By Dean Hartley, Five Star Bath Solutions


Starting an entirely new independent business requires extensive capital and years of hard work. There’s also significant risk involved.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 76 percent of small businesses that opened in 2022 were still operating a year later, and approximately half of ll small businesses shut down within fi ve years of opening. Th ese statistics have remained relatively stable for several years.

Franchise businesses, on the other hand, have been shown to consistently outperform those results. A survey of 1,260 North American franchises found that 91.2 percent were still in business after two years, with 85 percent still in operation after five years.

Franchising opportunities, however, come with the support of a proven business model. Instead of risk, franchisors offer franchise systems that have been demonstrated to work, as well as other advantages, such as built-in brand awareness and shared resources.

Proven, repeatable business systems and processes are key to the franchise model. One of the most powerful tools franchisors can off er franchise owners is a marketing system designed to efficiently target new audiences, consistently communicate with existing and former customers, and generate leads. It’s one of the most direct ways that franchisors can support their franchise owners and drive overall growth for the brand.

Many franchisors, regardless of the industry, provide franchise owners with digital tools to manage and optimize their outreach, including data and analytics and email marketing platforms. Franchisors oft en also have corporate- or platform-level marketing teams who create content that can be leveraged locally. Th eir web expertise can ensure your internet presence is optimized, and these teams can also help franchisors create content specific to their territory and off er guidance, training and support.

Some franchisors have franchise development public relations partners who coordinate announcements and earned media opportunities at both the corporate level and for franchise owners. Often, PR partners will help franchise owners generate local media coverage that can drive awareness as well as leads and revenue. Don’t let PR opportunities coordinated by your franchisor or their partners pass you by. (And consider consulting your own public relations partner if your franchisor doesn’t have a PR strategy.)

Th e first step of any successful franchise owner’s marketing strategy should be to take full advantage of the tools available through your franchisor. Streamlining or automating as much of your marketing outreach as possible frees you to focus on closing sales, providing exceptional service, increasing revenue and driving growth – the things that help you reach your goals and the building blocks that propel growth for the franchisor.

But that doesn’t mean that franchisors or franchise owners should expect a one-size-fits-all approach. Th e best franchise businesses provide flexibility and encourage initiative among franchise owners, who can then make real-time decisions on the ground that will fi ne-tune and optimize the franchise system to fi t the needs of their particular territory or market. They can create unique email or social media campaigns around local events or traditions or tweak their outreach based on localized data.

Social media, which remains an essential marketing tool for any business, including franchises, provides franchise owners an opportunity to elevate their marketing outreach. Th e franchisor may offer some content to be shared by local owners, but franchise owners must take control of their own platforms to truly connect with their communities on social media. Providing engaging, entertaining content to a local audience on a regular basis and interacting positively with followers and other organizations all help build brand awareness and customer loyalty while establishing your company as a trustworthy source of expertise.

Infl uencers are an increasingly eff ective and popular method for reaching existing and new customers. Working with infl uencers in your industry, or popular infl uencers who resonate with your audience, can help franchise owners distinguish themselves in their market. Th e endorsement of an infl uential personality can take awareness and interest in your brand to a new level.

Since online tools are so important for eff ective marketing in today’s world, careful reputation management is also critical. Monitoring social media and online reviews, engaging constructively with negative comments or reviews and ensuring the integrity of the franchise brand and your individual franchise location are essential. Without consistent and thoughtful management of how your franchise is perceived in the digital realm, your entire marketing strategy could be undermined, with negative consequences for you and the franchisor.

If you’re considering a new franchise opportunity, pay close attention to the marketing resources available. Franchise owners benefi t from strong systems that off er a solid foundation for their individual marketing strategies. But to stand out from the competition, franchise owners must make the most of the tools available to them with smart and consistent strategies of their own, targeted to their audience and community.


Dean Hartley is the brand president of Five Star Bath Solutions. Dean directs franchise systems and processes to assist franchise owners in growing successful, profi table businesses. Dean brings over 15 years of experience in the one-day bathroom remodeling industry and a vast knowledge base to assist in building the Five Star Bath Solutions franchise system. Before joining Five Star Bath Solutions, he most recently held the position of vice president of sales and marketing with Design Imaging, where he supported dealers with sales and technical assistance. For more information about IFA franchisor member Five Star Bath Solutions, please visit