franchising aspects Jun, 01 2010

Area developers, franchisors share symbiotic relationship

Franchise organisations have discovered that area developers are the most appropriate choice to grow their franchise businesses. Franchisors and area developers are working hand-in-hand to make their businesses a great success. Read further to find out ho

By Pallavi Majha
Chief Sub Editor
Area developers, franchisors share symbiotic relationship

Area developers, also referred to as regional developers, master franchisees and area franchisees, are the best resources for localised support, immediate actions, creating brand awareness, and cracking tough markets. Majority of the franchise organisations turn to them to expand their systems. These individuals are of great help in building brands and creating awareness in a specified territory.

Defining area developers’ role

Area developers have always been referred to as the eyes and ears of a local market. Of course, not without a valid reason. Their work area encompasses a range of activities listed below.

Dedicated store developers: Most of the times, area developers invest their own money to secure the territory, for they have vested interests in making the stores work and operate at maximum capacity. The non-performing stores not only cost the developers, but also the franchisors and may damage brand’s reputation.

Quick location finders: Area developers are local people, who are well aware of the locations available and generally have a strong network of location providers. Thus, they can put more locations on the ground quickly.

Experienced franchise experts: They are knowledgeable people and understand franchising and franchise brands very well. They usually have an experience of personally operating one or more franchised store. At times, they are required to continue operating a store on their own while serving as an area developer. So being franchise operators themselves, they possess the know-how of running a franchised store.

Local-level assistance: Area developers also bring in local connections to a franchise. Some markets are really difficult to breakthrough without the assistance at local level. It is this local support that makes area developers critical part of the franchisors’ growth plan.

Solutions to franchisees: In certain cases, area developers meet franchisees in their areas twice each week to check if everything is running smoothly. They offer solutions to any problem that might crop up.

Advertising guidance and recruitment: In certain cases, master franchisees or area developers carry out recruitments and provide ongoing support to franchisees. In addition, they spend their own money to cover the costs of local advertising and marketing.

Adding value to markets: Area developers provide an added value in some markets. They help in identifying prospects, locations and providing hands-on assistance in a local market. It is just like a partnership approach.

Assistance provided by franchisors

Franchisors’ assistance is essential for area developers in carrying out all the roles and responsibilities efficiently. Franchisors can assist area developers by providing them with the right tools. Although these developers are committed to the system by paying for the territory, either by operating their own franchise or earning commission, they still need franchise support.

Training: Franchisors provide area franchisees extensive training on the system and how to sell it.

Leads for area franchisees: Franchisors use the best marketing channels at their disposal, like print and online advertising and marketing, to generate leads. These leads are then evaluated and forwarded to area franchisees. Qualifying the leads gives developers a leg-up.

Marketing kit: Franchisors also provide necessary marketing brochures and printed information materials.

Training through corporate executives: Franchisors send corporate executives to travel to areas and territories of their developers to make franchise presentations to both prospects and brokers, who may know some prospects.

Corporate assistance a phone call away: Many organisations provide support mechanisms in real estate, site selection, purchasing and building assistance. The corporate office is always just a call away from providing specific answers to questions concerning real estate and construction.

Assistance in paperwork: It is another area where franchisors provide strong support. The corporate office handles most of the paperwork essential to get a new franchisee up and running. It sends out the info kit with all the required paperwork and then keeps track of it to make sure everything is properly signed and filed. The corporate office also updates the necessary paper and legal work in all areas. Franchisors’ corporate office provides most of the support to get the franchise up and going. They customise the computer, phone and office equipment systems.

Area developers render full assistance in developing a franchise unit successfully and together with franchise owners, are sure to bring in a sense of credibility to the franchise business.

Related: Keeping the boundaries intact!

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