Franchise Development Benchmarking

Comparative benchmarking data can be enormously helpful in evaluating and improving franchise development and sales efforts. In the following, we present observations and analysis from our historical proprietary data from surveys of franchise prospects and franchise systems on topics related to franchise lead generation as well as franchise development in general. Please see also our section on franchise development best practices.


Benchmarking Contact Attempts By Franchise Sales Teams

“Contact Attempt  Rate” is the percentage of franchise inquirers who report efforts by the franchise to respond to their inquiries within a seven-day period. Given the cost of acquiring leads, and the lifetime value of a franchise lead, you would think these rates would be very high, but sadly, only about half of prospects report effort to be contacted by all they were interested in, and about 20% routinely report no contact efforts at all.

While there could be many reasons for this disparity, a likely suspect would be the time zone differences between franchise sales team and prospect, and inquiries over the weekend and after business hours in the franchisor’s time zone, given that 60-70% of lead inquiries arrive outside of normal business hours.

Awareness Before Interest – Getting Your Franchise Brand Discovered

In our research, typically less than ten percent of visitors to franchise directory websites are “very familiar” with the franchises they inquire about. Another twenty percent are “vaguely familiar” with their franchises of interest. Despite your own perceptions about the notoriety and popularity of your brand, exposure on third party platforms will ensure that you have a large selection of interested parties to engage with in growing your franchise system.

Getting More Prospects to Your Franchise Development Website

A surprising two-thirds of prospects who submit an inquiry at a franchise directory website (portal) or app go on to visit the franchise development website afterwards. In addition one fourth to one third of those who go on to visit also submit an inquiry (lead) at the franchisor’s site, a significant percentage of leads which may otherwise be attributed to organic results to the franchise development website.

Why Do Prospects Visit Franchise Development Sites After Portals?

In every survey, about half of the respondents say they visited the frandev sites because “they were very interested and just wanted to learn more.” About another third say they “wanted to prepare before having a conversation” with the franchise representatives.



Do You Know Where Lead Referrals to Your Franchise Development Website Are Coming From?

May 29, 2024 — Cost per lead is often a key decision factor when evaluating franchise directory websites (portals), assuming quality standards are met. But leads submitted at franchise  directory websites also result in substantial referral visits to franchisor websites, in addition to being a significant source of leads submitted at development websites…

Top 2023 Predictions For Franchise Lead Generation

January 11, 2023 – It’s a new year, with new opportunities for franchise growth ahead. Yes, there are economic, legislative and regulatory headwinds, but who would bet against the collective entrepreneurial spirit, creative energy and grit of the franchise community?

A Costly Paradox: After Near-Record Contact Attempt Rates in August and September, a Disturbing Trend Emerges in Outreach to Franchise Prospects

November 16, 2022 – This month a shocking and record low percentage of inquirers about franchises for sale were contacted by all of the franchise systems they requested information from, according to the monthly “Mystery Shopping” survey. Only 42.2% of inquirers to franchises reported that they were contacted by “all of the franchises they

Franchise Systems Continue to Pursue Growth in 2022 Despite Business Conditions

October 11, 2022 – Despite soaring interest rates, volatile financial markets, declining consumer confidence and increasing lead costs,  none of the U. S. franchisors responding to a recent survey say they have cut back their development budgets significantly for 2022. Moreover, one third (33.3%) have actually increased their expansion plans for this year.  There was

A Best Kept Secret in Franchise Lead Generation – Lifetime Value (LTV)

NORFOLK, VIRGINIA — September 21, 2022 — In comparing lead sources, “price”, and even the holy grail – “cost per sale” – are incomplete, if not misleading. There are two other critical variables in assessing return on your investment in franchise portals or other third party lead suppliers. In a prior article, we quantified the

Referrals and LTV – The Best Kept Secrets in Franchise Lead Generation

September 14, 2022 — In comparing lead sources, “price”, and even the holy grail – “cost per sale” – can be misleading. There are two other critical variables in assessing return on your investment in franchise portals or other third party lead suppliers. In this article, we discuss the first one. What happens after a

Despite Record Inflation, Initial Franchise Fees Are Holding Steady

May 25, 2022 – Despite March’s largest increase in U.S. inflation in more than forty years, the majority of U. S. franchisors have no plans to increase initial franchise fees, according to a benchmarking survey by Franchise Insights in April 2022.  A minority (13.5%) of respondents do expect franchise fee increases in 2022 in the

Franchise Lead Generation Portals Drive Discovery and Consideration

January 26, 2022 — Even though over 28% of franchise prospects in January 2022 reported being already “somewhat familiar” or “very familiar” with the franchises they considered, they chose to inquire about them at franchise portal sites among hundreds of other listings. These findings are consistent with our prior data from August 2021.  When you’re looking

Benchmarking Shows 62% of Franchise Lead Generation Budgets Growing in 2022

December 9, 2021 — In a survey conducted December 1-8, 2021, 61.7% of franchises responding say they expect to spend “more” or “much more” on franchise leads in 2022. Confidence in a better 2022 is seen in franchise systems in all stages of growth. Active U.S. franchises responding to the benchmarking survey hailed from a

Benchmarking Forecast Shows Franchise Fees Increasing in 2022

November 23, 2021 – While over 60% of active U.S. franchisors surveyed by reported no changes planned for their fees in 2022,. one-third (33.3%) increased fees in 2021, and 40% plan to increase initial franchise fees in 2022. Three times as many franchises plan to increase their fees by more than 50% (4.8%) than

Benchmarking 2021: Franchise Fees Were Mostly Unchanged

November 17, 2021 – Almost two-thirds (64.9%) of active U.S. franchisors surveyed by Franchise Insights in November, 2021 reported no changes to their fees in 2021. Exactly one-third (33.3%) increased fees in 2021, and a small percentage (1.75%) actually reduced their initial franchise fees this past year. More franchises increased their fees by more than

The Franchise Lead Generation Demand Gap: What it Means

November 11, 2021 — Are you seeing more competition for the best franchise prospects, or finding it harder to identify the number of prospects you need to achieve your franchise development goals? Are you experiencing soaring franchise lead costs in filling your pipeline? The flow of aspiring business owners took the biggest hit in the

Franchise Development Contact Attempt Rates Are the Highest Since October 2020

June 23, 2021 – In June, franchise sales teams performed at the highest levels in over eight months according to results from the Mystery Shopping survey. Respondents reporting that they were contacted by “all of the franchises they inquired to” reached 63.5%.  Further, those who reported being contacted by “none of them” dropped to

Franchise Prospects Report Higher Contact Attempt Rates in 2020

May 21, 2020 – According to a May survey of interested franchise buyers, more franchisors are consistently following through with each inquiry and attempting to make contact.  In May, 62.5% of respondents report being contacted by each of the one or more franchises to which they inquired. This is all the more important, considering that

Franchisors Adapt Budgets to Coronavirus Impact in March

April 16, 2020 – A comparative analysis of February and March advertising spending of FranchiseVentures clients revealed a spectrum of mindsets toward development investments, as brands contended with the financial and operational challenges wrought by the coronavirus.   The two determinants of spending are 1) budget, and 2) the availability of leads (buyer demand). Some of

Development Budgets Increasing For Franchises Across All Growth Stages

Over 63% of franchise systems plan to spend more to recruit new franchisees in 2020, and a closer look at key segments shows that confidence is strong in franchise systems in all stages of growth.  Plans to maintain or increase spending were strong across emerging, established and large franchise systems, according to a survey across

More Than 63% of Franchisors Plan To Increase Recruitment Spend in 2020

In a strong showing of their confidence about the future, nearly two-thirds of franchises plan to spend more to recruit new franchisees in 2020, according to a survey across the Franchise Ventures demand-generation platform.  “Business confidence is evident in  franchises, the leading category of small businesses,” said Michael Alston, president of Franchise Ventures. “Growth-oriented franchises

Franchise Daypart Data Helps Unravel the Mystery Behind “Low” Contact Rates

Oct. 10, 2019 – Ask any franchise development team what the No.1 franchisee recruitment challenge is, and chances are you’ll hear “contact rate” mentioned. The percentage of franchise inquiries with a successful return phone call is consistently lower than targets in industry Mystery Shopping surveys.  This is even more astounding when you realize that the

Mobile Phones Surge in 2019 as Top Source for Franchise Prospects

Oct. 10, 2019 – Smartphones are growing at an even faster rate this year as the No.1 way that franchise prospects begin their investment process. After several years of single-digit growth, the smartphone share of new franchise inquiries grew 12% over the past 12 months – reaching a full 73% of Internet inquiries originating on

Franchise Marketers, Do You Know WHERE Your Prospects Are?

Jan. 11, 2019 – Franchisors, there’s a huge mismatch in your new-unit sales funnel – 67% of all franchise inquiries are sent outsite of business hours, times that don’t lend themselves to an immediate phone conversation. And that problem gets tougher for national franchisors, when you consider the vast expanse of the 50 states and

Prospect Data Shows Contact Opportunity Beyond Business Hours

Jan. 2, 2019 – If you work in new franchise development, you know how crucial the first phone call is – and how hard it is to make that phone connection. Year after year, contact rates for the franchising industry remain challenging, and now we know why. It boils down to this: There’s an eye-popping

Franchises See Mobile Recruitment Triple

Oct. 11, 2018 – Franchise development teams, take note: The mobile Internet revolution has up-ended the top of your marketing funnel. Internet franchise portals are the leading source of inquiries from potential franchise owners, and the smart phone is their Internet connection of choice. That’s according to new research shared at the Franchise Leadership and

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