What your home service franchise brand could do better
The home service franchise industry is doing well, but are you? Could business be better? Could you use more qualified leads? Are you attracting the attention you want?
If the answer is no, you may need to rethink your business strategy and partner with a PR agency that can help you jump start your business and enjoy the success you deserve. But before you dive into a relationship with a general PR agency that promises results, take it slow. Home service franchise businesses are very different than your typical fast-food franchise or tire and lube shop franchises. As such, you require an agency partner with know-how and experience in your industry in order to get the results that actually make a difference.
As a home service franchisor, not only do you want success for your brand, you also want success for your franchisees. In order for them to build their own franchise success story, they depend on your franchise brand to give them a leg up on the competition in the home services field.
So, if your brand isn’t getting all the attention, the business and all the leads you desire, what are you going to do about it? First off, if you have a PR partner, you might want to think about making a change. If you have never engaged a PR agency to boost your business, now might be a good time to think about being proactive, rather than being reactive.
It’s true that business ebbs and flows, but if you could use a dedicated partner to keep the flow going and actually increasing – here are some tips to hiring the right PR partner.
Do your homework
Research PR agencies that specialize in home service businesses. Ask business contacts for recommendations, look at PR agency websites and social media to see who their clients are and what the agency is doing for those clients. See how they are promoting their clients, and think about what that agency might do for your business.
Investigate industry publications
Start reading up on home service industry publications and trade group websites to see what PR agencies are active and regularly publish helpful articles. If an agency is active on industry-related social media and in the news themselves, then you know they’ll probably do a good job promoting your franchise as well.
Interview several agencies
Once you narrow it down, interview each agency. Ask a lot of questions, especially about current and past clients in the home services franchise business. Does the agency have a proven track record with home services franchises like plumbing, HVAC, garage door, roofing, gutter, window, siding and decking businesses? Ask about successes and failures and find out how they would approach your franchise’s unique challenges.
The best thing about partnering with a home service industry pro is that you can feel secure in knowing they have your back at all times. They know the industry leaders, the top media to pitch stories to, the most respected publications and journals to publish in and the audiences you are trying to reach.
In addition, a specialized agency is familiar with your industry terminology and jargon and they actually understand your business model. Having that familiarity and deep knowledge of your franchise business makes a difference in knowing what PR techniques work and what don’t. A specialized agency won’t waste your time and money learning on the job, because they already get it.
Finally, a home service PR agency is an expert in lead generation and attracting new franchisees to your business. One of the most important facets of promoting franchise brands is helping to develop a strategy to obtain qualified franchisee leads. Because growing your brand is what you want, choosing a PR partner who knows exactly how to prepare your brand for expansion is one of the most important decisions you can make for your franchise’s future success.
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.” For additional information