Developing Your Franchise in the New Year | International Franchise Association

Developing Your Franchise in the New Year


Technology, millennials and new plans might lead to new franchisees for your business.


By Gary Findley


The IFA’s Franchise Business Outlook for 2018 released around this time last year said franchise establishments were expected to grow an additional 1.9 percent in 2018 to 759,000 and that franchise employment was projected to grow 3.7 percent, continuing to outpace the rest of the economy. And while the projections for 2019 have yet to be released, the demand for the franchising industry is expected to continue upward.


Every year, more concepts are being created and introduced – opening up the playing field for those who want to join the franchising industry. So many business models are crossing borders, reaching millions more people, and creating more opportunities for success.


With the New Year upon us, and the demand for franchising at an all-time high, it’s time to get your sales plan in order. Here’s how the best of the best are answering the demand in 2019 with their franchise sales process.


Connect with Technology


Technology continues to make our jobs easier and faster on all levels. And the way franchisors are using technology in the sales process is becoming incredibly sophisticated. The most effective way to use technology and gain a new franchisee: connect them with a franchise owner. If you’re not using technology to connect the two, and then getting out of their way, you could be drastically slowing down your franchise development process.


“Technology continues to make our jobs easier and faster on all levels.”


Let your franchisees do the real fact-sharing (via Skype, Webinars, FaceTime, etc.) and you won’t have to “sell” someone on the opportunity. The franchise owner can give a real-life account of what attracted them to the franchise, what it was like to get started, what they’ve learned along the way, and how the business operates today. It is this kind of frank and honest discussion that potential investors trust. These conversations are less about trying to sell something and more about walking in someone’s experienced shoes for an hour.


What else are you doing for your business with technology? Have you hosted a Facebook Live Event for a benchmark grand opening? Are you pushing out grassroots success stories on LinkedIn? Where’s your YouTube channel? Will your prospects see anything compelling there? Do you have a blog that is deep in content, or are you waiting for the media to come and tell your story for you. (Hint: the answer should be both!) If you don’t feel confident with answers to these questions, know that other franchisors are doing this and doing it well.


Millennials Are a Good Thing


It’s estimated that Millennials will represent 40 percent of the total workforce by 2020. Millennials are not looking for a job as much as they’re looking for a lifestyle. They like workplace versatility and flexibility, and they expect a strong work-life balance. And with almost three-quarters of the 80 million Millennials in the U.S. saying they want to be entrepreneurs, we are looking at a pool of perfect candidates for buying franchises. The franchisors who embrace this generation, marketing to them confidently (and frequently), will give a leg up in their sales efforts in 2019. The only way our industry will continue to grow is if we embrace these new business owners who are thirsty for entrepreneurial success.


New Year: New Career


Today, the average person now changes jobs 12 times during his or her career. And, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women hold as many jobs as men while also taking time off to have children. That’s a lot of change. So, it’s no surprise that New Year’s Resolution season coincides with people beefing up their resumes too.


“Today, the average person now changes jobs 12 times during his or her career.”


The big questions people should be asking in the New Year are: Do you just want a new job, or would you rather have a career? Are you looking for a paycheck, or are you more interested in financial freedom? Are you searching for a better boss, or do you actually want to be the boss and run a business? It’s this kind of monumental leap that drives huge interest into franchise opportunities. 


So, next month resolve to go big and make it the launching pad for a renewed sales effort. Consider allocating the big budget to the first quarter – whether it’s a new marketing push, a technological investment, or deciding to send your sales team to a franchise development conference to up their education on best practices. You can start by earning CFE credits from IFA at the first annual Selling Franchises Bootcamp, hosted by the Titus Center for Franchising at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Jan. 22-23.


Don’t let 2019 pass by without taking hold of what’s already in front of you. The demand for franchising is already there, you just have to move forward and seize upon the opportunities to help take your brand to the next level.


Gary Findley oversees the Restoration 1 and bluefrog Plumbing + Drain franchise networks headquartered in Waco, Texas. Learn more about bluefrog at