How to Grow Your Business Through Franchising: The Franchise Freedom Podcast

In a recent The Franchise Freedom podcast, organizers sat down with Mark Siebert, CEO of iFranchise Group. iFranchise Group is an organization dedicated to developing long-term relationships with successful franchises and other clientele. Mark is also the author of Franchise Your Business: The Guide Of Employing The Greatest Growth Strategy Ever.

“I found that franchising was a way to work with a lot of small businesses that were on the cusp of really explosive growth,” says Mark when asked about how he got to where he is.

They chatted with Mark about how he got started, the best ways to convert your business into a franchise, and…

  • Growing your business through franchising
  • What to think about prior to franchising
  • The top tips for franchising, and,
  • What metrics to look at to find out if your business is franchisable

Listen now

How Franchisees and Franchisors Can Master Their Relationship

In the world of business, the relationship between a franchisor and a franchisee is indisputably unique.

Some may equate it to a partnership, but in fact, it is not. In this article from Entrepreneur, author Mark Siebert suggests the closest analogy is that of a parent-child relationship, where a franchisee is initially dependent on the franchisor for everything, then gradually becomes more independent, yet is ultimately still required to follow the rules set by the franchisor.

Siebert also discusses the importance of good franchisee relations and their direct impact on the success of the franchise system. Good franchisee relations can be managed and maintained through clear and consistent communications, through trust and transparency, and by supporting and training all franchisees, not just the underperformers.

In summary, building a strong franchisor-franchisee relationship is the key first step toward shared success.

Technology in Franchising

iFranchise Group President Dave Hood is quoted in this Delta Sky magazine article about how franchise brands are leveraging new technology innovations to gain a competitive edge.

He notes that in today’s more competitive and challenging franchising industry, with reduced margins, higher labor costs, and hard-to-find real estate options, hundreds of new franchise concepts still enter the marketplace each year.

In order to “level the playing field,” emerging or smaller franchise brands can use technology tools to help them look and act like — and compete with — larger, more established franchise systems.

A Recipe for Sales Success

When we do audits of a franchisor’s sales efforts, one of the most difficult issues to address in identifying the source of a problem, is the inherent conflict between sales and marketing.

When a salesperson fails to produce the expected results, they will invariably point to marketing, and often vice versa.  In this Franchise Times article, iFranchise Group CEO Mark Siebert addresses the elephant usually in the room – the relationship between sales and marketing.

When deals aren’t happening, which direction should a franchisor look? The answer may surprise you. This article takes you through the different angles for checks and balances between the sales and marketing teams, as well as steps to evaluate the overall concept itself. And while marketing professionals sometimes are at odds with the sales team, the best franchisors will recognize that both concept and sales process must be a part of the overall marketing plan for everyone to succeed.

Too Few Cooks Making Your Broth?

In this Franchise Times article, iFranchise Group CEO Mark Siebert explains the pros and cons of working with franchise brokers as part of your overall marketing strategy. He tells you why brokers, or consultants as they like to call themselves, should never be a franchisor’s exclusive franchise marketing strategy, but adds that on the flipside they may provide an entirely new lead flow that will freshen up any marketing plan. It takes just the right mix of ingredients for a perfect recipe.

Franchise brokerage networks today, by some estimates, account for more than ten percent (10%) of franchise sales, depending on the industry or individual brand. A good marketing strategy is made up of many ingredients. With an overwhelming amount of franchising information online for candidates to make their way through, increasingly, brokers are being relied upon to help people navigate their way through the complex world of franchising.  The real question, however, is when are their too many cooks in the kitchen? Siebert takes you through the steps to “broaden the menu” as you take your concept to market.

Top Tips to Success in Franchising: Podcast Interview

Mark Siebert, CEO and Franchise Consultant at iFranchise Group, is interviewed in this episode of the Money Matters: Top Tips to Success podcast. The podcast introduces Mark, his background, and presents iFranchise Group as a franchise development and consulting firm that provides a variety of services to start-up franchisors, established franchisors, and other companies. Mark also discusses the criteria for assessing franchising readiness and the important considerations to keep in mind when franchising a business.


Give your franchise show story the happily ever after ending it needs

In this Franchise Times article, iFranchise Group CEO Mark Siebert explains how every good story has a beginning, a middle and an end, and that utilizing trade shows as part of your marketing strategy is no different.

Sound like ancient history? Not today’s trade shows. They are more exciting, glamorous and full of expert resources than ever before. In our business, the International Franchise Expo is the epitome of all things shiny and new in the franchising industry, where hundreds of concepts and vendors gather to be discussed and discovered. That’s why for this piece, Siebert features Tom Portesy, CEO of MFV Expositions who puts on over 70 shows per year. Between the two of them, find out the important three-part process that places your own marketing efforts on solid ground for a happily ever after trade show experience of your own.

What is essential that you do while planning the show? What should your booth look like? Who from your organization should you send to pitch your brand, and what is the best way to follow-up with leads you receive while you’re there? That’s just the beginning of what you’ll learn in this useful trade show how-to guide that you can put to work for your organization today!

Dog Days of Summer: Marketing from the Inside Out

Think about how harmful it would be to your business if your brand messaging changed over time without your knowledge. You provide messaging for your franchisees – but how can you be sure it maintains integrity as it travels?

In this Franchise Times article, iFranchise Group CEO Mark Siebert explains how the dog days of summer aren’t for easing up where brand marketing is concerned. The bigger the network – a measure of success in itself – the more chances for messaging to get lost in translation from franchisor to franchisee, and then from employee to the consumer. Add social media to the mix and the message you began with turns into a tweet that is utterly unrecognizable.

The good news is there is a way to improve the odds of your marketing message staying intact: Internal marketing – in other words, from the inside out. In this concise piece, Mark explains the benefits of marketing inwardly by demonstrating how internal marketing and network engagement can make all the difference in maintaining brand story integrity. Internal marketing doesn’t look like a typical marketing strategy on paper but should be an integral part of any overall marketing campaign. Read this article to learn things like where to begin, how to craft a message with staying power and move it through your network, and which tools are recommended to help you keep your team engaged.

Internal marketing is imperative to marketing strategy success. While you are enjoying your own dog days of summer, kick back and couple your refreshing lemonade with a piece of good advice in this article.

A Three-Point Strategy for Damage Control of Negative Feedback

In this Franchise Times article, iFranchise Group CEO Mark Siebert explains three simple but effective methods to get in front of bad press. In an era of social media, with opportunities for brand crises in all corners of the Internet, it is more important than ever for companies to stay vigilant, then handle an incident in a way that helps find a resolution, without making things worse.

No matter the size or budget of your company, Siebert shares tools to aid in social listening and response across the web, and reveals where the disgruntled may gather. Most important, he walks you through three distinct steps that explain just how to react to negative press online, whether it’s a nasty tweet, an inflammatory review, or an entire blogpost that smears your brand.

PR crises aren’t like they used to be when the accused had a full 24-hour news cycle to prepare a response. In today’s technological world, crises happen in the public eye, in real time, with the potential to escalate quickly.

Don’t miss out on this thorough, specific bit of advice to help recover your brand’s reputation through timing, integrity and authenticity.

When Influencing, We Don’t Want Nobody Nobody Sent

In this Franchise Times article, iFranchise Group CEO Mark Siebert explains how influencer marketing is here to stay. Frankly, it has been here all along anyway. Siebert also shares his unique perspective growing up close to the Chicago political scene and the lessons it offered for his career in franchise consulting.

The court of public opinion…

Most franchise candidates have already set a goal to become business owners and are ready to begin the sales process. It’s here the first acts of influencing begin.

Influencer marketing is as old as government.  Think about it, how long have candidates for public office been leaning on the opinions and endorsements of others to get themselves elected? It may seem like government and businesses are worlds apart, but this isn’t the case. In this article, Siebert tells you that everyone is watching, everywhere, all the time. It may sound sinister, but as far as franchise marketing is concerned, it means opportunity is all around us.

Franchise marketing recognizes that the prospective franchisee is not making the decision to buy alone. They are most certainly influenced by others like their spouse, their business associates, bankers, lawyers and suppliers, to name a few. And, of course, other franchisees in the system are influencers themselves. Whether your prospect is being influenced by the media, their banker, their spouse, or other franchisees, the bottom line comes down to trustworthiness. In this article, learn how to earn the trust of those who are influencing the candidates you want in your network.