How to Compete with the Big Guns – and Win
One of the beauties of franchising is that it allows the franchisee (and the franchisor for that matter) to take on and beat much larger businesses. One might think it takes real guts to be the David to their Goliath. In fact, it just takes organisation.
Firstly, The franchise model means there is a remarkable combination of solid management and organisational support with the level of dedication which only comes from an owner-managed business.
Secondly, franchises tend to specialise in a particular niche – and consumers would always rather deal with a specialist than a generalist. Take plumbing: would a consumer with a blocked drain rather call out Callie’s Plumbers, or The Drain Surgeon?
There are many success stories of upstart businesses beating the behemoths, both in franchising and outside. Their secret? One simply needs to do something better, cheaper, faster, or amazingly different in a way that won’t put them directly in the cross hairs of a big, powerful company. After all, a franchisee rarely wants to be the biggest – just the best.
The attraction of a franchise
Is that the franchisor typically provides, for instance: a manual on how to run the business; lines of credit with suppliers; technical support as and when needed; branding; advertising; business know-how; forms and documents; and assistance with admin. These are the things that take up the time of a small franchisee and distract him from producing revenue. This allows the business owner to concentrate of what he does best – the technical side of the business and dealing with customers.
If one can specialise in a specific market, prioritise quality and refuse to compromise one’s authenticity, one can take on the giants. A company doesn’t need to be big to succeed – one just needs to think big to make it happen.
When looking for a franchise…
A franchisee should look for one which specialises in a specific market, where he or she can become a true expert who understands what that customer wants. Here’s one way to beat the big guys at their own game. Customers buy from someone they trust and know, and because the franchisee is going to solve a problem for them.
Once a franchisee knows who the customer is they’re going after, then he can begin to design a plan around how he will market to them so they can see him, begin to learn who he is, and get to like him, so they come and buy from him. This is because a small business like a franchise is usually more nimble and is able to pivot to meet the needs of a changing, specialised market in ways a stiff-necked Goliath can’t.
How to become more flexible?
- Making quality one’s first priority: When quality comes first, the business grows.
- Be authentic: People like a business owner who is ‘real’ and get turned off one who is ‘fake’.
- By not chasing bulk business and rather focusing on higher quality leads: It’s about more than just accuracy – low quality leads waste the team’s time on research, data entry and chasing dead ends.
- One quality good or service is often worth 100 non-quality ones. Be a boutique rather than a value mart.
- Nurture relationships with premium employees: The loss of a top employee hurts a business so much more than anyone else. Identifying the most talented workers is vital, as does doing what it takes to keep them long term. This can be done by offering workplace programmes and benefits that show employees their personal growth and long-term professional goals are respected.
- Don’t automate customer service: That’s what Goliath does. Taking the time to continuously train the best customer service representatives to get the job done right, is effort well spent. Even better, spending time on the shop floor and providing the best possible service sets a good example to staff.
In conclusion, being small and flexible is one’s advantage in franchising: there’s no harm in adopting effective systems from large corporates, but one should exploit the advantages of being nimble.