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How New Franchisees Can Attract Their First Customers (Without Bleeding Their Budget Dry)

Congratulations, new franchisee!

It’s been quite the journey so far.

You’ve done the hard work of finding the right business to own, participated in discovery calls, submitted your application, reviewed your Franchise Disclosure Document, talked with current franchisees, did your Discovery Day, made the decision to invest, found the ideal location, signed a lease, developed the unit, got trained up and held your grand opening.

Whew! Now all you have to do is find customers. 

Gulp. And you thought the hard part was over.

Well, that all depends on your customer acquisition strategy. In our company's experience working with and operating franchises ourselves, we find that many franchise owners make the sales process too hard on themselves and their teams. Resulting in an uphill battle in an already difficult small business journey.

Experimenting With Franchisee Communication

This hypothesis proved to be true when I ran a recent sales communication experiment. 

My wife and I were looking to get quotes on some remodeling work for our kitchen. Just for fun, I went to ten of the highest rated and most popular franchisee sites to request a few bids. Now, all of the websites had lead contact forms, thankfully, which I filled out exactly the same way.

And nothing happened. 

No email. No text. No phone call. No carrier pigeon arriving at my window.

Two out of ten companies got back to me with an unprofessional, impersonal email a few days later. And one sales rep called the following night, but his number showed up on my phone with the spam label “telemarketer,” so I let it go to voicemail.

This frustrated me for two reasons. First, because my wife tasked me with finding a good remodeling vendor, and I felt like a failure when I came back to her with almost no positive results. For a moment I was scared she was going to recommend we watch a few Bob Villa videos on YouTube and attempt to do the remodeling ourselves.

Let me just say from experience, that never turns out as good as you think it will. I try to leave projects like that to the pros.

The other point of frustration in my communication experiment was, there’s a huge opportunity in our industry to help franchisees with their consumer leads, and nobody seems to be helping them. 

Particularly when it comes to brand new franchise locations opened by first time owners. We’re so thrilled they’ve taken the plunge to launch a new career as small business owners, and we want them to keep the momentum going.

The Accessible Alternative to Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Granted, large franchise organizations like the Orange Theories and Big Blue Swim Schools of the world have invested millions of dollars building proprietary scheduling software that can be embedded into a franchisee’s site. Which is a wonderful benefit to franchisees if the resources are there, but alas, not all franchisees have that kind of budget.

Thankfully, there is an affordable, more personalized and easy alternative. If you’re opening a new tutoring center, swimming instruction company or service based franchise that gets inbound leads through their website, you don’t have to bleed your budget dry to acquire new customers.

Our clients tell us that FranFunnel’s texting automation is professional, gives customers the instant gratification of an instant response, and garners a significantly higher contact rate than any other lead communication tool in their arsenal. 

If you want to see how gratifying it feels and how fast the tech works, fill out this form to do a demo and you’ll get a text message from our Director of Sales instantly. 

Now all you have to do is imagine that one of your customers was getting that same message.

Look, being a franchisee is not for the faint of heart. But you’ve already done the hard work of making it this far in your journey. Now that your shop is up and running, let’s partner together to integrate automation that will make your small biz journey a bit easier.

Scott Ginsberg is Head of Content at FranFunnel. His retirement job will be owning a used bookstore where he will consume his own inventory all day.

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