Franchises – When They’re Hot

 

When you’re considering the purchase of a franchise, you want to be sure the one you choose is “hot”. With so many opportunities out there, how do you know what’s hot and what’s not? Let’s take a look at a few indicators that may help you decide to jump into the fire!

Happiness in Numbers
The more the merrier when it comes to the sale of new franchise units. Franchisors are always on the lookout for new franchisees.  New units mean new franchise fees and monthly royalty income for the franchisor. If a franchise concept sees a spike in franchise sales or shows steady growth in the opening of new units, it might be “hot”.

 

Locations, Locations, Locations
Do you see a franchise on every corner? When you travel, do you see the same franchise every place you go? Lots of locations mean lots of brand visibility and probably heightened consumer awareness of the products and services offered by said brand. If a franchise concept pops up just about everywhere, chances are it’s “hot”.

 

In the Spotlight
Some franchises get a lot of media attention and publicity; however, the reasons why may vary. Maybe they made a major contribution to a well known charity; or their annual earnings report just went public; or they just signed a major celebrity to their system. Regardless of why they are in the news…..they’re in the news and getting your attention. In your eyes, publicity is good and therefore, a franchise is “hot”.

Although these three reasons can certainly play a major role in determining which franchises are “hot” and ultimately which system you’ll join, there are a myriad of other reasons you may consider before stepping onto the coals!  

Equating popularity to profitability is completely normal; however, not always an accurate assessment. Does the franchise concept you’re interested in have the potential of becoming a fad or does it have history and staying power? Is this franchise concept recession-proof; can it withstand and adapt to a fluctuating economy? Does this franchise concept meet a consumer need that you don’t foresee disappearing anytime soon? Are there too many locations nearby for you to really have a chance to be profitable?

All these questions and more are good things to ask before signing on the dotted line. And the great thing about a franchise system is you can ask actual franchisees, the ones who found the answers to their questions and have already taken the risk and are in business.

To learn more about franchise opportunities with High Touch High Tech, visit us online at ScienceMadeFunFranchise.net.

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.

7 Tips for Starting Your Own Business

1.Be Clear on Why You want to Start a Business
While the idea of starting a business may be daunting, the fatigue of looking for a job may be even greater. Taking control of your working life by venturing out on your own may be scary, but doing nothing can be worse. That said, don’t start a business because you’ve run out of options. If you’re truly interested in doing your own thing and you’re ready to go for it with gusto, then small business ownership can be the most frustrating and the most freeing avenue—with the possibility of the greatest financial security. A great business to start and do your own thing, is working with children. Within this industry, one franchise stands out, High Touch High Tech.

Business Opportunity & Demand

2.Determine Your Business Type
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The best idea for you may be tried and true with your personal twist. Look into franchising. It’s a great way to start a business with the help,  leadership and experience of the franchisor. Franchisees are people just like you, that found a franchise they could relate to and get passionate about. This leads to lots of satisfaction with your business.

Meet Our Franchisees

3.Create a Simple Business Plan
Most new aspiring businesses owners think they’re supposed to sit down and write a detailed and lengthy business plan, making all sorts of wild assumptions about how much money you’ll make in five years, and so on. Some people worry so much about dotting every “i” and crossing every “t” until their plan is just perfect, they never start their business. For a basic business, I favor a one-page business plan that covers what you offer, who you’re targeting, how much you’ll charge and what you’ll do to make it happen. It’s a fluid process that will change once you dive in, so keep it simple at the start. If you consider a franchise, you learn the successful business plan from the franchisor, during your training.

Curriculum

4.Nail Your Target Customer
Determine exactly who your customers are with great specificity. If you’re creating a skin cream, don’t say “all women” or “everyone with skin” could buy from you. Is it targeted to women who visit a dermatologist for monthly facials or to women who grab anything from the drug store aisles? Your ingredients, process, packaging and pricing will all determine who the customer is. Be specific: I’m going to provide bookkeeping services for restaurants; I’m going to create social media campaigns for self-published authors. The more you can pinpoint your targeted client, the more focused your marketing efforts will be to reach them. You’ll be able to ask for the right referrals and you’ll know who and what to search for on the Internet.

Marketing

5.Perfect Your Pricing
Your pricing shouldn’t just cover your costs; it must also generate a profit for your business. Don’t undervalue your time and talent, which is a classic mistake. One option is to work the numbers from the top down: What are you looking to make annually? How does that break down monthly and weekly? How many products must you sell or how many clients will you need to bring in to meet those numbers? What are all of the costs associated with delivering that product or service? None of this requires fancy charts or advanced accounting skills. Play around with the numbers so you know what’s realistic as you get going—and revisit your numbers monthly. Pricing however, is not the only path to success. It turns out it matters what you do. Try to help people in some way.  A business that helps children is very rewarding.

Why High Touch High Tech

6.How to Find Start-Up Money
Until you start bringing in sales, you must keep costs down. Think creatively: it would be great to rent a fancy commercial kitchen to bake those cupcakes, but use a cheap or free church or community kitchen in off-hours instead. I worked with a woman to launch a series of art classes for kids, but she didn’t have money for supplies. The solution: she required parents to purchases the supplies and pay for the courses upfront. Forget hiring a full staff; ask friends for help and train interns. Barter for key services.

If tapping personal savings isn’t an option or if you need a more creative financing option, one of the fastest growing now is crowdfunding, which allows your network of friends and family to contribute to your start up costs if they like you and want to support your small business idea.

Another avenue is franchising. Many franchisors have their own financing that you can arrange with them. This financing is really helpful, and you pay the loan back with your profits!

Financing

7.Go Out and Get Customers
This is where the magic happens. Nothing else matters if you don’t have customers. The majority of your time and effort must focus on sales. Having a smart marketing plan to attract interested people, and then convert them to customers is your number one priority. Don’t get overwhelmed about how to dive in: just start where you are. Create a list of 50 potential prospects that you’ll go after and begin making calls one by one. Build a serious social media presence for your business where you can engage directly with your target market.

Dreaming about how fabulous your business can be is good; but doing something to get it there is sensational. It’s all about the hustle: the decisions you make and the actions you take each and every day – that’ll get you where you want to go. Take that dream and look at all your options with franchises. Does any of these franchise opportunities resonate with you? Try to find a franchise opportunity that you can be passionate about. This is the path to success.

Mission Statement

To learn more about franchise opportunities with High Touch High Tech, visit us online at ScienceMadeFunFranchise.net.

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.

 

5 Tips for Getting Started with Facebook

Tip 1: Engage Your Target Audience

The popularity of a franchisee’s page—and on Facebook it’s all about popularity—will depend on whether or not those who have liked your page are compelled to interact with it.

 

The level of interaction, or as Facebook terms it, “engagement”, will determine a franchisee’s placement on the news feeds of those who have liked the page. Top placement on news feeds will ensure that your posts are being read, and not lost in the veritable sea of messages channeled through Facebook every day. Engagement is determined by the frequency, quantity, and quality of Facebook users doing things such as posting comments and liking your posts.

The first step in engaging your target audience is to figure out who they are! It seems like common sense, but this vital step is so often overlooked. The better a franchisee has identified the demographic of their audience, the more they will be able to write posts that appeal to that audience. Almost without exception, your target audience will be your most likely customers, since the goal of most Facebook company pages is to sell a product or service. Let those reading your posts get a sense that they know who you are—it will be part of what compels them to make a decision to buy. Entertain them while providing information that establishes you as an expert in your industry.

Tip 2: Covers, Covers, Covers!

Facebook has added a new main image layout which allows franchisees with Facebook pages to upload a picture which will be displayed in HUGE format at 850 x 315 pixels. Since your covers are the first thing that visitors will see and most likely the last thing they will forget when they come to a your page, it is crucial that your cover be carefully considered. If your franchise’s corporate office does not provide you with branded cover images for Facebook, it’s a good idea to hire a professional designer. Upload 5 or more covers to your Facebook page’s photo library. That way, users visiting your page can browse through a thematically related series and you can easily select a different cover to “freshen up” your franchise page on periodically, showing visitors something memorable on their next visit.

A franchisee’s cover should epitomize the spirit of the product or service that a franchise sells and use elements from the franchise’s brand manual. If your franchise does not provide a brand manual that simplifies the process of creating your own branded materials, it’s probably time to renegotiate your deal or find another franchise.

3. Install Apps that Add Value to Your Page

The thing which will bring your followers back to your page again and again is value. What’s in it for them? Can your franchise location provide information or functionality to users that they they can’t get elsewhere? This is what we mean when we talk about value as it concerns the web. It’s the “why” in “why visit?” Apps can supply the “why”.

It could very well be that an app developer has already created something that you can use for free which will allow you to represent some of the value that your franchise is known for providing to consumers. These are the best apps to install. To search available apps on Facebook, go to your home page by clicking your name in the upper right-hand corner of the site and you’ll see “Applications” on the left navigation. Any app which feeds new information on an ongoing basis relating to a franchise’s product or service is an excellent choice since it will “refresh” a franchisee’s page’s content automatically. Apps are displayed prominently on the page just below the cover.

4. Derive Strategy from Usage Statistics

Facebook provides statistics about interaction with your page that are essential for determining which parts of your page are generating interest and which parts are not. Dubbed “Insights”, they are a crucial feedback loop for franchisees. The activity on a web site often seems invisible to the site owner; unlike a brick and mortar store, you cannot meet and talk with the people who are visiting your establishment. Insights makes a franchisee’s customers real, showing their habits and interests, and counting them as they come and go.

In Insights, you can see the date of each post, its title, its reach, the number of engaged users, the number of people talking about it, and its virality. Virality is the percentage of people who have created a story from your post out of the total number of people who have seen it. Use this information to coax new content into the same areas as successful content. Experiment with novel content to find what works. There’s a chance you’ll find your most effective approach this way.

5. Make Your Product or Service Visual with Photos

“Seeing is believing.” “A picture is worth a thousand words.” These sayings capture our tendency to understand and appreciate through visualization. While many people want to read about something to understand it, a great number of people prefer to see it. Seeing a picture is much quicker and more likely to forge the emotional connection that stimulates sales. Therefore, make sure you have populated your page with a handful of photo sets. Facebook makes it simple to upload and arrange photos into thematically related “Albums”. There’s a good chance that your franchise support system will have already provided photos for franchisees to use, so take advantage of this opportunity.

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.

Trends in Franchising

Trends in Franchising

Trends in franchising are ever evolving as the economy ebbs and flows. As a franchisor, you need to keep your opportunity relevant to the demands of consumers while also remaining an attractive option for prospective franchisees. It is critical that you keep your fingers on the pulse of what drives customers to purchase your product and prospective franchisees to invest in your brand. In today’s blog post we are going to explore trends in what prospective franchisees want, where they come from, and the current industries that pique their interests.

What They Want
Prospective franchisees want to, “buy a job”, be their own boss and provide for themselves and their families. They don’t necessarily want to make the sandwiches or travel from home to home to deliver a service; more and more they want to manage a company and employ a professional staff so they can “steer the ship” and focus on strategy and growth.

So how do they know which franchise is right for them? Prospective franchisees will scour franchise directories or go directly to the website of the franchisor to collect the necessary information to help them make this life-changing decision. And the top questions they want answered include:
– What might their potential earnings be?
– What is the initial investment amount?
– Is there strong brand name recognition?
– What kind of training and ongoing support will they receive?

Franchisors should be prepared to answer these questions and more to ensure prospective franchisees will be equipped with the necessary information to make the decision that’s right for them.

Where They Come From
Changes in the population are affecting not only who consumers are today but also the available labor market. As the industry trends in various directions, franchisors must adapt to the ever changing pool from which prospective franchisees can be found.

We have compiled a list of various sub-groups from which prospective franchisees and potential consumers may be found.

Millennials — This generation, whose numbers surpass even those of the Baby Boomers, are coming into their own as a potent economic force as they begin their careers and raise families. This group of media-savvy consumers raised on the Internet presents a huge opportunity for franchisors that can provide goods and services related to their growing needs.

Baby Boomers — As this “forever young” generation ages, it will demand many new services: health and fitness programs; financial and retirement planning and advice; assistance with their aging parents; child care for their younger children and educational services for their college-bound children; legal and tax services and more.

Women — More and more women want to strike out on their own, for a myriad of reasons including scheduling flexibility, the desire to advance to higher positions, for increased challenge and even for a healthier work environment. Many of these women choose franchises rather than entirely new business concepts because new businesses have much higher failure rates than established ones.

Minorities — The U.S. is well on the road to having a “New Majority” as the ranks of Hispanics, African Americans, and Asians continue to grow. From food to fashion, real estate to business services, as members of these groups continue their rise in numbers and economic clout, their needs will continue to expand.

Military Veterans — Veterans who are completing their military service or returning home from overseas offer franchisors finely honed leadership skills, personal discipline and comfort with technology. With over 2,000 veterans already actively engaged in franchise ownership through IFA’s VetFran program, interest in becoming franchise owners will only continue to grow.


Seniors
— People are living longer, more active lives today, a trend that will only accelerate as Boomers age. Healthcare-related services delivered at home or in assisted living facilities, will continue to grow. Home renovations for seniors, health and fitness programs tailored to their aging bodies will expand in the years ahead.

Trending Industries
As franchisors, we would love to promise prospective franchisees that they simply could not fail if they invested in our franchise concept; however, both the law and reality prevent us from having this conversation. Since you can’t simply say, “you’ll be successful and make lots of money”, there are a few things you can do to highlight the benefits of buying into your brand and business model. Let’s take a look at which industries are trending and considered “hot!”

Recession-proof brands are understandably popular in any economic environment. These types of businesses include hair cutting, tax preparation, accounting, shipping and packaging, child and pet care and services, auto maintenance and repair, home repair and renovation, computer-related services, real estate, and staffing and employment. Used goods including clothing, sports equipment, and electronic games also tend to do well in any economy.

“Green” businesses, already on the rise, received a big boost with the federal and state governments pushing for increased funding for the energy sector. Energy-reduction services for both homes and the commercial sector will continue to expand. “Green” buildings, made with recycled materials and using less energy present opportunities for handyman franchises, and as the market matures more and more opportunities will appear.

Fitness, health, and personal care. This sector, which includes gyms, fitness centers, nutrition, recreation and sports, spas, tanning centers, and “healthy” fast food, provides targeted opportunities for each of the demographic groups described above. The increase in childhood obesity has given rise to fitness centers and programs that combine fun and education for the younger set.

No business is free from risks, but having a firm grasp of current trends – and where they are likely to go in the coming years – is a big step in the direction of long-term franchise success.

To learn more about franchise opportunities with High Touch High Tech, visit us online at ScienceMadeFunFranchise.net.

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.