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It's a big move, taking that first step to franchise the business you've built from the ground up. Now that you've done it and it's paying off, what's next? Are you ready to expand further?

Related: 4 best franchise softwares to boost your brand

Do you want to scale up your franchise system and present the opportunity to a wider audience? Build your real estate portfolio, increase sales, and hire more people?

In this post, we'll introduce you to 8 key ideas you need to consider if franchise development is next on your to-do list.

In the first half of the post, we'll look at developing your franchise system. In the second half, we'll talk about marketing it.

Franchise development

1. Build a positive company culture

First things first: Are you doing enough to build a company culture you can be proud of?

Potential franchisees will be encouraged if they're presented with a positive, supportive and productive culture.

When you first started out, that culture was right under your nose—but as you grow, it's something you could easily lose touch with.

Work on your company values from the inside-out, listening to and learning from your people. Recognize that they're your strongest asset, and welcome feedback and a collaborative approach.

When you're open to new ideas, and you empower your employees to contribute, you'll find that engagement and loyalty grows.

2. Take pride in your processes

You've already built a successful business, but as you continue to push forward with your franchise development plans, new problems will arise.

Tackle them head-on to find effective solutions, and communicate these changes clearly to your teams.

In today's tech-driven landscape, efficient systems make all the difference. Demonstrate that you use the latest technology, and continually look for ways to improve your processes.

During presentations to potential investors or partners, highlight the technology and support you have available, and you'll certainly make your franchise more appealing.

3. Prioritize brand management

Where you have existing franchises in place, take a tough stance on brand management.

Brand consistency is key here, as you're trying to spread the message and demonstrate a strong, viable business that's gaining traction.

Don't foil your chances of further franchise development by neglecting the quality and unity of your current locations.

Brand management software that stores assets in the cloud makes it easy for a franchisor to develop a central system. A tool like Lucidpress—with lockable templates and an easy-to-use editor—could solve your brand consistency problems overnight.

4. Get clear on your marketing strategy

It might sound obvious, but it's worth saying: When potential partners can see that you've already been successful, they'll be more likely to invest in franchise development.

Remember that one key benefit of taking on a franchise is that it comes with a ready-made brand and marketing assets that have been tried and tested.

Once you've found a marketing model that works, put plans in place for how you'll scale it to bring in business for a new franchise.

Communicate those plans clearly, and you'll reassure potential franchisees that risk is low—and chances of success are high.

Franchise marketing

Once you've tightened up your business internally, it's time to get to work on your franchising marketing.

5. Create brand advocates

Have you brought your existing franchisees together to form a support network?

As much as it will help them learn more and grow in confidence, it could also prove a great way to attract new candidates.

If business is good and your teams are happy, existing franchisees will be more likely to sing your praises and support your franchise marketing efforts.

Focus on the people who are already in your circle, and they'll be the ones to help you widen it.

6. Develop a strong web presence

To attract further interest in your franchise development, focus on building a solid presence online. It's the first place candidates will look when they're in the market for franchise opportunities, and it's where they'll go to check you out once they've discovered you.

A poor web presence could do serious harm to your reputation, and it'll certainly dissuade interested candidates who might have plenty of other exciting opportunities in front of them.

Use your website to communicate your offer, then promote it on social media, in forums, on relevant industry websites or via targeted ads. Make sure the information you're presenting is engaging, up-to-date, and geared towards your potential new franchisees.

As well as thinking about what potential candidates might be looking for, you might also want to include your own requirements and expectations. If the applicants you're getting aren't suitable, this is a clear sign that you need to switch up the message you're sending out.

7. Research to find the most likely recruits

Do you know who your ideal franchisees are? Have you done your research to determine which type of candidate is best for your business?

Understanding the data surrounding different demographic groups might help you focus your search.

Did you know, for example, that nearly half of all millennials want to start a business within the next three years?

While this demographic may not readily come with the sort of cash injection you're looking for, there are plenty of lending options available to them. With some clever research, you might be able to hook them up with the right opportunity.

8. Get noticed at industry events

To further the success of your franchising marketing, take advantage of industry events for reaching a niche audience.

By sponsoring events, trade shows and conferences, you'll get your brand noticed by a select audience. Go one step further by attending these events and, aside from meeting potential clients, you'll also make some worthwhile industry connections.

What you don't need to do here is spend thousands to get seen. Find the right events, and the audience will be there waiting to hear from you.

Remember that people appreciate a transparent and professional approach much more than a hard sell.

Key takeaway

To increase the chances of success during your next round of franchise development:

  • Get your house in order with a positive company culture, a strong business model, a consistent brand and a clear marketing strategy.
  • Next, focus on your franchise marketing. Turn your teams into brand advocates, develop a strong web presence, target the right people, and get noticed at industry events.

Give your new franchisees a head start with our free ebook: The franchise owner's field guide to success

Franchise owner's field guide to success

Author Bio

Sophie Livingston is a freelance copywriter and digital marketing consultant who works with small businesses to improve their presence online.  She's a puppy mamma and self-declared chocolate addict who's trying her very best to stop buying so many books.