Thursday, May 17, 2012

5 Things you Should Know about Doing Business with Franchise Systems(or anyone for that matter)

The biggest draws at the annual IFA convention (International Franchise Association) are the trade show and the vendor forum.  Vendors that understand franchising relationships contribute immensely to the industry and to the success of franchisees.  But you can’t cast your sales net into franchising waters and expect huge and easy sales.  There are a few things you should keep in mind.

1.       Make my franchisees lives easier – Franchisees are small business owners. Their time and money are scarce and valuable. I won’t let you near mine if your product and or processes are convoluted and difficult.  I shouldn’t have to tell you this – if you can’t improve or make someone’s life easier – you probably should find another line of work.

2.      Make my job of supporting the franchisees easier -  My day to day working life is a lot like juggling cats. I am more than willing to support  your brand with the franchisees – but don’t make more work for me – I don’t need yet another roster – Have an awesome support like Constant Contact

3.       Don’t expect to get the whole system to buy your product or service – if you get 30% you are doing good. I think many suppliers believe that  if they can get approved vendor status with a system that they are guaranteed to have all of the franchisees as a customer – probably won’t happen - so save yourself disappointment and bad sales projections

4.       Know what my business is before you pitch to me  - I had a vendor charm my socks off yesterday because she knew our challenges and what services we would need – she did her homework.

5.       Pay attention after the sale – If you mess up, I have to deal with the fall out. Be part of the team – speak in terms of “US” and “We”. Do not suggest that we do something we are already doing – it makes me wonder if you are paying attention to anything other than the check. 

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