franchise business tips

Selecting the Right Candidates to Franchise

Franchising can have its fair share of challenges. But its most vital part–expanding to new franchisees–doesn’t have to be impossible or difficult! You’ll just need to know what you’re looking for.

Choosing the right franchisees is utterly crucial to your franchise. A franchisee is the representative of your brand in a specific store. Their professionalism and work ethic (and that of their employees) will affect how customers see your brand, whether at all or in a specific area. That can make your business stronger, or possibly cripple it if you’re still starting out.

Know What You’re Looking For

Though franchisees aren’t exactly “employees,” you should use a similar start to your search. Create a job description before setting out to find your ideal franchisees. You’ll need to know exactly the kinds of people you’re looking for and the qualifications you need to match. And in turn, they’ll need to know exactly what it takes to run one of your franchises. Outline all the expectations from the start. You don’t want any nasty surprises for either you or your franchisee!

Screen Franchisees

When you’ve attracted potential partnerships, interview them in person. You have to make sure they’re ready for the responsibility, and that you’ll be safe taking them on. Trust your instincts and don’t let the check for $30,000 blind you to a potential failure. Run background and credit checks on potential franchisees. Watch out for lawsuits, fraud charges, and bankruptcies.

Build a Relationship

Entering into a franchise requires building a partnership with your franchisees. It requires mutual trust, communication, and a desire to help your business grow. Choose people you can build that relationship with. This doesn’t mean you should be best friends with your franchisees, or only choose people with whom you already have a friendship. But a healthy relationship will keep things positive between you and your franchisees, and will help you both grow your business.

Still worried about finding the right business partners? We have even more tips!

Learn How to Franchise Your Business Today!

The process to franchise your business is a big and scary step in the progression of a business. Franchising has been proven to accelerate the growth of your business at a very rapid rate. You may be wondering how to get started with franchising so that you don’t make any mistakes and the transition can be smooth. If you want the process to be smooth and have a greater chance of being profitable, here are 7 steps to successfully franchise your business.

1) Organize and Prepare Your Business

Just because you own a business doesn’t mean you can franchise and succeed. You need to make sure your business is prepared and organized enough to be successful in franchising out. Think through how your business works. Your future franchises need to to understand the business model and how it works in order to run their own franchise.

You need to do the research. Do you have the research to back your decision to expand via franchises? Market research is crucial to know if there is a demand for your product or service. You also need to know if the market is saturated or not. If the market for what you have to offer is too saturated, you will fail. Look for locations or niches in the market that aren’t saturated so that you can make your own success.

2) Hire an Attorney

There are a lot of legalities with franchising and you want to make sure you do everything right. First things first, you are going to need to fill out a Franchise Disclosure Document with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The language and particulars of this document are so specific that you will need an attorney to correctly draft it. This is only at the federal level, you also need to consider state laws and regulations. You probably aren’t going to want to put in the time and effort to know all of these things because you are still running your business, leave it up to a lawyer to do that work for you.

3) Decide on a Franchise Model

How far do you want your franchise to expand? How many franchises do you want? These are questions that you need to consider while planning your franchise expansion. Decide on places to expand to, based on your market research of course. You need to expand where it makes sense, so be picky about locations. Decide on how fast you want to grow. Sometimes rapid growth is detrimental to a business, pick a rate of growth and expansion that will only benefit your business.

4) Choose the Right People

This is probably the most difficult and important steps in the franchising process. If you don’t choose the right people to franchise your business, your company can fail very quickly. You need to be able to trust and maintain a relationship with your first franchisees. It is easy to find people with capital, but it is harder to find the people with the right experience.

5) Build and Maintain Your Brand

Don’t let your franchisees go off and do their own thing with your business name. Your brand is the most important aspect of your business. When you franchise your business out, you essentially give the reigns to someone else for your brand. In order to avoid a brand tragedy, make sure you have strict rules and guidelines when it comes to your brand image. Don’t let your franchisees alter or change your brand in any way unless you want your overall brand to change.

6) Find a Mentor

There have been plenty of other people who have already experienced what you are going through right now. Find a mentor. Your mentor can guide you and give you advice about the process of how to correctly franchise your business. They should be someone you trust and that has the time for you and your business. Your mentor has the capability of being the most valuable asset to the growth of your business.

7) Support Your Franchisees

Your franchisees need to know that you trust and support them. Franchising is not only scary for you, but it is also scary for the franchisee. They are investing a lot into the franchise and have everything to lose if they fail. Give them the support they need to succeed because if they succeed, your business succeeds and progresses.

Divvy Can Help Your Franchises

If you are a franchiser or a franchisee, Divvy can help you with all of your marketing needs. From print marketing to digital marketing, whatever your needs are, divvy can help. Fill out the form below or give us a call at (801) 224-8666 to see how we can help you. Come experience the Divvy difference today!

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Creating Suspense on Social Media

Creating suspense on social media is easier than you think. You will be ready to create audience anticipation in a matter of these three steps:

Know Your Social Networks.

Each social media platform has unique advantages and disadvantages. For example….

 

Facebook is a consumer-focused social network with high engagement. Fan pages integrate within newsfeeds, allowing content to go viral. It is a good place to post industry-related articles, pictures or videos but a bad place to make a sales pitch.

 

Twitter is a micro-blogging platform for rapid and efficient distribution of information. It is great for joining in on conversations with ‘hashtags’ and news updates. Twitter is a fast-paced platform, and companies often don’t know how often to tweet or how to engage or respond to followers, hurting their online presence.

For more information regarding differences between social networks, click here and here.

 

Remember to consider the demographics each channel attracts. Match your target audiences to the appropriate channel(s) they would use.

 

Don’t forget that each platform has its own culture. Fill out your profiles according to the culture with avatars, cover photos, bios and profile information. Also, use the language your target audience would use to find you.

Make a Plan.

It’s time to make a plan. Whether you are announcing a new store, product or service, there are a variety of tactics you can implement to create suspense on social media, including:

  1. Release countdowns
  2. Giveaways
  3. Behind-the-Scenes and Sneak Peeks
  4. Media Hooks
  5. Fan Competitions
  6. Scavenger Hunts

 

Giveaways are great ways to build your audience, while fan competitions are best to get your fans engaged. Media hooks include the following options: product packaging, branded art, soundtracks, demos, or trailers. If you don’t think a media hook is right for you, consider a sneak peek of how a product is made or a service is prepared.

 

Whatever you decide to do, make sure it is in line with your social network(s) and target audience(s).

Engage with Your Audience.

Don’t forget to engage with your audience throughout the campaign. Anticipation and suspense brings forth mystery and curiosity. Do you know what that means? Your audience is going to be asking questions. You need to be the one to answer them. Don’t let the media – or anyone else, for that matter – tell your story for you.

 

Re-tweet, like, comment and respond to all communication from your audience(s). Become a thought leader by being credible and reliable. You’ll have people begging to know what’s next.

 

If you still need help crafting a plan to create suspense on social media, call Divvy. Divvy specializes in social media marketing. Call 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below.

 

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Words Per Post | The Perfect Word Count for Your Blog

Words per post refers to the number of words in each blog post. There’s a lot of data out there determining the “perfect” number of words for a blog post, but a lot of that information is conflicting. With that said…

 

How do you determine the right depth for your blog post? Is there a golden rule? The answers to these questions are both simple and complicated.

Determining the Perfect Word Count

Determining the perfect word count is complicated. Some bloggers praise shorter blogs while others support longer ones. At Divvy, we follow a variety of SEO tactics, including each post containing minimum of 300 words.  This is our minimum, but again the perfect word count is complicated. The best answer to the question is dependent upon the content.

 

words per post dependent upon content

 

The depth of your blog posts should be led by the content of your post. Are you answering a simple question? Or offering unique insight? You want to provide enough answers to your readers without getting fluffy or off topic.

 

The best rule of thumb: Offer benefit to your readers.

250 to 300-word posts are good for short, sweet, and straight to the point blog posts. You can offer a quick overview of a concept or answer a simple question in these types of posts. This post, for example, contains 435 words. See how I answered a question without overloading you with information? That’s why shorter posts are more frequent. They are easier and faster to write and still useful to readers.

 

600-word posts allow you to join in on the conversation with greater detail. There is more room for depth, discussion, and creativity.

 

900-word posts require more research, details, and depth than that of the previous shorter word counts. With this length of post, you need to understand the topic and provide more information to your readers.

900-word posts can discuss information on a general subject or detailed information on a specific topic. With this length of post, you can get more specific with points and subpoints.

 

1200-word posts are full of relevant, detailed information. There is no fluff in these posts, only rich content. If you are writing an 1200-word post, make sure that your content will meet the expectations of your readers.

 

As you go about writing your personal or business blog posts, make sure you offer the right amount of information to the person who found your blog. If you don’t, they won’t return.

 

Does your business or franchisee need help with blogging or SEO? Call Divvy at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below. Our team specializes in these areas. Talk to you soon!

 

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How to Write Irresistible Content

“I don’t know how to write irresistible content.” Don’t worry – it’s not as hard as you think. With a little critical thinking, organizing, and planning, you can be on your way to writing irresistible content. We promise – it’s actually very easy. Follow these 7 tips:

1. Know and Connect with your Audience.

You need to understand what makes your buyer tick. Make that connection. Understand what they require in order for them to want to interact with you and request for more information. Write content that would irresistible to your target audience. The more interesting the information is to your target audience, the more useful it is to them.

 

Find out what particular problem(s) your audience has, and speak to it.

2. Assume your Audience Doesn’t Know what you Know.

Avoid jargon, buzzwords and industry-talk. Use terms that they would use in order to find you. They found you, they have come to you. Now you need to explain yourself clearly to them.

3. Make the Content Applicable.

Don’t just spit information out into the world. Make the content worthy of reading and applying. Don’t just share information. Share how to do what you are describing.

4. Be a Credible Source.

You need to build trust and credibility to get results. Cite your sources and have social proof. Social proof examples include:

  • Statistics
  • Testimonials
  • Reviews
  • Endorsements
  • Examples
  • Quotes
  • Anecdotes

Build trust up front. It is worth it.

5. Write…. and Don’t Forget to Design.

Write and design your work so it is easy on the eyes. You spent time gathering information, researching, and planning. Don’t ruin all that work by not designing your content. You want to invite your audience to read and learn more.

 

Avoid writing long sentences. Or follow up with a short one.  Write short passages and paragraphs to invite your reader in.

 

Spend time finding the proper formatting so that your rich content won’t be skimmed over. Or worse – bounced away from.

6. Stay True to Yourself.

Stay on brand. Use your voice. It differentiates yourself from all the other writers out there.

7. Practice and Analysis Makes Perfect.

Go start writing right now! The best way to get better with irresistible content is to practice, analyze, practice, analyze.

 

Share your work! Analyze how well it did. Try something new and analyze it again. Figure out what content is getting looked at and what is working.

 

Do you need help with writing irresistible content? Call our office at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below. Divvy specializes in marketing consulting and social media content strategy.

 

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How to Limit Distractions

Distractions are everywhere. They are on your desk, on your phone, and even sitting across from you. That’s not even the worst part – they make you less productive at work. Dr. Gloria Mark of the University of California has found that it takes an average of 23 minutes to resume a task after distraction occurs. Twenty-three minutes! How many times do you get distracted each work day? At least two to three times? That alone is one hour of wasted time according to Dr. Mark. Ready to limit your distractions? Here’s how:

Limit Screen Time.

That includes your smartphone, your smartwatch and even your computer – if applicable to your industry. Stop watching your phone for text messages or phone calls and stop responding to Facebook messages and Instagram comments every time your phone beeps. Silence your cell phone, shut down your smartwatch and get back to work. These little distractions occur often and have the ability to completely derail your productivity.

It might not be reasonable for your job to completely shut down these personal devices all day. That’s okay! But if you’ve ever said “I’m just going to check my email really quick” and 20 minutes later you’re still replying to people, you need help. Set times, reasonable times, in your work day when you can take take a few minutes and respond to emails and missed calls.

Maybe you can get away with only checking your email two to three times per day. Or maybe you can have an automated response for text messages to let people know when you will be available and to try calling back at that time. However you choose to limit your screen time, start doing it now.

Try the Pomodoro Technique.

If you can’t make the time-setting technique work, try the pomodoro technique.  Work the hardest you can work for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break. This works for a lot people because it lets you start something knowing there is an end (and reward!) in mind.

Don’t get discouraged with a seemingly never-ending project. Try out the pomodoro way and take short breaks to relax and rejuvenate yourself.

Make a To-Do List.

Become one of those make-a-list and check-off-as-you-go people. They know how to achieve satisfaction one step at a time. Keep your list manageable, concise and current. Start each work day with the 5×5 Rule. Determine what the five most important tasks of the day are and do your best to complete each of them by 5 p.m. Check off as you go and relish in the satisfaction.

Clean Up Your Workspace.

Remove any unnecessary clutter from your workspace. Why? The less stuff your eyes see means less visual stress, and less visual stress means less distraction. It’s that simple.

Keep Your Internal Distractions in Check.

Internal emotions such as hunger, thirst, tiredness and worry can affect your mental capacity and attention span. Go to work well-rested, full and hydrated. Don’t forget to eat a nutritious energy-boosting lunch!

 

Distractions are hard, but it’s even harder if you need help maximizing your marketing efforts and you’re being interrupted too often. Need help? Partner up with Divvy. Divvy helps franchisees stay on-brand and focused when it comes to marketing. Call our office at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below.

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9 Things You Can do to Become a Better Leader Today

What does it mean to be a good leader? And how do you become a better leader? Some people believe that good leaders were born that way, and others believe it takes hard work and determination to become a good leader. Regardless of what you believe, good leaders have a few unique characteristics. Luckily, with a little persistence and knowledge, you can become a better leader today, too. It’s time for you to become conscious of your leading style, actions, and tone. Start doing these nine things to become a better leader today.

Be Passionate.

Passion is contagious. If you become passionate about your job, your employees will notice and follow suit. Plus, you’ll find yourself wanting to be at work and leading, rather than at home and watching TV.

Maintain a Positive Attitude.

Just like passion, attitude catches fire. If one person comes to work with poor attitude, it is likely that person will rub off onto colleagues. The same goes for you as a leader. Not only do you need to be positive on the daily, but you need to maintain a positive attitude when times are stressful too. Employees notice when management is angry, upset, or stressed and it affects how they continue their work duties.

Be a Role Model.

Be the leader that inspires employees and colleagues. Be the kind of leader that you want your employees to look up to.

Stay Humble (and Honest!)

When it’s a team effort, recognize that it’s a team effort. Don’t take credit for something you didn’t do by yourself. When you mess up, apologize and take the blame. Don’t blame anything on anyone else when you’re the one at fault unless that is the kind of organizational culture you want to cultivate.

Be Approachable. 

Employees need to know that their manager is always available to talk to and ask for help from. They need to know they can openly discuss issues with you while what is said remains confidential.

(Get to) Know Your Employees.

Connect with your employees on a personal level. Ask them about their family, recreational activities, and other topics that will help you build a relationship with them. This kind of positive interaction will let your employees know that you appreciate and recognize them. They will feel more loyal to you.

Promote and Praise Creativity.

Promoting creativity among your team will strengthen problem-solving skills and improve productivity. Good leaders encourage new ideas.

Collaborate With and Challenge Them.

Not all people do well working by themselves, so encourage team work and join in when possible. Additionally, challenge your employees. People get bored doing the same mundane tasks every day. Throw in some change and challenge them to help shake things up, in a good way.

Continue Learning, Yourself.

The first step in bettering yourself – and your leading skills – is to recognize that there is room to improve… and there is always room to improve.

 

Start small to make a big change. These nine simple steps are something you can start to become a better leader today, but you will need to continue them tomorrow, too.

Do you need help with your business or franchisee? Divvy can be your marketing partner and make life simpler for you. Call our office at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below to see how Divvy can help you.

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Powerful PR Tools For Your Business

Businesses and franchises face all sorts of communication challenges, and the art of public relations is new and rapidly changing with society. Keeping your business up to date with public relations is important is successfully promoting your business. The following tactics can be used for your business PR tools:

1. Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a digital media monitoring tool that tracks when certain keywords are written about in the media. Set up Google Alerts for your business name and industry and you will receive email alerts when there are discussions, news or debates on those topics. Remember that good PR is more than gaining publicity, but it is joining a conversation. Google Alerts will help you join in and be the first to comment!

2. Social Media

Don’t underestimate the power of social media as a PR tool. You can use social media channels to both activate, inform, or educate users on business and industry related trends. Use social media to become an opinion leader by sharing relevant news, product updates, and other relevant topics that will interest your customers.

You can also use social media channels to connect with journalists who will help your business gain publicity. Twitter and LinkedIn can help you connect with the journalists that are interested in your industry. Create those connections and make a list of media contacts. As you send out pitches, keep track of those who are reporting on your company, your competitors and your industry.

PR Tools - Social Media

3. Press Releases

Reaching out to journalists and tracking media lists is pointless if you don’t have a plan in mind of where you want your business to go and what you want the public to see. Once you have crafted a well written press release and reached out to your list of media contacts, use PR Web or PR Newswire to further your reach. Both publish press releases across the web on websites, media outlets and journalists.

4. Survey Monkey

Public relations is more than sending messages to the public. It is improving upon your business based on the conversation and interaction your business has with the public. Use Survey Monkey to gain insight into the public’s opinions, attitudes, and beliefs regarding your business. Use the online survey software to craft a questionnaire, send it to the public and then analyze the results in digital graphs.

 

Public relations is easy if you are monitoring your business’s online presence, interacting with your customers, creating news about your business, and reaching out to journalists you have built a relationship with. These four tools can be used to strengthen your company’s PR.

 

If you need more help with your company’s public relations, contact us by filling out the contact form below. We specialize in branded marketing collateral, marketing consulting, and social media. We would love to help!

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Overcoming Workplace Stress and Burnout

Stress is inevitable, and work-related stress is unavoidable. It can take a toll on you emotionally, physically, and mentally. If left untreated, stress can lead to burnout, which is an institutional concern. Stress, however, is a necessary emotion, and learning to cope with it is important. If used correctly, stress can benefit your business. Blogger Larry Lewis says stress is “the key determinant in well being, quality of life and successful aging.” Consider these tips to avoid work-induced stress and burnout:

  1. Rate your Stress Level. 

    In order to really know how stressed you are, you need to take five minutes to sit down and take a survey. Answer the questions for this questionnaire and follow the directions to score your stress level.

  2. Cultivate Healthy Habits: S.E.E. (sleep, exercise, eat).

    S.E.E. yourself being happy and healthy. This means you need a good amount of sleep each night, you need to exercise daily, and eat healthy meals. These are essential in living a healthy, stress-free life. =

  3. Technology Time-Outs. 

    Everyday we are overloaded with information from the time we drive to work and turn on our alarm before falling asleep. The increasing use and emphasis of technology only increases the potential for stress and burnout. Rule number one: tech time-outs at work. As a busy employee, the emails you receive from friends, colleagues, management, and clients can cause stress and burnout. Depending on your job, you can choose two or three times to check your email each day. Stick to the times you pick and you’ll become more productive and efficient. Rule number two: tech time-outs at home. Leave your work at work and your personal life at home. This means not checking your work email at home, not accepting business-related calls, etc. Establishing these boundaries will decrease the amount of work-related stress in your life.

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  4. Make 3 Goals.

    Now that you’ve taken a survey, seen yourself being healthy, and established work boundaries, you are ready to make three goals. Setting goals helps with motivation and attention-span, something that can be lost when feeling stressed or burnt out. Remember the three P’s: personal, professional, and passion. Make three different goals based on these three areas in your life, and you’ll have the care and energy to keep going when you feel down.

 

Remember that stress is inescapable but manageable. If you’re feeling stressed or burnt out, always ask for help from your supervisor. It is better to get help than to struggle through a rough patch.

 

Are you stressed about marketing? Divvy provides social media and marketing solutions for businesses and franchisees. Find out more about Divvy here or fill out the contact form below.

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Creating Calls to Action That Convert Customers

Here is a scary fact: If someone leaves your website without subscribing to your blog, liking a post, or sharing your content, then your business just lost money.

Consider how many times that can happen every day? Take a look at your web traffic report and compare the vast amount of visitors with your sales leads. If you aren’t moving at least one out of every hundredth visitor to your website down the sales funnel, then there could be a problem with your calls to action.

Nearly every business with an online presence struggles with this; you’re not the only one, and luckily we have some solutions that may work for you.

Follow some of these rules and watch your web traffic convert into customers.

Have a clear call to action button

It’s surprising how many businesses fail to realize that the only way their website visitors will take action is if they are asked. In order for them to take action, you need to know what you want them to do.

If you want them to like your Facebook page; contact a sales associate; proceed to your online store; then create a button for it in the top half your screen. Direct your reader’s attention to the button by making it stand out from the rest of the colors on your page.

Remember to keep it simple. Don’t ask them to do too many different things. Figure out what is most important to you and your customers and stick with that one call to action.

What’s in it for them?

Imagine what your potential customer is going through. When they’re on your website what do they see? A slew of self-promotion? Or are you showing them helpful information on how your business can improve their life?

The efficacy of your call to action relies heavily on your web content. Share information that answers your visitor’s questions and establishes your company as a source for helpful news and products.

Once you’ve established credibility with them, then getting them to take action becomes like asking a friend for a favor. They’ll be happy to do it.

Perform an A/B test

The best way to verify your call to action is to compare results. Create two call to action messages and rotate them for a month or so. Monitor your web traffic and sales leads, then compare your findings.

If one call to action is consistently collecting more website visitors, then you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly what matters most to your potential customers and this will help you develop your web content and create an even more effective conversion strategy.

If you’d like to talk about good calls to action, we’d love to hear from you.

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