RNR Franchise announces that they are now working with The Tanner Franchise Group to assist The Franchise Sales Solution in expanding system-wide franchise growth. RNR currently has more then 70 stores, providing custom wheels and tires to an underserved consumer market. ”We are excited to have the Tanner Franchise Group join The Franchise Sales Solution assist with the formulation of a strategy that will continue to help us expand franchise locations in new communities throughout the United States.”
The Adam & Eve Stores Chooses The Franchise Sales Solution To Grow Franchise System
Unless you live under a rock, you know about the Adam & Eve brand and their storied history, as the leader in the lingerie and adult-boutique market. What you
may not know is that Adam & Eve Retail stores are a franchise and that here are currently 58 locations in 18 states. When couples think about adult, sex positive materials, they think of Adam & Eve. ”It is time for us to really begin promoting our retail business opportunity in the franchise industry, ” said Dave Keegan, General Manager of Adam & Eve Store Franchising. We are well aware that to grow our brand awareness in the franchise sector we needed to work with a company that was innovative in their aproach to organic lead generatoin and the sales processes.”
This is the final portion of my interview with John Armatas, principal at The Franchise Sales Solution. We continue our discussion about how his company helps franchisors rise above this difficult situation of finding good franchisees.
David: What services and tools do you provide your clients?
John: If you look at it from a franchise sales support perspective, we take them from the lead strategy to the initial calls, through the discovery, and through a physical discovery day, and (in most cases) we are actually there for the signing of the documents to guide the new franchisor through the signing of the papers. Because we believe so heavily in organic content to drive leads, we also provide social media monitoring and interaction, blog writing, and have developed relationships with individuals like you (David) who are on the cutting-edge of driving strong potential or qualified candidates to a brand. We also have relationships with public relations companies. I come from an operations perspective, so we really strive to provide a very thorough list of services depending on where our clients are in the process. A young franchisor will need us a lot more in these pieces, and a more mature franchisor will need us less. Ultimately, we want to be working with franchisors even if they have their own in-house marketing or PR or other external firms. We want to have a pipeline to that franchisor so we are promoting the right opportunities so we can be found organically and begin to engage people who are in transition. Our list of services is pretty wide depending on what our client’s needs are.
We want to thank David Stein from The Producers Network for taking the time to get our thoughts on Franchise Sales, Franchise Lead Generation and Franchise Sales Support.
The following is a two part interview that was conducted by David Stein of the Producers Network with yours truly.
David and I have had the opportunity to get to know each other over the past few months. The Producers Network is an independent business development and marketing consultancy founded by David G. Stein, former direct marketing executive for Home Shopping Network. David is the author of “The 30-Minute Lead Generator” and patented the Telephone Redirect System, an innovative lead generation process.
The Producers Network provides a range of services, from brand creation to sales acceleration design to demand generation system projects and is working with The Franchise Sales Solution and Franchise Counselor to help generate and qualify individuals who may be in transition.
Our franchise clients expect us to be on the cutting edge of what is new in franchise lead generation. Our partnerships with franchise sales professionals and lead generation specialists help us to identify qualified candidates and help those individuals who are looking for their next opportunity.
The 5 Disciplines That You Must Learn To Run A Home Based Business
Starting a small business has more then enough innate challenges. There are over 28 million small businesses in the U.S economy and over three-quarters of small business are non-employers and over half are home-based businesses.
I have owned brick and mortar business and when we divested ourselves of those businesses and looked at our next opportunity, the thought of working from home with no employees had a strong allure. Couple that with the reduced overhead and the upside of protecting cash during the early growth stage, it was easy to see the benefits of giving the home based business a try. Lean was good.
If you zero in on why so many small businesses fail you will find that most have significant operational inefficiencies’ that are accelerated by a lack of capital. By running our small business from our home, we would eliminate rent, utilities, employees and all other expenses tied to having a brick and mortar location. Yes, it would mean that my wife and I would be handling the marketing, sales and accounting for the company and would operate in a house fraught with constant distractions. We would also need to trust that our contract employees could perform with no direct oversight.
Once we committed to the lifestyle changes we were off to the races. Today, we have had three successful years of operating out of a home-based environment and we have learned quite a few things. The most obvious of which is the need for an organized and disciplined daily plan. From a strictly business perspective we have confirmed the benefits of working from home:
- Free Rent
- No Utilities
- No W-2 Employees
- No Gas
- No Commuting Time/Traffic
- No Office Drama/Associated Time Wasters
It wasn’t long into our first year that we had also identified a number of challenges:
- Keeping Your Workday Hours In Check
- Motivating Yourself
- Staying Out of The Fridge
Here are some things we learned along the way and a few tips that may help you be more productive:
Keeping Your Workday Hours In-Check. This single item will be the key to the success of you running a small business from your home. I would routinely find myself sitting at my desk at 6:00 AM responding to emails and still at my desk at 6:30 PM returning calls to franchise prospects on the west coast. I could not walk past my desk without checking email or my to-do list. The home-based business had swallowed me whole and was effecting the time that I spent with my family. A change was necessary. The first thing I did was to take 15 minutes on Sunday morning to schedule the upcoming week. I Schedule everything. Every meeting, phone calls, lunch time, car maintenance, children’s carpool, walking the dog, etc. I scheduled my daily workout and to-do list. I even scheduled my coffee breaks. Schedule a reasonable starting and finishing time. Working at home will afford you flexibility in your daily schedule, however you should be as disciplined at scheduling your time as your are checking off items on your to-do-list.
Distractions. Working at home affords you enormous flexibility. It also provides for distractions that can pull you away from the task at hand. Focus is a skill set that you can improve over time. Be disciplined. Stay the course. Set deadlines and goals. Meet the goals and then reward yourself. The reward is one distraction that you deserve.
Motivating Yourself. Though you wont have someone else evaluating your performance on a quarterly basis—you should set goals for yourself and monitor your progress. Your goals should be tied to your overall business objectives. You can’t grow your business if you don’t a roadmap for your future success. How you reward yourself for reaching a goal is up to you, but you need to constantly review and evaluate the plan.
Stay Out of The Fridge. As I noted, scheduling a daily workout is extremely valuable and will help you stay focused the balance of the day. Working in such close proximity to the kitchen and your fridge is a sure fired way to put on a bunch of extra pounds if you are not extremely disciplined. Schedule time for lunch and otherwise stay out of the kitchen.
Networking. Schedule time on your calendar for networking. This may be with a local BNI Chapter or through LinkedIn. If you are blogging regularly, post your blog to various industry LinkedIn Groups. Connect to other professionals in your industry and schedule introductory calls. Besides the benefits of potential business that this may yield, you will develop a group of friends that you can bounce ideas off. But most importantly, it will keep you connected.
About the Franchise Sales Solution
The Franchise Sales Solution, is a Tampa-based franchise sales and development company. John Armatas has owned and operated both small business and franchise operations and has a unique understanding of the challenges that entrepreneurs face in growing their companies. For additional information on the franchise systems they represent or to discuss their services contact, John Armatas at 855.844.8377.
Inevitably, one of the first questions that a new client brings up in our set-up sessions is “what lead generation sources are we going to use to get quality leads”?
And equally inevitable, is the glazed-over look that comes next when we begin to talk about organic search strategies. Before we even begin the review of existing processes, we have a pretty good idea of how the franchisor thinks based on what we gather from the initial overview of the website and social media strategy. What we typically find is:
- There is no clear voice and style for content messaging for the franchise system
- The social media is usually managed by the owners niece or nephew who has a Facebook page and Twitter account
- Content on the website has not been updated since it was initially published
- Page titles and keyword research is non existent
- Large image files (and sometimes music) dominate the website landscape
So let me take a second and share what I know you already know. This poor franchisor has been spammed and called and received LinkedIn requests and Liked by every SEO Firm and expert on the planet. Some have engaged a company and stuck with them for a few months – didn’t see any substantial results and kicked them to the curb. They have sworn off any company who promises increased rankings and that would rather just keep the social media in the family.
Sound like someone you know? If your business or franchise is anything like most small businesses – the last things you believe you have time for is improving organic search results and social media engagement. So, could what you think be influenced by how you think and what you don’t know or understand?
Andy Andrews (one of my favorite authors and one of the great storytellers of all time) has a central character in a number of his books called Jones. Jones is fond of telling his flock “sometimes you just need a little perspective”. Webster’s Dictionary defines perspective “as the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance”.
With that definition in mind let me pose a question to you.
When you started your business, did you network faithfully (even though you were out of your comfort zone) to attract new customers? Do you still network with the same frequency today? I would imagine that as your business has matured, your need to do the grassroots marketing/lead groups etc., that you did initially, may not be as important as it once was. And in the same vein, would you invest time and energy in improving your businesses organic SEO today (even though you are out of your comfort zone) if you were confident that it would pay huge dividends in the future?
Lets assume for a minute that the answer to the question is yes. Humor me for a moment and repeat after me . . . I “Your Name”, do commit to change how I think so that I can change what I think about the need for me to engage a different perspective on committing to long term strategy to improve the chances of a potential franchisee or customer finding my business. Whew! One long run on sentence – but packed with a commitment to view your future success from a different perspective. Ok, so now what?
First step, even before you find a company or person that you trust who can guide you through the process of selecting a company to work with, you must understand and commit to the realization that the SEO process takes time and needs to be a long term project that is constantly reviewed by you and your team. Once everyone has bought in to this thinking, you will be on your way to improving the relationship you have with existing customers and opening the door to new potential ones.
The Brown Bag is generating quite a bit of buzz recently in the DC Area. The food truck has become very popular and the second franchise location has recently been signed. The affiliate is also opening another location in the Downtown vicinity.
We think the breakfast-lunch model is a huge winner. The limited hours present a wonderful franchise opportunity for those looking for a more lifestyle business opportunity. Owners can still make their kids youth sports activities and have the piece of mind to know that the restaurant is closed when they are off spending time with the family. Peace.
The Brown Bag focuses its menu on healthy cuisine on the fly with an environmentally-friendly edge, has just signed its second franchisee. Founded in 2002, Brown Bag now has five corporate locations, one franchise location and a food truck serving the Washington, DC area. Their newest franchisee, Robert Cunius, is currently looking for a location in DC.
Carsmetics Expert Accident Repair, one of the fastest growing minor auto body repair centers in the country, is now open in the Jersey Shore area. READ MORE
We have the pleasure of working with some incredible franchisors. I am not talking about the organization as much as I am the founder. Each of them have built hugely successful organizations (both affiliate and franchise locations) by flat-out delivering on a pledge to support franchisees and affiliate store team members by doing the basic things that made them successful from the get-go.
I know there are plenty of great franchise organizations out there, but I am just excited to be working side by side with the folks that we represent on a day-to-day basis. We talk to some 50 prospects a day for the brands we represent, and we always begin the conversation with a number of key questions that a prospect needs to consider when determining if our franchise opportunity is the right fit. From our standpoint, it all starts with the leadership, and specifically, the franchise founder. Personally, I think it is the most important question that the candidate will evaluate. Can I and/or do I want to form a partnership with this person?
The following six tangible characteristics may help a prospect during the due diligence process:
Can the founder or CEO “make the soup”? Is the top dog an operator or sales guy? Is he/she still in touch with all aspects of the business? Can they reel off existing store sales? Are they involved with the real estate selection process? You get the jest.
Proven Affiliate Success. Are the existing affiliate stores successful? Have they had any affiliate failures? How many proven successful affiliate locations do they currently have? What makes them successful? Do the affiliate stores and franchise locations follow the exact same game plan?
Honest & Trustworthy. This could be the single most important intangible that you need to evaluate. Open the back door. Ask for a list of suppliers and vendors. Call them. How does the industry feel about the franchise and the founder? In addition, you need to call as many of the existing franchisees as possible. Besides providing you with a financial performance picture, they will share things that the Franchisor is not legally able to.
Peek Under The Kimono. No one likes sharing dirty laundry, but no system is perfect. Ask him to share his/her biggest challenges in growing the system? What strategic deficiencies are they working on? Can they identify the top challenges that a franchisee has in the system?
Does He/She Leave the Selling to the Franchise Sales Guy? All founders have a “little salesmanship” in them or they probably would not be where they are today. That being said– they should not be selling you anything, but rather helping you evaluate if this is the right fit for the two of you.
Big Brother. In George Orwell’s fictional novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, Big Brother was the central character and provided complete surveillance to the citizens of Oceania. The over-controlling behavior popularized the phrase, “Big Brother is watching;” but in the franchise world, having “Big Brother” watching may not be such a bad thing. You are buying into a system with a proven success model. The franchisor should have metrics that they watch on a daily basis to ensure your business is on track. The question you need to ask is “How quickly will you share with me when my train is off the track?” In the end, this is your business. However, your success should be as important to the franchisor as it is to you.
If you are in the process of selecting a franchise and you need some advice or just want to chat with someone, give us a call. We will be happy to share our experience with you.
Tomasinos Pizza (Formally Lil Anthony’s) has joined the ranks of good pizza concepts that are now franchising. The Gegaj Family has been in the restaurant business for many years, serving up pizzas made fresh at the restaurant, from the dough to the sauce.
“We import our tomatoes from San Marzano, Italy. Those are the only tomatoes that we ue in our sauce, ” said owner Elizabeth Gegaj. ”They require little to almost no seasoning, becasue they’re such a tasty tomato.”
Tomasino’s recently participated in the Pints N’ Paw event in Sanford, Florida.