Marketing a franchise for sale in New Zealand
How to market your franchise for sale
One of the least considered factors of owning a franchise is preparing it for sale, and this can take just as much time in research, planning and implementation as the purchase process.
The first step when planning a marketing strategy to sell your franchise is to consider who your likely buyer may be: Who is your franchise most likely to appeal to? What will they be looking for? How much are they likely to be willing to spend? What's important to them - the numbers, status, lifestyle, hours?
Put yourself in the buyer's shoes and think about what they will be looking for, then incorporate this into your advertising. You will need to spell out the value of the key attributes of your franchise in terms that are important to your buyer. After all, at the end of the day your franchise is only worth what someone is willing to pay.
After you have defined your likely buyer and their needs, incorporate this in your marketing plan. Then determine how to best market your franchise to reach this group, looking for ways to get the best value for your marketing dollars by targeting your most likely buyers. In today's market you will often need a multi pronged approach in order to draw out your best prospects.
1. Find the right franchise brokerVisit several reputable franchise brokers to get a complete picture of the services available. Find a broker that has a current and qualified database, who understands the market and your industry, and knows how to reach potential buyers of your franchise.
Ask how many prospective buyers are on their database, how much and where will they allocate their marketing budget for your franchise, and which media and internet sites they will use. Also check out their history and reputation. To do this you could ask the broker about recent sales and for the names of satisfied clients you can contact.
2. Use your franchisor and franchise networkAt some point you will have to tell your franchisor you are planning to sell. Be aware there may be clauses in your agreement regarding selling; for example, the franchisor may have to approve the new buyer.
An advantage of telling your franchisor early is so you are aware of any relevant clauses and can plan for them. It also allows you to tap into your franchisor’s resources. They will have details of previous sales, which can help you to value your franchise, and they may even have a potential buyer – someone who has previously expressed interest in the brand or someone who missed out on another sale.
It is sometimes worthwhile you reach out to other franchisees as well. They may know people who are interested or may be interested themselves in expanding their territory or business portfolio.
3. Have a plan (marketing strategy)Your marketing strategy should include how best to create interest and attract the right buyers. It should also include an advertising schedule – identifying the timing and types of advertising mediums, and which key websites will be used to best expose your franchise. It should also strongly reflect the interests of the potential buyer you have already identified.
4. Target your advertisingTwo or three mismanaged ads in poorly targeted or low traffic mediums just won’t cut it. Likewise, free, poorly rated or mixed message mediums seldom make the grade – they are more likely to waste your time and money, and attract the wrong people.
Also, spend time ensuring your ad copy is sharp. You only get one chance to reach your audience, so it’s important to get it right. Here are some other things to consider:
- Print: Is it relevant with good readership or industry specific and known to work?
- Internet: Are they well established with good traffic, quality buyers, history and credentials?
- Databases: Are they current, qualified and suitable? How many prospective buyers will get to see your franchise?
- Brokers or agents: Are they experienced, active, well-connected and respected with a sound marketing programme?
- Social media: Which platforms, who is targeted, how often, paid or unpaid?
5. Have an information memorandum (sales brochure)An information memorandum should encapsulate all the essential information about your franchise, setting out its main features, benefits and financials in summary. Memorandums are persuasive and informative and incorporate the buyer's needs to assist in capturing their interest. Check with your franchisor, as they may have some brand information you can incorporate.
This may sound complicated, but it isn't. It's about getting your thinking straight from the start so you can maximise your prospects while managing your marketing spend.
Selling your franchise will be one of the most important things you'll do. If you make an effort to understand the process, identify likely buyers and plan carefully, with a little help from the professionals, you’ll be well on the way to striking a deal that's right for you.
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