the awards are a great way to catch up with colleagues, make new contacts and be part of the UK’s biggest celebration of franchisor excellence and innovation”.