In a unique communications partnership, the British Franchise Association (bfa) and ITN Productions are producing a news and current affairs-style programme exploring what a franchise is and how it benefits business and business leaders of today.
‘The Future is Franchising’ will dispel the many misconceptions around franchising. With many people showing little understanding of how franchising works the programme will aim to explain the industry to those who believe franchising is unaffordable, only for entrepreneurs, or impossible to fail.
Recent research finds that small business survival rates are as high as 91 per cent after one year of trading, but after five years, just four in ten small businesses will still be trading. However, in comparison, franchised businesses maintain a failure rate of less than 5 per cent after five years. This programme will explore the support, systems and training provided by the franchisor to enable this.
‘The Future is Franchising’ will play an important role for the British Franchise Association in explaining the model and encouraging people to look into franchising, as well as highlighting the contribution it brings to UK economy.
Drawing upon ITN’s 60 year heritage and expertise in storytelling, the news-style piece will be anchored by national newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky to combine key interviews and reports with sponsored editorial profiles from leading organisations.
‘The Future is Franchising ’ will launch at a bfa event in Birmingham on 28th June 2018, and form part of an extensive communications campaign featuring bfa members, industry partners, government partners, as well as relevant journalists, writers and bloggers.
For more information, or to take part in this year’s programme, please contact Simon.Shelley@itnproductions.com T: +44 207 430 4810
Pip Wilkins, Chief Executive, bfa said: “This programme will enable the bfa to showcase the success and growth of franchising in the UK, whilst highlighting best practise within the sector. We are excited to be working with ITN Productions and our members to present the diversity and opportunity franchising has to offer to the wider business community.”
Simon Shelley, Head of Industry News, ITN Productions, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the British Franchise Association to produce ‘The Future is Franchising’ a programme exploring how franchise benefits businesses and the range of support available from franchisors. We want to bring to life the issues, solutions and future of our franchising industry.”
About ITN Productions
ITN Productions is ITN’s bespoke production hub producing creative and commercially valuable content for the business, commercial, broadcast and digital sectors. Industry News forms part of this offering and is a communications tool for leading industry bodies and national associations produced in a broadcast news programme format, including interviews, news items and sponsored editorial profiles.
For more information visit: http://www.itnproductions.co.uk
About the British Franchise Association
The British Franchise Association (bfa) is the voluntary self-regulatory body for the UK franchise sector. Franchise businesses must pass a standards-based accreditation before they can become a bfa member. The Association promotes ethical franchising practice in the UK and helps the industry develop credibility, influence and favourable circumstance for growth.
For more information visit: https://www.thebfa.org/
How to integrate social media into building sales
In today’s world everyone is connected and everyone can publish. Gone are the days when business controlled media. Distant is the memory when all queries, enquires and complaints were managed by the company’s phone systems and personnel.
It can therefore seem ever more challenging to gain connection with buyers for the business owner. We need to understand that to some extent the rules of advertising and conversation engagement have changed. So what has changed and what must the business owner do to build sales in the social media connected age?
What has changed?
We are all publishers now
Business advertisers do not control the conversation
All publishers need to consider the needs and interests of their existing and prospective clients
Content created and published is the start of the conversation not an open and closed tablet of information
On-line engagement must go beyond the application form
What must business do to build sales in the social media age?
Firstly advertising is not a mistake. Advertising is a great way to create opportunity and product awareness. It can also provide understanding of what it on offer, who should be interested and outline what benefits are available that can improve the buyer’s experience.
This is the awareness stage. Increasingly people that see and read adverts look for further information. Your own website and social media comment and ratings are increasingly sources that are visited before a new client is won. The would be client is therefore looking for understanding and confidence that can be gained from the experience of strangers – think TripAdvisor. Increasingly social media is being used for manging client conversation and support.
What can you do?
Ask your clients what research they did before becoming a client?
Document their pre-buyer journey
Ask about how they use the internet to validate companies, products and services in general
Identify where advertising and social media come into that journey over all
Consider how print, advertising and social media can be harnessed to provide evidence of happy clients
Revisit your marketing journey and review your engagement options
Add social media to provide evidence of what your company offers and real lives it has improved
Offer incentives for your clients to share the value you provide to their own networks. This will raise brand profile and drive new enquiries and sales via your client’s own activities and validation.
Harnessing social media into marketing is not a focus on technology but rather a focus on people. It’s not about control but about engagement. It’s not about throwing away all that works but rather harnessing the power of networks.
Think people first!
For strategic advice and support on growing your business contact us on 023 8027 5710, email firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with the author of this blog Nick Strong via LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickstrong/
Visiting franchise exhibitions is a great way for prospective franchisees to learn more about what may be their next career step. Exhibitions offer a wide range of information from a variety of different sources. It is important for you to be able to get the most out of the exhibitions you visit and the time you have to spend there.
Potential Franchise Businesses
Exhibitions will have a large amount of franchises exhibiting and it is important you make time to see the ones you are most interested in. Do your research ahead of time and find out who is going to be there, what stand number they are on, and consider the questions you want answered. Franchisors will also be handing out brochures throughout the day. Many people opt to take as many brochures as possible and browse through them at their own leisure. But remember: the opportunity to speak to the franchisors at the exhibitions is a unique one so take the time to speak to the people you are most eager to meet. Some franchisors will be happy to book you in for a meeting at the exhibition, so if you’re pushed for time make sure you speak to the franchisor to see what they can arrange. Exhibitions are also a fantastic opportunity to meet current franchisees. They will be there to speak to you to give a clear understanding about what it’s like to be a franchisee.
Seminars and Workshops
Throughout the day, there will be a number of seminars and workshops going on that will offer impartial advice for potential franchisees. Most exhibitions will provide you with a timetable of events so make sure you have a look at what’s on. Not everything will be relevant but there will be something for everyone. Many exhibitions are held over 2 days, with some seminars being repeated on the second day. Before you arrive at the exhibition, make sure you know which seminars you want to listen to, where they will be and anything you may want to ask the speaker. The presenters will all be experts in their field but all seminars will range in topics. So consider hearing from the franchisors, franchisees and independent franchise experts.
Meetings can be arranged to speak to banks, lawyers, financial professionals and business advisors whilst at the exhibition. These may need to be booked ahead of time, so make sure you check on the exhibition website. These meetings can be invaluable and can provide you with impartial advice and best practises for moving forward in your franchise journey. The advisors can set you up with who to talk to, what to do and where to go in order to secure the next steps in the franchise process.