Franchising is one of the most powerful expansion vehicles on the planet. It takes a variety of business elements, systems, processes and market characteristics to franchise a business successfully. Most businesses that franchise are driven by the need to capture market share, generate investment dollars or add valuable human capital to the organization by ways of franchisees who invest in the business. Some franchise systems are driven by a greater calling though, one that revolves around giving to a greater good, a cause or something that carries social value. Franchise systems that have a calling, something they wrap the companies core operating principals and mission around have a unique set of advantages.
What does it mean to give back and have a cause that is intrinsically wrapped into a brands “being”? It starts with finding something that strikes an emotional chord with the leadership of the company. Something that wasn’t just picked out of a hat, but truly holds intrinsic value. A Franchise Marketing Systems client, Mosquito Terminators, who sold 87 units in the company’s first 18 months of franchising committed a percentage of overall revenues to give to a charity in Africa that helped kids avoid mosquito born diseases such as malaria. Classic Commercial Services is another example who through the brand’s classic cares platform everyone in the system commits two percent of gross revenues towards those in need. The ultimate example of this paradigm is franchise marketing system’s client Children’s Miracle Network where 50% of all revenues generated through the platform go back to the children’s hospitals the organization is designed to support.
Whatever the cause, it should mean some thing and be entwined into the culture of the organization. As in most aspects related to leadership, it is critical to be consistent with how these charitable causes are tied into every aspect of the business. You can’t be taken seriously in your mission to help people if other decisions you make in the business contradict your stated cause. The way you as the leader of the brand interact with your staff, support your Franchisees and even speak to people on the phone in conversation must align with your brand’s cause.
So how do you find a cause that means something to you? Start by watching the news….pay attention to what catches an emotional nerve and then align with a charity that fills that need. Do research on the charity first, a starting point are charity evaluation sites such as (https://www.charitywatch.org/top-rated-charities). Make sure to do your due diligence and then build the commitment into your franchise expansion plans. The community, your franchisees and your peers will respect and love you for your dedication to helping people and your franchise will grow as a result of this.
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