Franchise Development

With a vast and growing proprietary data set of U.S. franchise prospects, startup and business for sale inquiries, we use the tools of data science to discover franchise development trends and explore the impact of location and demographics on franchise lead generation.

Our focus is benchmarking in the lead generation aspect of franchise development, along with best practices for franchise development sales teams.

Franchise Development Teams Expect to Increase Google Spending More than Meta and LinkedIn in 2024

February 28, 2024 – When asked about advertising plans for 2024,about a third of franchise development teams expected to increase their spending somewhat or significantly at Google, Meta or LinkedIn. This is following 2023 wherein, despite tumultuous business conditions and shocking news headlines, more than 58% of franchisors surveyed either stuck to their growth plans (50.0%) or increased them.

Middle Tiers of Franchise Systems Revved up Their Expansion Plans the Most in 2023

February 21, 2024 – Despite sagging consumer confidence, tighter credit and labor, and a volatile year in the financial markets, most franchise systems either stuck to their growth plans and ad budgets for 2023 according to a December survey by FranchiseInsights.com. But the adjustments to expansion plans varied significantly by the size or maturity of the franchise system.

Franchise Development Teams “Lean In” To LinkedIn for Franchise Lead Generation

February 14, 2024 – Signs from a number of metrics (time spent, monthly active users) and media reports are that we may have reached “peak” social media as measured by postings, monthly active users and time spent. The Wall Street Journal posits in a recent article that users are doing a lot more lurking than posting these days and foresees more of the same in this election year, along with mounting concerns about privacy.

Small Business Startup Sentiment Surges to Highest in Over a Year

February 7, 2024 – Prepare for launch! January startup sentiment data show 84.5% of aspiring franchisees plan their launches in the next twelve months, the highest percentage seen since December of 2023. The first of our Predictions for Franchise Development and Lead Generation for 2024 is looking very much on target.

Predictions for Franchise Development and Lead Generation for 2024

January 31, 2024 – The most reliable options for franchisors to directly acquire prospects in recent years – email and text marketing, paid search and social media – are all undergoing significant change, as are the dominant mobile and desktop platforms offered by Google and Apple (and a few others hardly worth mentioning).

Franchise Development Teams Face Growth Headwinds in Paid Search

January 24, 2024 – In our last article, we highlighted some of the headwinds facing advertisers who generate franchise leads from Google. Traffic exclusivity from Apple, antitrust and regulatory court proceedings threaten Google in 2024, along with greater competition by other players like Microsoft who aim to use artificial intelligence to get a bigger piece of the search marketing pie.

A Pivotal Year Ahead For Google’s Role in Franchise Development

January 17, 2024 – One of the most reliable pathways to filling the franchise sales funnel is under siege in 2024. Not only has it fallen to second place behind Microsoft in consumer “mindshare” regarding AI, it faces potentially disruptive regulatory threats, while committing unforced errors of its own in the name of privacy.

How “Peak Social Media” May Impact Franchise Development

January 10, 2024 – Signs are that we may have reached “peak” social media as measured by posting activating and consumer surveys. The Wall Street Journal posits in a recent article that users are doing a lot more lurking than posting these days and foresees more of the same in an election year along, with mounting concerns about privacy.

Top Ten Topics In Franchise Lead Generation

December 28, 2023 – From a review of web traffic to content viewed over the past year, we developed a “Top Ten” list of the most popular topics among our insights in 2023 based on the readership of articles by category. 

Among Motivations for Franchise Ownership, Being Your Own Boss Gains to a Record High

December 20, 2023 – Since we last reported on the motivations of aspiring franchise owners in July, war has broken out in the Middle East, mortgage rates topped 8% and stock markets plummeted, among other shocks. But by the time of our November Small Business Sentiment survey, optimism about startups rose to the highest in fifteen months.

Surveys Show Franchise Prospect Initial Contact Rates Improve in October. Is Live Voicemail Helping Franchise Development Teams?

November 29, 2023 – Prospect initial contact rates are up, as reported by the latest FranchiseInsights.com survey in October 2023. Almost 52% percent of respondents say they were contacted by all of the franchises they inquired about, up from 46.2% in June when we last reported this data. Aside from the efforts of franchise sales teams, what could be driving this improvement?

Post-Pandemic Migration of Prospect Interest Northward and and Eastward for Franchise Development

October 25, 2023 – The migration of interest in franchises continues to shift northward and eastward according to new data from FranchiseInsights.com. By comparing quarterly shares by state for the first quarter  of 2022 to the third quarter of 2023, there was a continuation of the shift in the mix of where aspiring franchisees were expecting to locate franchises – from south to north, and west to east.

A Reliable Source of Lead Referrals to Your Franchise Development Website

September 27, 2023 — When evaluating franchise directory websites (portals), cost per lead is often a key decision factor, assuming quality standards are met. But leads submitted at franchise  portals also result in substantial referral visits to franchisor websites, in addition to being a significant source of leads submitted at development websites

Prospects Give Feedback on Improving the Franchise Sales Process

August 23, 2023 – Aspiring business owners engaging with franchise sales teams were largely satisfied with their experiences, according to recent mystery shopping surveys over the last six months ending in  August 2023. Almost half (43.3%) said they were either “satisfied “or “very satisfied”

Coming Apple Feature May Help Overcome “Silence Unknown Callers” Barrier to Initial Prospect Contact

July 26, 2023 – Apple announced a new “Live Voicemail” feature for its anticipated September iOS 17 iPhone software update. Rather than banishing the caller directly to voicemail without ringing, as the “silence unknown callers” feature does, the first several seconds of the caller’s message is presented in text on the home screen, giving the call recipient an option to pick up the call.

How to Initiate Conversations With Prospects and Achieve Better Results

Norfolk, VA, May 10, 2023 – Research shows that only a fraction of franchise prospects are likely to return your call before receiving an introductory email from you. In an April 2023 survey, only 12.9% of respondents are “very likely,” and another 22.6% say they are “likely” to take a cold call. The traditional “call first” approach will likely lead to your frustration with at least a third of franchise leads.

Prospects Give Feedback on Improving the Franchise Sales Process

March 15, 2023 – Aspiring business owners talking with franchise sales teams were largely satisfied with their experience, according to recent mystery shopping surveys over the last six months ending in February 2023. Almost half (48.7%) said they were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied”, and only 12.4% said they were “unsatisfied” or “very unsatisfied.”

The High Cost of Not Following Up Promptly With Franchise Prospects

Kudos to the franchise sales teams who reached out to all of the inquirers who requested information from them in February 2023. There is no doubt that they will be finding new franchisees, unlike those teams that did not follow up with an initial contact within seven days. 

Top Ten Franchise Lead Generation Insights

January 18, 2023 – Analyzing our content viewed over the past year, we developed a “Top Ten” list of the most popular topics among our insights in 2022 based on the readership of articles in topic categories. Along with each topic, ranked in descending popularity, are a few key and most recent articles that address each particular subject.

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 FranchiseInsights.com 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

Franchise Lead Generation Portals Drive Discovery and Consideration of Options

August 24, 2022 — A minority (6.2%) of aspiring franchise owners are already “very familiar” with the franchises they inquire about, and another 20.8% are “already somewhat familiar” with them, according to surveys of interested franchise seekers to portal sites collected from May through July  2022. They come to franchise directory sites for the convenience

The Role of Franchise Lead Generation Portals in Awareness and Consideration

June 8, 2022 — A minority (6.4%) of aspiring franchise owners are already “very familiar” with the franchises they inquire about, and another 23% are “somewhat familiar” to them according to surveys of interested franchise seekers to portal sites collected January through May 2022. They likely come for the convenience of comparisons in one place,

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

Update on Decline in Facebook (Meta) Franchise Lead Generation

May 18, 2022 — Since February 2022 when we last wrote about the decline in Facebook (Meta) Lead Generation after Apple’s iOS 14.5 release, three more months of data show that advertisers for lead generation shouldn’t expect results to improve any time soon. Meta’s own CFO estimates that consumers opting out of tracking will cost

Decline in Facebook(Meta) Franchise Lead Generation Explained. Now What?

February 23, 2022 — If you have not heard about the $300 billion drop in the market value in Meta Platforms (formerly known as Facebook), perhaps it is because you have had to work double-time to mitigate the volume dip and effective cost of franchise leads to achieve your franchise system growth goals.  The introduction

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

Franchise Leads Lagging Behind Employment Recovery in the U.S.

December 16, 2021 — In a dramatic recovery, employment in the U.S. reached 95.8% in November, as the unemployment rate dropped to 4.2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Indexed to January 2020 before the pandemic emerged, November employment at 95.8% was back to 99.4% of the employment rate seen in January 2020 (96.4%).

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 FranchiseInsights.com 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

Impact of Facebook’s Outage on Franchise Lead Generation

October 13, 2021 — Over the past few years, paid Facebook advertising has become an attractive source of paid franchise leads for development teams, given its broad reach and extensive targeting options. But 2021 has become a challenging year for this resource. On Monday, October 4th beginning just before 12 pm Eastern time, Facebook and

Online Portals Drive Discovery and Consideration in Franchise Lead Generation

September 15, 2021 – When you’re looking for information on an unfamiliar subject, you might “Google it.” But what if you don’t know what you are looking for, or what criteria to use to compare the choices, or what options are available in a geography or category or price range? How do you satisfy yourself

Apple Call-Silencing Feature Underscores Importance of First-Touch Channel

June 30, 2021 – Apple launched a “Silence Unknown Callers” feature in its September, 2019 launch of iOS 13, but the April 26, 2021 release of iOS 14.5 featured prompts to set it up when viewing the “recent” call list as seen in the graphic above. This development means that many consumers are not going

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 FranchiseInsights.com 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

Business Buyer Prospects Prefer Text Messaging Over Voice for Initial Contact

April 21, 2021 –The highest percentage ever of aspiring owners seeing information about franchises cited text messaging as their preferred channel for initial contact in an April survey by FranchiseInsights.com. Almost a third chose follow-up by text (32.6%), edging out “voice” at 30.2% of respondents asked to rank voice, email and text. Likely contributing to

Online Portals Continue to Drive Franchise Discovery

March 17, 2021 – If you’re looking for information on a topic, you “Google it.” But what if you don’t know what you are looking for, or what criteria to use to compare the choices, or what options are available in a geography or category or price range? How do you satisfy yourself that you’ve

Mystery Shopping Survey Reinforces Significance of First Contact Channel

March 3, 2021 – One thing that the pandemic hasn’t changed is the desire of franchise prospects to have some form of initial contact prior to receiving an incoming phone call. Tip #1 – Send an email or text to make initial contact Consumers have taken measures to block or silence callers whose numbers are

Franchise Inquiries Increasingly Outside of Business Hours

December 29, 2020 – While the Internet offers great convenience for prospective business owners to research and contact franchisors at any hour of any day, it also creates a challenge for franchise development teams who want to respond to those prospects in a timely fashion. And a new analysis of the largest pool of franchise-investment

UPDATE: Supremes Question TCPA Constitutionality

TCPA and DNC Regulations Trip Franchise Development Teams If You Call or Text Franchise Leads, Please Read This December 11, 2020 – On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments (transcript here) over the definition of an autodialer, specifically whether the “definition of ATDS in the TCPA encompasses any device that can

‘Data’ For Which We are Especially Thankful

November 25, 2020 – Usually we use this space to share unique, proprietary data about franchise and business buyers, but today’s insight is to give thanks for the entrepreneurial and heroic accomplishments of the people and institutions that make our economy grow. We are thankful for the millions of entrepreneurs each year who begin the

Thicket of TCPA and DNC Regulations Tripping Franchise Development Teams

If You Call or Text Franchise Leads, Please Read This November 20, 2020 – Usually we use this space to share unique, proprietary data about franchise and business buyers, but today’s proprietary data insight is that a lack of knowledge around the regulatory requirements for communicating with prospects is pervasive in the franchise and business opportunity

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

Online Portals Drive Franchise Discovery

April 24, 2020 – According to an April 2020 survey of interested franchise buyers, online franchise opportunity directories and their associated mobile apps play an integral role not only as a tool for comparison shopping, but also for discovery and consideration of less familiar franchises.  Over 79% of prospective buyers chose to submit an inquiry

Franchise Prospects Report Higher Contact-Attempt Rates in March and April 2020

April 16, 2020 – According to a survey of interested franchise buyers, more development teams are following through with each inquiry and attempting to make contact.  In April, 59.6% report being contacted by every one of the one or more franchises to which they inquired. This is all the more important, considering that almost 43%

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

Mystery Shopping Survey Offers Tips for Franchise Development Teams

March 5, 2020 Tip #1 Send an email or text to make initial contact Given the unwanted robocalls that we all get, don’t we ignore phone calls from numbers we don’t recognize? Prospects want some kind of introduction to know more about your franchise before calling you or taking your call. In a 2020 survey

New Mobile App Helps Franchise Development Teams Improve Contact Rates

Norfolk, Virginia, February 7, 2020 — Franchise Ventures released a new tool to help franchise development teams improve early engagement  with prospective franchisees. The Franchise Insights mobile app makes it easier to quickly respond to new prospects, and helps unify each prospect conversation across phone, email and text. “The mobile app helps franchise development teams

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

67% of Franchisors Plan Higher Recruitment Budgets As Economy Improves

Feb. 19, 2019 – According to a survey of active franchise systems conducted by Franchise Insights, franchisors plan to raise their recruitment budgets this year as favorable growth conditions continue. More than 86% of franchisors plan to spend at least the same amount in 2019 as they spent on franchise lead generation in 2018. And

4 Tips to Improve Your Franchise Contact Rate

Feb. 1, 2019 – What’s smarter than a smartphone? Two smart phones – yours, and the one in the hands of the local entrepreneur who wants to know more about owning one of your franchises. In less than a decade, smart phones connected to the Internet have skyrocketed to become the No. 1 channel for

Sales Advice For Emerging Franchisors

Jan. 29, 2019 – If you’re an emerging franchise, making the leap from an owned-and-operated business to the franching model, you’ve got a tough task. Your first few sales are based on the promise of your concept, not a track record in serving franchisees. Fortunately, many prospective franchisees are looking for ground-floor opportunity, and may

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

Franchisee Recruitment Starts With ‘Pre-Engagement’ Phase

Nov. 20, 2018 – So you want to grow your business – don’t we all? Internet marketing changes the franchise funnel, starting long before anyone talks on the phone or reads a contract. Industry consultant Art Coley sees a critical path he calls the pre-engagement phase, when a potential franchisee moves from being possibly interested

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

5 Recruiting Tips For Finding New Franchise Owners

Oct. 8, 2018 – With a growing economy, savvy franchisors expect that competition will increase – not just for customers, but also for franchisees to own new locations. Forbes offers five timely tips for recruiting franchise owners, starting with “Profile your all-star candidate”  – read more in Forbes

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