There are a growing number of franchise opportunities available to individuals seeking business ownership. It seems that for some people it’s no longer a question of should they buy a franchise, but instead, it’s more about which franchise should they purchase. If you are considering buying into a franchise, be sure to do your research to determine if owning a franchise is right for you. There are pros and cons, and there are some guidelines by which a franchisee must abide. One such guideline may pertain to the question of a franchisee having a website separate from the official franchise website.
Should Franchisees Develop Their Own Website?
Before exploring the advantages and disadvantages, one immediate question will prevail. Depending on the franchise you may or may not have to create a web presence. For example, if you’re buying into Pizza Factory, then they’ll create a web page for your location. The franchise in most cases will already have a well-established website. They do all of the work for you, including making changes, updates, and promotional information. There is a level of consistency all across the board, and that could provide a customer-driven advantage.
A franchisee with a separate website can have a positive impact when a customer performs a Google search of the brand geographically. You still have the strength of the franchise name in your advertising, and that will stand out to your local customer base. According to FranchiseHelp.com, approximately 78% of business owners are happy they made the decision to go into business for themselves. Franchise owners are part of a large group that has chosen to purchase a turn-key opportunity with years of experience.
A Franchisee’s Website Must Be Professional Looking
Depending on the franchise you may or may not have to create a web presence. If you as the franchisee do choose to have a separate website, it should be effective and professional looking. A weak site will do more harm than good to your business. It needs to be factually correct and deliver the same consistent message of the franchise to be impactful. If there is an error, you are responsible as opposed to the event of an error on the corporate franchise website.
Some people feel strongly that the franchise website is preferable, and other people take the side of a franchisee website. There are pros and cons to be taken into consideration. Ultimately, whichever side you take, the website should have all of the qualities needed to uphold the positive image of the brand.
A Franchisee’s Website Should Engage Customers
In addition to maintaining a consistent and professional brand on your website, you also want to ensure that you’re really optimizing communications online. It’s not enough to just build the website and leave it for customers to find. You need to have open and helpful communication with the people visiting your site. People may come to you with questions and feedback on how you’re running your franchise, and you need to be there to respond to these messages—otherwise, you risk losing customers.
To illustrate this, Podium explains, “one in three consumers will refuse to patronize a local business if they have been unresponsive for 24 hours and one in five consumers expects a response within five minutes.” Ultimately, you want customers to feel comfortable with reaching out to you and communicating with your business. You can’t afford to lose business by failing to respond to your customers. As a franchise, you’re working to represent the brand image of the original franchise. You don’t want to damage their brand through poor customer service and an unapproachable online presence. If you do choose to build your own website, make sure that you have positive interactions online.
If you’re looking for ways to better market your franchise online, let us help you! We offer extensive website optimization, SEO services, social media management, and more. See how we can help you today!