Is a marketing plan to recruit franchisees a waste of time? You decide!

We’ve all heard the saying “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road we’ll take you there.” Well, some of these roads are fun, productive, and easy while others aren’t so much so; and, what’s worse, they may never take us where we need to go.

You franchised your business because you wanted to have franchisees and a network of locations either regionally, across the country, or even globally. Now, do you have a plan to get you there? Do you know which roads you need to take? Do you even know exactly where it is you’re going?

A marketing plan to recruit franchisees does not have to be lengthy, fancy or elaborate, but it should answer the following questions:

  1. How many franchisees do you want to have in 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, a year, and every year thereafter for the next 5 years?
  2. Who do you want as a franchisee? See previous post about the Franchisee Profile. Do you have one? Is it written?
  3. Do you have a preference of where your franchisees should be located? If so, are there any specific states you rather not go to? Do you want to have a franchise nework that grows regionally, or one that grows across the country? Is international growth something you’ll consider? If so, under which conditions will you expand outside the US?
  4. How many people would you have to talk with before you can grant a franchise? In other words, what is your “sales” funnel? Most franchisors have to talk with 100 people to grant 1.6 to 2 franchises. There are many variables affecting this ratio, such as the total investment required, the type of concept, the viability of the business and its popularity as well as your experience in dealing with franchisee prospects. Obviously, the more experience you have, the higher your closure ratio will be and vice versa. How many people would you have to talk with every month to achieve the goals specified in (1) above?
  5. Where will your leads come from? And, how much will you have to spend on marketing to get to the required number of leads?

The 2008 Annual Franchise Development Report published by the Franchise Update Media Group predicts that this year, 2009, franchise recruiting budgets will be spent as follows:

  • 47%  in the Internet
  • 17%  in Print Media
  • 13% in Trade Shows
  • 13% in Public Relations
  • 10% in Other (Social Media, Craigslist, Blogs, and Videos)

They further predict that in 2009 franchise leads will come from the following sources:

  • 66% Internet — down from 77% for 2008
  • 16% Referrals — up from 14% for 2008 (Referrals are franchise brokers and consultants)
  • 3% Print Media — unchanged from 2008
  • 15% Other (Social Media, Craigslist, Blogs, and Videos) — up from 6% for 2008

Do you want to grow your franchise company? Take the time to create a simple plan that answers the previous five questions. Write down, act on it, monitor it every month and revise it as needed.


  1. Those who fail the plan, plan to fail.

    That is why a marketing plan is essential for a franchisee in the recruitment of new franchisees.


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