Franchising · 7 December 2017

Franchising A-Z: O is for the opportunity

Opportunities
Franchisees will approach you if you present an opportunity

Returning to his A to Z series, franchising expert David Burton explains why “O” is for the opportunities that present themselves to business people when they choose franchising.

The reasons behind why individuals move into business for themselves range as far and wide as the horizon.

But, there’s one thing that every entrepreneur has – they will have identified with an opportunity, and will be prepared to take action to attain what that opportunity holds for them.

One individual may consider their opportunity to be the chance to work for themselves. To another, the opportunity could be to make a huge amount of money.

Another person could see their opportunity in building a business, employing staff and being called the boss, or to attain a certain lifestyle.

Whatever the opportunity is, in the early days of discussions with prospective franchisees, it’s the role of the franchisor to ensure potential franchisees are intrigued enough to want to learn more of the opportunity on offer. The aim is to pursue the road to investing in your franchise.

It’s easy for a franchisor to fall into believing that investors want to join your franchise because of their love of, for example, cleaning or lawn care or bookkeeping. If we’re honest, there are very few occasions where a prospect would approach your business because they love to clean, or they find bookkeeping fascinating.

Potentially great franchisees approach your business because they have identified with the opportunity provided through the service.

Want to catch up with more of David’s franchising insights? Read more from his A-Z series for Business Advice.

N is for franchise networks

M is for Management service fees

L is for Legal protection

ServiceMaster UK now franchises five different brands. Rosemary Bookkeeping was acquired this year, bringing our franchise opportunities to five and our service lines to eight. The top line messaging around our franchise opportunities is relatively similar across the board: “Make money here”.

ServiceMaster’s business format franchises provide the opportunity and essentially serve as a vehicle for the franchisees that invest in them to make money. We are not the only franchisor that provides money making opportunities but our core messaging and conversations with prospects are around the opportunities that franchising offers, not necessarily around the service delivery.

As an example, we would orient the recruitment conversation with a prospective franchisee around the opportunity to build a money-making business that uses essential, highly-valued and sustainable services (like cleaning and bookkeeping) to realise their business and personal goals.

Some of the world’s greatest and most influential entrepreneurs and business leaders are not necessarily the best at selling or providing the service that their company offers. Steve Jobs, for example, could not code. He was not an engineer and neither was he a designer. What Steve Jobs was good at, was seeing the opportunity and most notably pursuing it.

It goes without saying that franchisors should be aware of the opportunities a franchise presents to investors, and communicate the benefits of their system effectively.

Conversations with prospective franchisees should not solely be based on “what it is, how it’s done and how big can you grow it”, but also and essentially, uncovering and establishing the prospect’s “why”.

“Why are you sitting in front of us talking about this franchise opportunity today?” Understanding between the franchisor and franchisee of their “why” forms the strongest basis for a successful and productive relationship.

Brand operations manager for TruGreen – one of ServiceMaster’s UK franchise brands – Steve Welch, said: “With TruGreen, there are no limits. The majority of our franchisees begin their journey as one-man, one-van but there is no reason why a single franchise could not employ dozens of trained technicians, running multiple vans.”

The opportunity is there for the taking, and the role of the franchisor is to understand and engage with their franchisees to inspire and coach them.

Don’t focus on the service, like treating lawns or cleaning homes. It’s not always considered “sexy” work, and it’s not always immediately attractive to investors.

Instead, talk to your prospects about what they can achieve through the services in your franchise model. Tell them what kind of business they can build by cleaning homes. Inspire them to seize the opportunity your franchise offers and to execute on the franchise model. In return, they can achieve both their business and personal ambitions, be they working for oneself, making money or building a team around them.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

David Burton is the communications executive at ServiceMaster, one of the UK’s longest established and largest multi-brand franchisors. With a background in public relations, he provides communications support to the 350+ ServiceMaster franchises and is an advocate for franchising as a proven route to business success.

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