Once entrepreneurs have crossed the dividing line between wanting to own a business to operating one, it’s important to focus on marketing and promoting your new franchise establishment. There are some franchise brands who prefer to help franchisees handle these duties in-house, which typically relies upon a coop advertising fund of dues from franchisees in the system. If so, it’s important to understand what franchisees are allowed – and prohibited – to do on their own. Even if franchise marketing and promotions are handled by corporate, you can still check with your brand representative on additional measures to promote your business within your local community.
Because most franchise ownership outreach is limited to the precise territory spelled out in your agreement, here are some of the ins and outs of marketing and promoting your business to a local community-based audience.
Market Yourself First
Before you begin any marketing and promotional effort on behalf of your franchise brand, it’s important to market yourself. And the best way to accomplish this is through networking. Explore different business and civic-based groups in your area, including but not limited to your local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, or specific industry trade organizations. Make plans to join and attend meetings, happy hours, luncheons, dinners, and other social engagement opportunities – and don’t forget to bring your business cards. Before your networking activities conclude, you should make the rounds defined by your territory. Keep your website and social media channels updated regularly to keep customers in the loop.
Events, Happenings, and Sponsorship
Every community has a calendar of dates, events, and happenings. Find opportunities in your community to showcase your franchise establishment and get involved. Try to locate opportunities that have a tie-in to your product or service, but fun runs, beautification days, festivals, fairs, and celebrations are a great place to start. If you can’t donate in-kind resources, there’s always nominal sponsorships available. Just look for opportunities that intersect with your specific target market.
In lieu of, or addition to, what’s going on in your own community, do some research on a specific charitable organization and see how you can become involved. Nonprofits such as the United Way and the Salvation Army are two great examples – however these are national in scope. To make a difference on a community level, try to find something much more local. There are currently about 28,000 different nonprofit organizations in North Texas and Oklahoma combined, which means there’s something out there for everyone.
Lights, Camera, Action!
Have a good story? All communities in North Texas and Oklahoma have their own specific media outlets who frequently seek local stories that are news and noteworthy. As a franchise owner, you may find an opening to feature your business, provided it’s relevant to the local community. Simply visit the websites for your local newspaper and broadcast television affiliates and look for the Contact Us page. There should be instructions on sending a news tip or story idea. Just make sure that what you’re pitching is actually news and noteworthy.
The franchise investigative process is supposed to take time, effort, and careful consideration in determining the right business opportunity for you. But once you’ve become a local business owner, you can apply the same effort in directing your attention to local marketing and promotional outreach. Getting the word out about your product or service is a vital part of your new role as a community business owner. Just make sure that your plans to do so are in accordance with what’s spelled out in your franchise agreement.
Business ownership through franchising is an advantageous way to become your own boss. And once you’ve made that all-important decision to live a life more entrepreneurial, we invite you to partner with FranNet of DFW and Oklahoma. We have the knowledge, experience, and know-how to help you navigate your way to business ownership in your community. Our assistance is – and always will be – no-cost or no-obligation to you. If you’re ready to explore franchise ownership, we can help you discover a whole new world of possibilities.