So you’re looking to buy a business, and you’re keen on joining a franchise because you understand that a huge share of the work will already be done for you. Smart move. And now you’re considering what franchise to join and looking for those which will make it easy to design and build your web site. With the huge marketing influence that the web wields in today’s marketplace, a key indicator of which franchises will support you in building your business and which ones will let you fend for yourself is how much and what type of assistance you will receive when building your web site and “populating” it with content.
The 3 Flavors of Franchise Web Solutions
1. You’re on your own
If it’s not stated plainly on the franchise’s web site, the best way to determine what brand of web support you will receive as a franchisee is to go to the company’s franchise locations page and visit the sites of franchises within the system. Check out a handful of their sites and you’ll get a feel for the franchise’s web offering. If all of the sites are different, and under their own TLD (Top Level Domain), it probably means that the franchise offers no web site or web support whatsoever. In this case, go elsewhere! If you buy into a franchise of this type, not only will you subject yourself to lots of unneccesary work, your site is not likely to be professionally branded across the entire franchise. This defeats one of the big advantages of going with a franchise with a recognized brand to give your marketing plan a boost through consumer brand recognition.
2. A generic site on the franchise’s main web site
Some franchises expect their franchisees to settle for a boilerplate web site located on their corporate site. That way, they can reap the benefits of the visitors your site generates. We’ve all seen the horrendously generic result of this type of arrangement, which we hesitate to describe using the word “support.” Although this is better than toughing it out on your own by making your own web site, what your business will need to be successful is its own web site and this means having your own TLD. Your TLD will be on all brochures, newsletters, promotional materials, facebook page, Google listings, etc. It will be the place you send prospective customers and the phrase echoed by all of your representatives in the field when they are asked where to find out more about your company. In addition, every email you and your office staffs will be further promotion of your TLD, via the domain name of your email address and email signature. So you can see why establishing your site under your franchise’s own domain name is absolutely vital.
3. Content Management System (CMS)
Far and away the best alternative for franchisees is customizing their own web site under their own domain name using a CMS provided and maintained by the franchise’s corporate office. The beauty of this setup is that franchisees need not concern themselves with forming a relationship with a skilled web designer and web host, making sure their site conforms to franchise brand standards, determining how and which site features will best serve their business, optimizing their site for search engines, updating their site to stay abreast of ongoing changes in the Internet, and regularly developing graphic and media deliverables to keep their site fresh. All of these web site considerations will be handled by the corporate office. If this breed of full service content management packages also empowers franchisees by locating their sites under a TLD that they choose, it’s the best of all possible situations, since the CMS allows a variety of customization features allowing franchisees to populate their own site content, add search engine keywords, monitor web traffic, add graphics to their sites from a corporate-approved set, upload documents to make available on their sites, and much more. Please make sure that the franchise you start your business with fits this description.
Here’s is an example of a franchisee site built using a content management system for a High Touch High franchise:
In addition to the fully branded corporate managed setup mentioned above, our franchisees benefit from training videos, branding and promotional resources, a science blog which generates 15,000 unique visitors a month, a value-added kids’ site, a reserveration system, Facebook and email campaign features, and much more. It is important that the franchise strikes the right balance of empowering franchisees to respond to their unique market space while ensuring that brand standards are met through centrally disseminated graphics, code, and content.
To learn more about franchise opportunities with High Touch High Tech, visit us online at ScienceMadeFunFranchise.net.
High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.