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Marketing machines . . . that's what separates successful franchisees from failing franchisees. As you're evaluating franchise opportunities, be sure to look only at those that come with a marketing machine!
by John P. Hayes, Ph.D.

Major issue today: marketing!

I frequently speak to franchisees whose businesses are failing and their overriding concern is marketing. They want to know:

1. Where are the leads?
2. Where are the customers?
3. How do I get more customers?
4. How do I keep my customers?
5. How do I get customers to spend more money in my business?

Those are the questions and issues facing far too many franchisees today, which is why marketing is the most important component for you to evaluate prior to buying a franchise.

Some franchisors haven't figured it out

Unfortunately, many franchisors either don't know the importance of producing a marketing machine or they can't afford to. Sometimes, in fact, the franchisor hasn't figured out how to market the business, and their franchisees are in the worst situation.

Franchisors are easily distracted

It's easy for franchisors to overlook the importance of marketing to their franchisees because there are so many other things that compete for a franchisor's time and money: Selling franchises (well, duh!), training and support, site construction, managing the corporate team, funding the business, dealing with vendors, etc. When franchisors forget (and some just don't know) that marketing propels franchising -- that nothing is more important than marketing, especially to a franchisee -- they fail to live up to their responsibilities as franchisors.

Protect yourself by not buying their franchises!

You want a franchisor to invest in marketing

Franchising is in a bit of a mess right now because too few franchisors are marketers, and too few franchise companies are providing marketing machines for their franchisees. And things aren't going to get better until franchisors begin to invest again in marketing.

Look for the marketing machines . . . they're out there! Ask existing franchisees: How effective is the franchisor's marketing machine? If the franchisee looks at you like you've got two heads, you know to continue shopping! Don't believe anyone who tells you that everyone is struggling to sell franchises today. Not true. Franchisors with marketing machines are doing just fine, even in these troubled economic times.

If you expect to do just fine as a franchisee, only buy the franchise that comes with a marketing machine!

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John P. Hayes, Ph.D.
John P. Hayes writes several franchise-related blogs including He is a 30-year franchise veteran and has been a franchisor, franchisee and an industry advisor. He provides coaching to prospective and existing franchisees.


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