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Franchise Growth Insights from Industry Leaders

Hot Dish Advertising’s own Jen Campbell, President and Partner, recently joined a FranchiseTimes webinar panel to share her advice and insights on effective franchise development marketing. Joining her were esteemed industry leaders:  

  • Cheryl Fletcher, Chief Development Officer of Tropical Smoothie Cafe. 
  • Charles Bonfiglio, Chief Executive Officer and president of Tint World Automotive. 
  • Mike Rozman, CEO and Cofounder of Boefly.  

Keep reading to learn more about Jen’s advice for driving franchise sales and get the inside scoop on what’s working and what’s not for franchise development.  

Mike Rozman, the CEO and Co-founder at Boefly stated that they surveyed C-level franchise executives to gauge their confidence in meeting growth goals. The findings reveal a worrying trend: confidence has dropped from 77% to 50% over the last three quarters. 

Digging into the reasons, it’s clear external factors are at play. Around 87% of respondents blame interest rates, while 73% point to inflation as obstacles to their growth objectives. This showcases the widespread concern among franchise leaders about economic factors hampering their expansion plans. 

Jen and the Hot Dish Advertising team have witnessed firsthand the challenges that franchise brands encounter in today’s economic landscape. With higher interest rates and costs of doing business, franchise brands face mounting pressure to deliver significant returns for their franchisees.  

Cheryl Fletcher from Tropical Smoothie Cafe, a client of 10 years at Hot Dish Adverting, touches on this by stating: “We have headwinds in the industry all the time. We’ve seen a lot over the past few years. For us as a brand, we think a couple of steps ahead of how to offset these headwinds. It’s about maintaining relationships with lenders and being transparent about our business.”  

In response to these challenges, Jen shares how we’ve tailored our approach to assist franchise brands in navigating these evolving times. From targeted digital campaigns, media planning and effective social media tactics to data-driven insights, we empower franchise brands to adapt and thrive in any economic climate. By leveraging cutting-edge marketing tech and trends, we set out to help franchise brands stay ahead of the curve and achieve what they set out to do.  

But here’s the real secret — we recognize that success in franchising comes from building and maintaining the right relationships. That’s why we adopt a collaborative approach, working closely with franchise brands to grasp their unique needs and objectives. By aligning our efforts with their strategic vision, we deliver customized solutions that yield results and foster long-term success (and usually make lifelong friends too). 

At Hot Dish, we prioritize aligning marketing budgets with growth goals, ensuring that lead generation expenses correspond to projected sales targets. Throughout this process, we remain mindful of metrics such as cost per sale (CPS) and cost per lead (CPL). For instance, according to the 2024 Franchise Update Media Annual Franchise Development Report, the industry average CPS stands at $11,639, with a CPL of $253. These benchmarks serve as valuable takeaway insights.  

A word of advice: Don’t shoot for the stars without the franchise lending and financial firepower to back it up. It’s all about balancing new franchisee growth and nurturing your existing leads to keep having sustained growth. While the franchising industry confronts its share of challenges, there’s also a prevailing sense of resilience and determination among industry leaders. Jen mentions in Franchise Times that: 

“You need to have the right buyer who can support and run the business from a financial perspective — you have to look at franchisees that have the right financials and a connection with the brand. Ask yourself do they have a brand affinity; do they align with the business core values?”  

 We believe that with a sprinkle of innovation, a dash of strategic partnerships and a whole lot of hustle, brands can come out the other side stronger than ever. 

Strategies for Smart Franchise Growth 

Ready to take your franchise to the next level? Here’s a few key insights Jen mentions to help get you there: 

  • The Franchise Lending Landscape: Cultivate relationships with lenders and ensure their alignment with the brand. With interest rates and costs on the rise, you can expect some bumps in the road when it comes to opening new locations. 
  • Franchisee Fit: Look beyond financials when vetting potential franchisees. Sometimes the person with alignment of your brand’s values and culture is more of a match than someone with millions. 
  • Appeal to Multi-Unit Owners: Your Item 19 in the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) must communicate why investors should choose your franchise over others. It needs to be financially compelling, especially for multi-unit, multi-brand operators who prioritize high returns on their investments.  
  • Segmented Marketing: Tailor your marketing messages to different crowds and highlight key metrics like Average Unit Volume. Make it sound like you’re talking to them, not to everyone. 
  • Consumer Buzz Boosts: When consumer excitement peaks, seize the opportunity to stand out. Align your media planning and sales strategies with these marketing highs to amplify your impact. Prioritize fixing and optimizing the consumer side of the business first, then transition to supporting franchise growth. Despite the apparent disconnection, these aspects are intricately linked and need synchronized attention. 

So, there you have it — the playbook for savvy franchise development marketing. Despite economic challenges, franchise brands have opportunities to innovate and differentiate themselves. By embracing change and leveraging resources effectively, brands can overcome obstacles and achieve sustainable growth. 

 Contact us today to learn more about optimizing your franchise growth strategy.  

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