USE PR TO POSITION YOUR FRANCHISE FOR ACQUISITION
Creating maximum value for your franchise brand is especially important when you are considering selling. The problem is, most franchise brands have very little experience amplifying their franchise’s worth in a short period of time, with the express intention of exiting.
This is when you need an experienced public relations partner with a successful franchise acquisition portfolio. Not every PR agency specializing in franchise brands is experienced in this very specific PR tactic. It takes a very targeted approach that focuses on the end result – an acquisition.
Look for an agency that has helped clients build their brand’s value and were acquired through the efforts of the agency. Having an experienced team who is proficient in getting coverage and attention for a franchise brand is a major plus as well.
Why would a franchise brand want to sell or be rolled into another franchise brand?
There are a number of reasons, but probably the most common reason is retirement. Other reasons could be needing a change of pace, slowing down after an illness, wanting to spend more time with children or family and divorce.
A recent success story revolved around the CEO of a home service franchisor who wanted to sell the franchise system and retire within six to 12 months. That’s a tall order, but it’s possible to accomplish with a lot of planning, constant monitoring of PR activities and showing results.
Within seven months, after implementing PR tactics that boosted the franchisor’s revenue, the owner received a great offer and his franchise was acquired by a larger franchise brand.
How to make it happen
The best way to increase the value of your franchise in the eyes of investors or other, larger franchise brands, is by being an attractive, well-run, profitable business. Being a popular name in the public’s eye is
another way your brand could differentiate itself from the others. But it doesn’t just happen by itself. It takes a lot of work.
Even when hiring a PR agency to manage and run your acquisition PR campaign, being laser-focused is essential. Decide how you’d like to increase business in consultation with your PR partner and go for it.
The way my team was able to get that client’s franchise brand some visibility from investors was through lead generation and constant PR activities like press releases, working with and pitching to media, getting stories and articles in trade publications, industry news sections of business publications and on TV news.
Another way that investors evaluate a potential acquisition is by spending time on the brand’s social media pages. They look for good relationships with both customers and the brand’s franchisees. Social media
is a great indicator of a brand’s health and likeability. By reading what is being said on social channels can influence how a potential buyer sees your company, and can impact the perceived value, too.
So, upping your social media game can help sway an investor to consider your brand more seriously. On the other hand, unprofessionally designed and managed social media pages can damage your image. So, be sure to consider your social pages in your overall acquisition campaign.
Investors want to buy into a successful and growing business, not one that’s struggling or remaining stagnant. Showing that your leads and conversions have increased is one of the key indicators that prospective buyers are looking for. Adding even more value is getting positive coverage in a variety of media outlets. Buyers not only want to see good numbers, but they are impressed with a franchise brand that is popular and well respected by industry standards, not just by the public.
Selling your franchise is a big decision, but you can be a success story too. Make a determined effort to push your brand’s value through PR, and you could be fielding offers sooner than you thought.
Heather Ripley is founder and CEO of Ripley PR, an elite, global public relations agency specializing in
franchising, home service and building trades. Ripley PR has been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as a Top Franchise PR Agency three years in a row and was named to Forbes’ America’s Best PR Agencies for 2021. She is the author of NEXT LEVEL NOW: PR Secrets to Drive Explosive Growth for your Home Service Business.
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