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Netsertive recently hosted its June 2024 Franchise Executive Roundtable, a community space for marketing leaders and executives to connect, collaborate, and share stories in real time. The latest roundtable featured breakout discussions focused on four pressing topics in franchising: Responsible Franchising, Local Marketing Programs, Franchisee Conferences and Meetings, and the Build vs. Buy dilemma. These sessions offered rich insights and actionable strategies directly from the top minds in franchising.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the key takeaways from each discussion, highlighting the expert advice and solutions that emerged from the breakout discussions. Whether you’re looking to enhance your marketing effectiveness, improve franchisee engagement, or make strategic decisions about growth, grab some of the following tips discussed in the sessions in the recap below.

Breakout Topic: Responsible Franchising

Responsible franchising isn't new; it's been practiced for years, but it's gaining more attention now. It extends beyond recruitment efforts, encompassing practices that ensure franchisees have a viable path to profitability. Industry experts highlight the importance of reasonable debt levels, transparent disclosure practices, and robust validation processes. Modified or phased openings also play a crucial role in optimizing initial cash flows.

Top Takeaways:

  1. Ensure franchisees are not burdened with excessive debt.”
  2. Implement transparent disclosure practices, including comprehensive Item 19 disclosures.”
  3. Facilitate robust validation through calls and virtual meetings.”
  4. Consider modified or phased openings to enhance franchisee cash flows.”
  5. Prioritize franchisee profitability as a cornerstone of responsible franchising practices.”

Breakout Topic: Local Marketing Programs

Effective local marketing strategies are essential for franchise success. Franchisees must have comprehensive plans tailored to their communities, leveraging events, direct mail, social media, and other channels. Hiring for specific skills like sales and marketing can bridge expertise gaps.

Top Takeaways:

  1. "Have a plan. Don’t just throw anything on the wall and hope it sticks."
  2. “The franchisor provides the franchisee with a marketing template they are responsible for executing in their local market."
  3. “If you as a franchisee are not very strong in sales or marketing but are stronger on the operational side, seek to hire somebody with that skill set.”
  4. “Understanding local demographics and groups is key to success in your market.”
  5. “Community events can be beneficial if you have specific objectives and trained individuals attending”

Breakout Topic: Franchise Conventions and Meetings

Franchise conventions and meetings are invaluable for networking, education, and relationship-building. Several strategies can maximize their impact, from incentivizing attendance to involving vendors and leveraging event technology.

Top Takeaways:

  1. "Several brands charge a non-attendance fee, emphasizing the importance of franchisee participation."
  2. "Inviting prospects to the convention, especially those far in the pipeline, can help sell them on the brand."
  3. "Vendor involvement is crucial, whether through presentations, financial sponsorship, or other means of support."
  4. "Using apps to organize events provides easy access to agendas and fosters community and networking."
  5. "Most events were a total of three days, really two days of full content and sort of a travel or kickoff day."

Breakout Topic: Build vs Buy Technology/Systems

Franchisors often face the dilemma of building custom technology solutions or buying existing ones. Discussions emphasized the importance of focusing on core competencies and outsourcing non-core functions to proven vendors. Additionally, buying proven systems is often more efficient than building from scratch as businesses scale.

Top Takeaways:

  1. "Prioritizing what to build in-house versus leveraging existing tools to avoid 'reinventing the wheel' is crucial."
  2. "Determining the right level of investment in technology and systems to support scale requires careful planning and analysis."
  3. "Balancing the needs of the franchise support team versus the franchisees themselves is a key consideration."
  4. "Striking the right balance between customization and off-the-shelf solutions is essential for scalability and efficiency."
  5. "Ensuring technology investments align with scalability goals is pivotal for long-term success in franchise operations."

Conclusion

Navigating responsible practices, localized marketing, impactful events, and technological decisions is all part of the daily grind in franchising. We hope these shared tips and insights help you better navigate these topics. If you ever need a sounding board or want to talk digital marketing, feel free to hit us up and talk shop!

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