5 Key Franchise Success Tips from the Greats
Research shows that there have been almost 800,000 franchises consistently operating in the U.S since 2007. In fact, the numbers have been slowly on the rise. One of the reasons for this is that the art of franchising has been perfected by talented entrepreneurs. Here are five secrets of success from successful franchises.
Know Your Product
According to Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas, the first rule of franchising is to know your product better than anyone. Product knowledge isn’t just limited to the technical background, but instead encompasses the creative possibilities and changing market preferences. Therefore, proper product or service knowledge pertains to the past, present and future. A competent franchiser will be able to apply the lessons of business history with projected market changes to keep their product or service in high demand.
Know Your Customer
Dave Thomas’ second rule of franchising is to know your customer. Demographics in America are changing faster than ever, so a novice franchiser can no longer rely on outdated market research and rigid world views. Customers have now found their voice through social media platforms and the Internet. Franchises should take advantage of technology to actively engage customers.
Integrate into the Community
Not all successful franchisers are well-known entrepreneurs. For example, two local franchisers decided to open up a Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar in South Central Los Angeles. Despite the fact that this area is poverty stricken with notoriously crime rates, the franchisers were successful and become the only sit down restaurant in a four mile radius. However, they did have to use a local security company with local connections to establish a safe and comfortable business environment. In the end, their efforts to integrate themselves with the community were rewarded with a successful business.
The Master of Franchising
McDonald’s is one of the most successful franchises and have almost 40,000 restaurants worldwide. According to McDonald’s, their franchises focus on certain aspects, such as training, support, customer satisfaction and social responsibility. While they have taken a lot of grief from the media and health advocates over the quality of their food, their franchising methodology guarantees that everyone around the world will receive standard service and food products. Standardization and centralization are the pillars of their success.
Tips from the Top Franchises
Entrepreneur’s 36th annual Franchise 500 lists Hampton Hotels as the number one franchise because they offer superior customer service. Their subculture of friendliness and convenience for the customer has translated well into different countries. Successful franchises are able to share their unique strengths across different borders and cultures. Subway made the list because of their commitment to healthy dining options and menu flexibility. Subway’s $5 Foot long promotion is now an excellent example of how a franchise can offer a valuable deal to customers.
The number of franchises is slowly on the rise because of trailblazing entrepreneur. The secrets to franchising success include knowing the history and future of customer and product trends. Community integration is equally important as standardization. Finally, sharing the positive aspects of the subculture and offering true value are keys to success.