Setting a franchise apart from the local competition
- Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Many franchise agreements will explicitly spell out the franchisee's responsibilities once he's prepared his store or office to open. A major draw for these entrepreneurs-to-be is that they won't have to engage in any marketing or branding efforts whatsoever. For some people, the skills associated with those sorts of tasks don't seem easy to come by and make the idea of becoming a small business owner much less appealing.
However, there are some franchises that may wish to place responsibility for such actions squarely on the shoulders of the franchisee. Despite possessing a regional or national brand, there may be additional work for a small business owner to do, especially when a company is moving its image into a new geographic area for the first time. Here are some ways that franchisees can help their own stores and the franchise's brand stand out from the local competition.
Stress local ownership
Many people in towns or cities across the country instantly dislike franchises because they resent the intrusion of a national company into their comfortable local bubble. This discounts the fact that franchises are independently owned, usually by people from the area. What is a major selling point for a local shop can be just as much of an enticement for a franchise.
Simply develop a personal relationship with customers and make it clear that the franchisee knows the area and wants the new location to become a part of a business community. Of course, such efforts require the green light from franchisors and franchise agreements , but because local marketing is the responsibility of the franchisee, it should be acceptable.
Make leadership visible
Even though they may understand that a franchise can be locally owned, consumers may have the perception that a franchisee takes all of her orders from corporate leadership in some other city. While there is assuredley some direction that gets transmitted from a franchisor to his disparate franchisees, the fact of the matter is that a franchisee is always in charge of her own store. Make the leadership that results from this evident to customers who visit the office.
This can be accomplished not only by developing a personal relationship with customers but by adding personal touches. Where possible, initiate a "Customer of the Week" promotion that highlights the relationship the staff has with certain consumers. Additionally, efforts such as adding to the corporate-mandated decor or organization of a sales floor can help customers further separate their preconceived notions of a franchise from the reality that a successful franchisee creates.
About Liberty Tax Service
Liberty Tax Service is the fastest-growing retail tax preparation company in the industry’s history. Founded in 1997 by CEO John T. Hewitt, a pioneer in the tax industry, Liberty Tax Service has prepared over 8,000,000 individual income tax returns. With 42 years of tax industry experience, Hewitt stands as the most experienced CEO in the tax preparation business, having also founded Jackson Hewitt Tax Service.
Liberty Tax Service is the only tax franchise on the Forbes “Top 20 Franchises to Start,” and ranks #1 of the tax franchises on the Entrepreneur “Franchise 500.” Each office provides computerized income tax preparation, electronic filing, and online filing through eSmart Tax.