For Michel Bourel, President of the French Franchise Federation: “Of the 31% of French who want to start a business, almost half consider a franchise.”
That’s why every year; Franchise Expo Paris accelerates network development in France and internationally by allowing thousands of entrepreneurs to fulfill their dreams of starting a business. For the 36th edition, the show has become global with more than 500 exhibitors, 20% of them are internationals.
The most represented sectors remain hospitality (restaurants), beauty but also services to businesses and individuals. With a strong trend for what’s known as premium concepts, advocating “good food” as well as hybrid businesses, which adapt to the seasons. On the specialized trade side, leisure is also making way.
Franchising is an attractive way to get started because it inspires confidence. Brand awareness, being accompanied and limited financial risks are factors that drive more than 70,000 French people towards this endeavor. The optimism, shared by the franchisors, also comes from the relationship and dialogue between franchisors and their franchisees.
Michel Bourel points out: “The number of French people who plan to start a franchise has increased by 8 points this year. The franchise confirms more than ever that the virtues of its model are attractive. The human relations aspect is fundamental and supporting franchisees is at the heart of its DNA. “
In practice, this support or dialogue is established in various ways. First of all, the initial activity preparation (theoretical and practical), of which 7 franchisees out of 10 are satisfied. 76% of franchisors also offer continuous training.
The second support lever and the most important is commercial animation. Most often, the franchisor’s network facilitators, who regularly visit the different network point of sales, carry it out. The aim is to support franchisees in increasing their performance by implementing of one-off or permanent operations.
In the time of Multi-Channel strategy, these operations are increasingly focused on encouraging consumers to go to point of sales. 9 out of 10 franchisees have set up this type of method, with point of sale geolocation and in-store promotional operations. 91% use social networks in their communications and 36% even organize events.
This is the case for the distribution chain Monoprix, which creates buzz on social medias by cultivating a friendly brand image. As a result, more than 30,000 followers on Twitter, but more importantly 1 million fans on its Facebook page. Since 2009, the subsidiary of Casino group has launched a strategic operation on social networks, piloted by Stéphanie Jallet. “We are among the first brands to have communicated on these networks”.
The key factor success: differentiate messages according to the network. “For each one, we have set a specific editorial line, with four common objectives: generate commitment, valorize our offer and our services, listen to our customers and remain attentive to the market”, enumerates the E-commerce operations manager.
Franchises also digitalized to improve their in-store customer experience. Le Jardin des Fleurs for example, lets you buy a bouquet online and retrieve it in store. At the point of sale, the cases dematerialize thanks to the tablets, which reduces the wait and increases the turnover per square meter. Digital a source of multiple internal optimizations allowing franchisees to manage their stock remotely and measure in-store traffic.
At Norauto, the “active reception” service allows customers to benefit from a fast quotation thanks to the iPad minis used by employees. After testing this service in some outlets, Norauto plans to deploy new digital tools within its network. The manager in charge, Marc Desrosiers explains: “Our aim is to distinguish ourselves as a point of sale and equally meet customer expectations.” We realized that a turning point was being prepared with the rise of digital technology. On the other hand, we decided to work only on in-store solutions that simplify both customer and collaborator life “
Reporting is also greatly simplified when it is digitalized. This is particularly interesting for franchisees, for which reporting represents a constraint, or even an intrusion. For Michel Kahn “The facilitator is often perceived as intrusive. Which is an error: the franchisees must on the contrary accept their help and technical assistance. “
Effectively utilizing reporting and feedback constitutes a key performance lever for franchise networks: it allows the past to be analyzed to better anticipate the future. Maintenance, merchandising and training can be studied through a complete reporting, enabling to measure in real time the implemented methods and improve them continuously.
We are convinced of this. That’s why for 3 years, SimpliField has teamed up with sales forces to enable them to be more efficient in execution, and to focus on consumers. Franchisors drive marketing and sales operations thanks to a consolidated information feedback in real-time in order to constantly improve performance, franchise-by-franchise and increase the overall network sales index. Papa John’s, one of the largest pizza restaurants in the US, trusted us and chose to digitize its assessment process with the SimpliField application, in order to better accompany its franchisees.