This is a guest blog post by Alan Littler, account executive at Engage Web.
The holiday season can cause much stress for all businesses, and franchises are no different, so it’s important for a franchisor to coordinate all franchisees so that everything is in place and ready for the big rush.
Plan Your Plan!
Coordination and effective communication are two important factors that every franchisor must take into consideration, especially over the holidays. Ensuring that each franchisee is aware of any plans that will affect them during the festive period should therefore take precedence.
Set out a thorough plan that you will take as a franchisor, and ensure that you set yourself deadlines of when each bit of vital information needs to reach a franchisee, well in advance of the start of the season. You can never be too hasty on informing a franchisee of the routine you need them to take to prepare for a busy holiday season where so much can go wrong, which could end up being detrimental to the business as a whole.
Standardize Your Online Marketing Strategy
It’s only natural that you want to put on some special offers for the holiday season. After all, this is something your competitors will also be doing, so it’s best to get this sorted early on. This means that it is important to ensure you have your online marketing plans in place weeks in advance.
Informing your franchisees and implementing these offers to the business website, and to each local franchisee’s website, then becomes slightly easier. Asking franchisees to submit any suggestions of localized offers to you in advance can also help to ease the pressure, as you can then approve these plans and have the franchisee implement them with enough time to spare to review.
For your standardized strategy, you should highlight the specifics of which deals go on certain areas of your site so that the each franchisee is in sync and aware of what to expect.
Social media is now an important part of SEO and online marketing, and is a tool that can be beneficial to your franchise if utilized correctly. Making small changes to your Facebook or Twitter pages to inform your customers of any changes or special offers can help boost revenue.
Keeping customers up to date with anything that may be affected by a festive rush is always a good idea, as you don’t want them to be unexpectedly let down because they were unaware of a change.
Making slight changes to profile pictures and backgrounds on your franchise’s social media accounts can have a positive effect online. Changing an image to something more festive, such an your franchise’s logo with a Santa hat on, can put a smile on your customers’ faces and can be considered a personal touch that shows customers that there are faces behind the franchise.
It is wise to make sure that you can cope with demand over this period. If your regular terms and conditions, such as shipping, delivery, and order times, are likely to be affected by the strain of additional demand over the festive period, then it’s wise to put this information on your website to inform customers of this. Ensure that your franchisees link to these pages should they have their own website, or you can advise franchisees to display something more suitable to the needs of that particular franchisee.
The holiday season is a busy time for franchises in most industries, and can present challenges that could have been easily overcome with a bit of planning. The mishaps of one franchisee can end up having a detrimental effect on the business as a whole, so it’s therefore critical to prepare both yourself as a franchisor, and each of your franchisees, for the demands of the season.
Alan Littler is the account executive at Engage Web, a UK online marketing agency specializing in the franchise industry. Alan has an extensive knowledge of SEO for franchises, handling the analytics and reporting for hundreds of franchisees across the world.