The world of online marketing is constantly changing, and if you’re not keeping up, you’re going to lose out on a lot of potential customers. That’s why I’ve gone ahead and put together this detailed guide on how to launch an online marketing agency for home service franchises. This is something I’ve been working on for a while now, and I hope this guide will help you in your own franchise journey.
The Rise of Online Marketing For Franchises
In case you’re wondering, the popularity of online marketing for franchises has increased by almost 300% in the last 5 years.
- In 2015, 59% of all adults used or were familiar with online marketplaces such as Amazon, Ebay, and Etsy.
- In 2014, 28% used websites to research information about local businesses.
- In 2013, 11% looked for product reviews online.
- In 2012, only 6% investigated pricing before buying products online.
This is probably because of the increased accessibility of the internet. Back in the day, if you wanted to find out about a local business you had to search through a phone book, or worse, rely on word of mouth from friends and family. Now with the click of a button, you can discover everything you want about any business, including their prices, reviews, and more.
Why Should You Launch An Agency?
At this point, you might be wondering why you should even consider launching an agency, and what benefits you’ll receive as a franchise owner. There are many reasons why you should launch an agency, but perhaps the most important one is flexibility. Being an agency owner gives you the freedom to offer your clients a wide range of online marketing services, from SEO, to PPC, to content creation, and more. You’ll be able to take on multiple projects, and you won’t be restricted to offering just SEO.
Another important consideration is brand loyalty. If someone searches for an agency that brands itself as the #1 digital marketing agency for franchisees, you can be sure that they’re going to be more inclined to work with you, as opposed to your competitors. Finally, you’ll enjoy the peace and security of owning your own business, knowing that you can take on as much work as you want, when you want, and be able to close the doors whenever you want. Just make sure you’ve got a good team around you, and don’t get too comfortable, because before you know it, someone will be knocking on your door, asking for that brand loyalty you promised them.
The Different Types of Franchisees
Now that you’ve decided to pursue a career in franchising, you might be wondering what type of franchisees you’ll encounter, and how you should act around them. The good news is that there are a wide variety of franchisees out there, and you’ll likely meet some, if not all of them, while you’re building your agency. It is important to understand the different types of franchisees you’ll encounter, so you can act accordingly.
Here are some of the more common ones:
- First Time
Each type of franchisee will have their own set of unique challenges, and you’ll need to adjust your approach, depending on what makes them tick. Keep in mind that the more you know, the easier it will be to navigate the sometimes complex world of franchising. If you’re still unfamiliar with this type of business, it might be a good idea to take some time off, before you dive in head first. Work your way up slowly, meeting with existing franchisees, and gaining as much experience as you can, before you take on your own agency. That way you’ll be sure to launch a successful agency, providing value to your clients and earning a nice return on their investment.
Saving is one of the most common reasons why people decide to become a franchisee. Many want to change their lives around, and the idea of owning their own business, while helping others, tends to appeal to them. If you’re meeting with someone who is interested in the franchise, their main concern is almost certainly going to be money. They are probably looking for a proven business model, with low startup costs, that they can turn into a profitable enterprise.
The flip side of the coin is that if you’re pitching a savings account to a potential client, you’re probably not going to get too far. In this case, you might want to up-sale the benefits of a franchise, instead of using your savings to establish it.
If you’re meeting with a first-time franchisee, your approach will be a little different. They are probably going through a mental checklist as you speak with them. Questions like, “Do I need a mortgage to buy a franchise? How much money do I need to put down? How much business can I expect? How much is the franchise license going to cost me? How much are employees going to cost me? How long will it take to start making a profit? How much does advertising cost? How do I market my cafe? What kind of training do I need to get started? Is this something that interests me?” and many more.
As the owner of a new agency, your number one priority should be to build your foundation. This means getting out there and generating leads, building up your client base as fast as you can. There are plenty of franchise opportunities out there, but not all of them are created equal. You are going to have to work extra hard, if you want to make sure you launch a successful agency, and avoid the many pitfalls that come with the territory.
If you happen to be speaking with a retired person, you can be sure that they have lots of experience that they’re willing to share. Many retirees are happy to help, or even to invest, in a new business. The only caveat is that they probably don’t have the time that they used to spend working, so your working hours are going to have to be compensated for. As your business grows, you might want to take on some part-time employees, so that you have more time to focus on growing your agency.
What is the key to a happy and successful retirement? Apart from good health, it’s a sense of financial stability. Owning a business, and being your own boss enables you to have more control over your financial situation. For retirees who are looking to invest in a business, the key is to find a proven franchise model, with a good chance of profitability. Ensure that you do your research, and work with a reputable agency that can provide you with the support you need, as you venture into this uncharted territory.
This type of franchisee is usually someone who has retired, but still wants to be involved in a business. Many homesteaders are either starting from scratch, or are looking for a way to supplement their retirement income. The key to a happy and successful homesteading venture is to set aside a percentage of the revenue from each project, to be set aside for future investments. In other words, these guys are looking for an additional revenue stream, so that they can fund their retirement lifestyle. Building a passive income stream, such as this, takes a lot of groundwork, so ensure that you are prepared for a long stretch of setting up meetings, and making introductions. This type of franchisee is usually looking for a steady flow of revenue, so be prepared to up-sale your services, and show them how you can create multiple revenue streams, from a single business.
If you’ve ever tried to purchase a franchise, without having the funds to pay for it, you know how frustrating it can be. The same goes for a bank loan for a business. Many franchisees, especially in the restaurant industry, have a hard time getting financing, because banks assume, that the franchise industry is already struggling, financially. This is why it’s so important to establish a healthy foundation, before you start ramping up your agency. This means, getting out there and generating cash flow, even if you are paying yourself, with part-time work. In other words, you need to prove to the bank that you are a professional, who can be trusted to run a profitable business, and that you’re not just taking on the franchise, in order to meet your personal financial goals.