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How Can I Promote My Franchise Online? 

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Drawing attention to your franchise business is central to establishing a flourishing franchise network. A robust online presence can attract customers and new franchisees to your brand. This article will explain how franchisors can promote their franchise businesses and some legal aspects you should consider for your growing brand. 

1. Establish an Online Presence 

Most successful brands have a solid online presence. A strong online presence can attract prospective franchisees and strengthen your franchise business by increasing brand awareness and attracting new customers. 

Establishing your brand’s online presence can be time-consuming. Nevertheless, even a small yet consistent approach can prove effective. Consider how you want consumers and prospective franchisees to perceive your brand and curate content that reflects this. Perhaps ask your existing franchisees if they have ideas for new content. 

2. Advertise Your Business 

When advertising your business, consider a specific strategy for attracting new franchisees. Likewise, establishing an online presence through a brand-wide approach will increase brand awareness, thereby attracting new franchisees. 

Many brands adopt a multi-platform approach and operate social media accounts across different platforms. For example, the popular UK coffee franchise Costa uses X (formerly Twitter), YouTube, and Instagram to build their brand and engage customers. 

You do not have to restrict your advertising strategies to social media platforms. You may also consider:

  • email marketing
  • online advertising; 
  • local to international promotions; and
  • print advertising.

If you want to advertise your franchise opportunities online, you can do so on reputable listing sites. Any advertisement must be transparent and honest. Misleading a franchise opportunity, for example, can lead to claims of misrepresentation. 

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3. Keep Marketing Materials Up-To-Date

Online advertising and social media platforms are popular contemporary formats. However, you will likely also engage in more traditional marketing formats. As a franchisor, you provide your franchisees with marketing materials they can use to promote the brand to customers. These materials can take many forms, including:

  • brochures; 
  • business cards;
  • leaflets; or
  • videos.

Ensure that the marketing kit remains up-to-date as your business expands and evolves. 

Register Your Trade Marks

All businesses should register their trade marks to protect against brand dilution and maintain consumer trust. As an expanding franchise business owner, ensure that only you and your franchisees can exclusively use vital elements of your brand. These elements include:

  • your brand name;
  • logo; and
  • slogans. 

In the UK, you can register your unique brand identifiers online with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). Before doing this, ensure that there are no similar, existing trade marks by conducting searches on the IPO database. 

If you or a business partner have already registered your brand’s trade marks, check that you have registered them in your business’s name. This way, the company owns the intellectual property, not an individual, as this may cause disputes should parties elect to leave the business in future. 

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Ensure Your Contracts Are in Order 

Legal documentation forms the foundation of the franchisee-franchisor relationship. Having a robust, legally sound franchise agreement is essential for any franchisor. Consider investing in legal advice. A franchise lawyer can ensure that the contract protects you and your business. 

You might require franchisees to pay a regular marketing fee. If so, the franchise agreement should clearly state the timing of the payment and how you calculate it. Ensure you use this money for marketing purposes only and be transparent with your franchisees about the spending. 

Furthermore, you may also provide your new franchisees with a franchise operations manual, giving them a detailed account of the brand and how they should operate their units. Update this regularly as your brand evolves. 

Key Takeaways

This article has discussed the benefits of a strong online presence and robust marketing strategies. Many modern franchises adopt a multi-platform social media approach, operating accounts and generating content for different platforms. A social presence can help grow brand awareness, drawing customers and prospective franchisees to your growing franchise business. Beyond social media and online marketing, you may supply franchisees with a marketing kit. If so, ensure that this remains up-to-date. 

Important legal aspects mentioned in this article are as follows: 

  • it is vital that your advertising is clear and honest to avoid future legal disputes; 
  • register your trade marks and do so in your company’s name; 
  • ensure that you have carefully drafted your franchise agreement and franchise operations manual; and 
  • seek legal advice when preparing your franchise agreement and other legal documentation related to your business. 

If you would like legal advice about your growing franchise business, our experienced franchise lawyers can assist as part of our LegalVision membership. For a low monthly fee, you will have unlimited access to lawyers to answer your questions and draft and review your documents. Call us today on 0808 196 8584 or visit our membership page.

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