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The Secret to Finding the Top Franchises for 2013 & Beyond

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There are two characteristics to focus on if you want to find the top franchises for 2013 and beyond. 

Top Franchises for 2013To determine which are the top franchises for 2013, or any year for that matter, you need to be able to identify them for yourself. Focusing on two key characteristics – Innovation & Marketing, will help you filter the good from the bad.

In this article, we give you the information needed to identify the best franchises for you based on two key franchise characteristics. We also provide you the questions to ask a franchisor/franchisee to help arm you with what you need to conduct a successful franchise search.

Top Franchises for 2013 – Key Characteristics

You will find many articles providing franchise lists of the top franchises to buy in 2013. If someone is telling you they know the best franchise for you, then be wary. Chances are the article was written to sell you a franchise, not help you pick the best one for you. Instead of giving you a list, this article focuses on educating you on two key characteristics that can be used as your initial franchise filter.

There are only two things in business that make money – innovation and marketing. Everything else is a cost.” – Peter Drucker

Using Peter Drucker’s famous quote, what should you should look for when evaluating a franchise using these key characteristics – innovation & marketing.

The Top Franchises Are Innovating

It would make sense to first start with a definition of “innovation”:

Innovation is the development of new customers value through solutions that meet new needs, inarticulate needs, or old customer and market needs in value adding new ways.

Examples of innovation can be found throughout the franchise industry. Take McDonald’s franchise for example. They first introduced salads to its menu in 1985. Since that time, they have continued to innovate and restructured their salad lines several times. In the U.S., the newest salad offerings are part of the McDonalds Premium line. All of its salads are part of McDonald’s move towards creating a healthier foods, satisfying the needs of its changing customer base.

When looking for innovation, look for changes a franchisor makes to its product or services to meet changing customer needs, as with McDonalds. Also look for how the franchisor is leveraging advancements in technology. Take Home Helpers franchise as an example. This company recently added new medical services that have helped the franchise grow and adapt to an increasing demand for in-home care driven by the growing numbers of seniors.

Rapid changes in technology is forcing franchisors to constantly adapt and change their business model. Look for franchisors that are making these changes and are innovating to keep their franchisees on the growth curve. In today’s world, franchisors that are not innovating are dying.

The Top Franchises for 2013 Have An Internet Marketing Strategy & Plan

The Internet has had a huge impact on nearly all businesses is in the area of marketing, especially changing the approach for local marketing. Gone are the days of putting an advertisement in the yellow pages book and waiting for the phone to ring. Today’s successful franchisees need to have a local Internet marketing strategy and plan that combines a local website with local search engine optimizations (Local SEO), sponsored online ads, Facebook, Twitter and other various social media channels.  To find the top franchises for 2013, you need to look for a franchisor that has an Internet Marketing Strategy and Plan in place for its franchisees, at the local level.

An example of a company with such a strategy and plan in place is Pump It Up Party Franchise, an indoor inflatable recreation center. This U.S. based franchise is leading the kids party and recreation industry with an Internet-based approach to franchisee local marketing. The franchisees are benefiting from the forward-thinking of the franchisor.

Top Franchises – Key Franchisor Questions

So, the question becomes, how do you identify the top franchises for 2013based on the qualities of innovation and internet marketing. Here are some key questions to help you as you talk with the franchisor and the franchise owners.

Top Franchise: Business Innovation Questions

Consider the following questions to determine if the franchisor has innovative qualities:

Question 1: How has the franchisor made changes over time to capture changing customer needs? Please provide examples.

Question 2: How progressive is the franchisor in changing processes or systems to adapt new technologies into the franchise business model for franchisees?  Please provide some examples.

Question 3: What new products or services have been added in the past 2 years to increase franchisee profitability?

Today, more than any other time in history, it is critical for a franchise business to adapt its business model — to innovate. Not only does the franchise’s profitability depend on it, but quite often its existence. To find the top franchises for 2013, you need to find the quality of innovation clearly demonstrated by the franchise business.

Top Franchise: Internet Marketing Questions

When it comes to Internet marketing, the questions can get somewhat complex, especially if you get into the details of the actual strategy. You can ask many different questions on this subject, but we recommend you ask one key question that will not only  tell if the franchisor has a plan, but will also provide insights to your potential market.

Key Question: Considering the Internet marketing strategy you would implement  in the proposed territory, how many leads can be expected via the web each month?

Good Answer: Based on the number of business-related searches being done in your targeted territory, there are approximately 5000 searchers to be captured each month. Assuming we can capture 2% of the searches to your local website, that would result in 100 prospects. Based on statistics from other franchise websites, we should be able to convert 5% of these prospects to actual customers, resulting in 5 customers per month for you business.

Bad Answers: 1) We can’t answer that question without a detailed analysis. 2) That information is not available. 3) We can only provide this information once you have committed to buying a franchise.

Franchisors that have implemented a local internet marketing plan for its franchisees should be able to easily answer this question. It is to the franchisor’s advantage to give you an idea of your potential target market, assuming the numbers support a healthy business.

If you want to find the top franchises for 2013 and beyond, find a franchisor that has a track record of innovation and a clearly defined local Internet marketing strategy for its franchisees. These two characteristics will help increase your chances in finding a franchise that will survive the long-run.



About the Author, AFD Team

The American Franchise Dream team is a dedicated group whose primary purpose is to help inform those exploring franchising as a potential business model. We believe that through education we can help prospective franchisees make better decisions when evaluating, selecting and buying a franchise.
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