Service Franchises, Sell or Sink

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3000 franchise brands are currently available in the marketplace, and a good percentage - approximately 40% plus - are service and/or non-retail based franchises.

Let's be honest. When many people hear the word "franchise" they often think of food - sandwiches, pizza, burgers, etc.. After all, that's where the 'world' of franchising opportunities got it's start. But service companies have become a very large part of franchising and, for the most part, are less expensive to open than their retail based 'cousins.' That being said, the vast majority of service concepts do require a good amount of sales effort on the owner's part in order to see success.

We're not saying that retail concepts do not require promotion and selling. In fact, part of many retail concepts - especially those in the food areas - require the owner to join and participate in a large number of community business and social groups. That is very different, however, from a service franchise top requirement to actually close sales. When all is said and done and the fine print is read, retail enterprises could safely be called: "Come to Me" businesses, while most service entities fall under the category of "Go to Them."

One of the most attractive things about a service franchise is the low cost of entry. In many cases a service franchise can be started directly from the home, or at the very least a small, inexpensive office. Examples of service franchise offerings are businesses, such as: Dog Training; In-Home Senior Care; Commercial and Residential Cleaning; Staffing; Business Services; Home Services; and the list goes on and on.

Service businesses can begin for a total that is not a great deal more than the initial franchise fee - in many cases for under $50,000 total. Being able to open a business for under $50K in this day and age is something that is very attractive to many people. There are even some concepts that can be started for much less, but it's been our experience that these have limited value and appeal. After all, what are you getting for that amount?

There is no such thing as 'something for nothing,' right?

Most retail franchise concepts require an amount four to eight times that in order to open and operate. The franchise fee is one thing, but then comes the leasing of the building or property, as well as the expense of equipping a retail space. If you want a "Come to Me" business, that's generally what it takes, and some people are quite uncomfortable with risking that large amount.

If you're a person who wants to delve into a business with a proven concept and a lower initial investment, then a service franchise is for you. Just make sure to investigate all areas that you need to know. Some people purchase a franchise with the idea that, because they have a successful 'brand name' to operate under, then the phone will automatically ring, their inbox will fill up with leads, and the business will generally run itself.

While that may happen on occasion, the truth is that you'll probably have to work a lot harder getting business than you originally thought. This is especially true if you don't have a great skill set when it comes to sales.

Selling is both an art and a science.

There are 'tried and true' methods for learning how to effectively sell anything. The truth is, however, that these skills are more often learned than simply existing naturally in the vast majority of the human race. We all have friends that possess the "gift of gab" and we think that they are, by nature, excellent sales people. While they may be outgoing and personable, those qualities in and of themselves do not make that person effective in representing and selling any product.

Think about it. Services are intangibles. One is basically selling "air," or the promise of performing something extremely well in exchange for money.

A good service franchise should have a well-thought-out and effective sales training program for their franchisees. This should include all of the important aspects of any sales training program including, but not limited to: lead generation or prospecting, qualification, presentation and closing, and probably the most overlooked area of a good salesperson - the ability to overcome objections.

Being an effective salesperson requires a person to get out of their comfort zone, come up with effective ways of communicating, while all the time dealing with objections to the final sale. This can require a good deal of memorization and role-playing in order to grasp the concept and be able to implement these techniques in a 'live' situation.

Some people have a real resistance to learning how to sell. They often make statements, such as: "That doesn't sound like me;" "That's not natural for me;" or, "I think I am good just the way I am." These are generally the same people who are not producing any revenue through their efforts.

If you're a person who either needs to find some way to make a living or really wants to work for themselves, these less expensive service franchises would be a good choice if you understand how important the ability to close sales is to your success.

If you're the kind of person that has a real aversion to learning how to market and sell, most businesses will not be for you, but we would suggest staying far away from service based franchise concepts.

Unfortunately, some people find this out the hard way. If you can find a brand and concept that you get excited about and feel enthusiastic about marketing and selling, then that enthusiasm will be transferred through you straight to your prospects. This will make getting business in the door a whole lot easier and more enjoyable for everyone involved.

There is a lot of solid sales training available these days for people in all walks of life. In reality, no matter who you are, if you want to be successful in life it's about selling yourself - from employers to a potential mate to business associates. In other words, everyone. Sales training can help anyone who wants to improve their lives even if they're not directly involved in selling something in order to put 'bread on the table.'

One amazing resource that we've found is www.optimalsalesperson.net, the program created and taught by Dan Caramanico. Check it out today! You'll find a great deal of information, and you will be well on your way to becoming the most successful salesperson you wish to be!

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This page contains a single entry by Kevin Ghezzi published on August 24, 2012 12:18 AM.

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