The future of promoting franchise opportunities – out with the old and in with the new, or revisit what worked years ago?

franchise brandsI strongly feel the days of promoting franchise opportunities through expensive trade shows and cost-prohibitive print advertising are rapidly becoming things of the past. Sure, franchising has experienced a great run and will most likely remain the backbone of small business. However, the current state of the economy has created a necessity to explore more cost-effective methods and processes in marketing franchise concepts as franchise growth objectives continue to be on the forefront of franchisors’ minds in the United States and abroad.

Besides being cost-effective, today’s franchise sales and development efforts must be technologically advanced to attract a more sophisticated, educated (and cautious) franchise candidate than the franchise industry has ever seen before. A trend that is sure to evolve as an increasing number of transitioning, highly-skilled and educated business professionals and corporate executives explore franchising as a career alternative while already successful street-smart entrepreneurs investigate franchising, perhaps for the first time, as part of their diversification and expansion strategies. All have embraced new technologies as a way of networking, sharing information, communicating ideas and exploring opportunities…including today and tomorrow’s franchise opportunities!

What are your thoughts about the future of trade shows? print advertising including brochures? new technologies that can be utilized in franchise development efforts? franchise brokers? in-house sales and marketing teams?


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Women, Social Media and Franchising: A Winning Combination?

Women, more than their male counterparts, have embraced social media as an integral part of their typical day. From getting their news online to communicating with family and friends on social networking sites to blogging about their personal and business experiences, women are spending more time than ever before on the internet.

women get it rightAs more and more women explore franchising as a career alternative, choosing to control their own destiny, franchisors must market directly to this rapidly-growing group of opportunity seekers. Joining the force of today’s more sophisticated, educated and technologically advanced transitioning corporate executives, women will use social media to explore and investigate franchise opportunities. Tending to be more diligent and thorough than men in general, women relish relationship building and sharing of information making social media marketing perfect to attract female franchise candidates.

The article below details the continued usage of social media by the female population. Franchisors should pay close attention to the various stats provided by the author and make social media marketing a key component of their franchise marketing and development strategy.

42 Million U.S. Women Use Social Media: Blogs Most Influential
By Anita Campbell on Small Biz Trends May 10, 2009

Is the jury still out in your mind as to whether social media matters in business? If so, a recent survey might make you change your mind. In fact, it may cause you to re-think your entire marketing outreach, especially if you market to women.

The study found that 42 million women in the United States (roughly 53% of the 79 million adult women in the United States who use the Internet) participate in social media at least weekly. As they spend more time with social media, women are spending correspondingly less time with traditional media: 39% less on newspapers, 36% less time reading magazines, and 30% less time watching TV.

That’s according to a recent social media survey by BlogHer, the women’s blog network, along with iVillage and Compass Partners.

Read the entire article here

Will the Economic Stimulus Bill Create New Franchise Opportunities?

The following article was written by Guest Author, Ray Haliber. By accessing his franchise website at www.azfranchises.com, you’ll find Ray offers a resource for entrepreneurs to find and research franchise opportunities for sale from A to Z. Ray has ten years’ experience as a small business broker in Arizona. His small business site may be previewed at www.azbop.comfinancialaid-photo.

Will the Economic Stimulus Bill Create New Franchise Opportunities?
as submitted by Ray Haliber

With the recent passing of the huge economic stimulus package there has been some speculation about whether some of its provisions will create or spur the development of new franchise business opportunities in certain industries like health care or renewable energy. The obvious question is whether major government incentives and investments in these 2 highlighted industry sectors will create sustainable franchise business models after the initial boost from the stimulus spending bill plays out.

In my opinion the answer is that this is a very realistic development given the scope of the stimulus bill and some of stated new policies of the current administration regarding health care and energy. In fact, potential small business opportunities emerging from the stimulus bill are becoming more obvious, (particularly in renewable energy) and appear to have a very good chance to create some viable franchising opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Heath Care: According to what I have read, the economic stimulus package includes nearly $20 billion dollars to help digitize or computerize health and medical records in the United States. I would think this could present some serious potential opportunities for small business owners and entrepreneurs because obviously private companies will become involved in providing services for this enormous and long term project.

Even with the recent news that Sam’s Club and Dell intend to enter this market by selling software to digitize medical records doesn’t mean there will not be plenty of other niche opportunities and markets available to develop and service. According to recent stats only about 17% of doctors offices are currently digitizing medical records. And with nearly 800,000 active physicians in the United States, many with small to medium size practices, their will undoubtedly be opportunities for smaller players to develop business franchising models that can service business opportunities that emerge from this program.

Renewable Energy: From what I have read and heard nearly $60 billion of the $790 billion stimulus bill will be spent on alternative and clean energy projects and other environmental related projects and research. This includes billions of dollars for greening government buildings, weatherizing homes and businesses, and providing significant tax credits and grants to help fund and subsidize renewable energy applications across the board.

Surely this type of massive government investment will almost certainly spawn a number of new franchising concepts to service the emerging business and consumer needs that will be created by this commitment. This would conceivably include the development of solar power related service franchises that would provide installation of photovoltaic panels for residential and commercial applications. Or green consulting franchises that would provide expertise to commercial businesses on how to “go green” or conserve energy. Or maybe new home improvement related franchise businesses will emerge that specializes in weatherization and residential energy efficiency.

In summary it’s going to be an interesting time to see how the franchising industry will adapt and ultimately capitalize on the potential business opportunities and new markets that will be created and supported by the stimulus bill spending. My guess is that it should ultimately produce some viable and profitable franchise companies that may someday become familiar household names and brands.