Making Your Customers Feel Special

The idea of money making marketing to a specialized niche of very active customers and then using that base to recruit in a viral way is new to the internet but one that goes way back in the non internet world of marketing. It is well known that if you create an elite group of dedicated customers, they will become a recruitment army for your business and become your marketing team that works for free without even knowing they are doing so.

This approach to money making marketing is not as focused on email communications as many of our internet marketing efforts were ten years ago. But that is a good thing for two reasons. The first reason is that dynamic marketing, meaning selling through a relationship model is far more effective and yields a higher per sale basket total as well as a much higher incidence of repeat sales than cold call selling and it is far less frustrating.

The second reason is that using email as the backbone of your sales program has become more and more problematic because of the influence of spam and spam filters which have made the free flow of marketing emails much more difficult to manage. Because spam filtering has become so aggressive and so successful, email delivery of marketing material is harder to do and takes a greater investment of time and ongoing knowledge that pulls you away from your customers and from your businesses. So the migration to dynamic selling and away from cold call and mass marketing email techniques is a natural evolution of the internet marketing model in the new century.

So the online experience of your customer takes on a greater importance in your marketing plan. But you will find that devoting more time and money to building a web “place” that your customers participate in actively will be far more rewarding than any scattershot approach to email marketing could ever be even before the eruption of spam which made email delivery such a nightmare.

One way to give your customers the feel of being part of your organization is to build a specialized membership area of your web site that customers must make an extra effort to become part of. In fact, many online retailers actually charge a small fee to be part of this membership site. That is effective because the fee gives your members the sensation of being part of a closed community and the revenue is good for your cash flow.

Your customers who chose to become part of the membership area of your web site should get some special privileges and rewards for their elevated status. So you might create a discount card that creates a desire to spend more in your online store only for those customers who are part of the elite membership area. Your customers will think they are getting something very special when in fact, all you are doing is exchanging a small part of your mark up for greater volume of sales which is always a good trade off for you as a retailer.

One of the big values of creating a membership area is that those who populate that membership can become part of the team to make contributions about future product or service offerings. This is tremendously valuable to your development teams because the more you “pick the brains” of your customers, the more you will offer products or services that are going to be a success when they hit the market.

You will see a greater sense of brand loyalty grow out of the people who enjoy exclusive membership in your reserved area of your web site. Make it a point to make that part of the site look elegant and luxurious. Its all just graphics but in cyberspace, graphics have a reality all their own. And don’t take your eye off of the goal of using the membership area for recruitment of new customers through referrals or to take marginal customers and make them devotees as well. A few gift memberships can go a long way toward accomplishing those making money online goals.

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Monitoring Email Deliver-ability

The world of business communications has changed dramatically in the last two decades and with it the way you go about marketing your products has changed too. In this new century if you are not assured you can be successful with internet marketing and to do so using email, you are behind the curve in getting to the customer base you need before your competitors too.

For many companies the only way to reach the volume of customers you need to reach to reach your financial goals is through mass email advertising campaigns. But the services you can subscribe to are costly. If you pay a price to deliver 100,000 emails to potential customers and only 5000 actually get to those email inboxes because spam filters are catching your advertisements first, then you have wasted a lot of money.

The only way you can really know what percentage of emails are getting through to the customers is to find a way to monitor them. That is why employing an independent agency that can help you track your emails makes sense. If that company can deliver to you a report that shows in detail and by ISP what percentage of your emails are being trapped by filters and conversely how many are getting to customers, you have what you need to make some decisions about how to spend your internet marketing budget in the next quarter. But that data has to be reliable and usable to you and it must be graphic so you can use it in presentations to current management to illustrate the problem and what you plan to do with it.

It makes sense to look into the top email delivery monitoring services to determine if they can provide you with those statistics. An example of such a service is DeliveryMonitor.com. This service makes it possible to see in detail how many of your emails are getting to their intended email inboxes, how many are being diverted to spam filters and how many vanish entirely from the internet (presumably automatically deleted by spam filters). This information is reported by major ISP so you can quickly spot if your message is being caught more often by one ISP than another.

Armed with this kind of information, you can dig deeper to find out what spam detection rules the ISPs in question are using and then tailor your next mass communications email so your message is approved by the ISP filters and goes on to the customers. The outcome is that if the service is accurate, within a matter of months, you will have what you need to fine tune your email marketing plan and see a significant improvement in successful delivery of your advertising to customers.

When you see that percentage start to go up, you will immediately see a corresponding increase in inquiries about your product or services followed by an increase in sales. That kind of refinement of your marketing program is exactly what needs to be done every week and every month by your marketing department to assure long term success in this modern world of digital commerce.

A good email delivery monitor provides two important services for your business. The first is the one we just described. By giving you the data you need to evaluate why your emails are not getting to the customers email boxes, you can make changes to fix the problem and see a dramatically higher rate of success for your marketing dollar.

But the second service is just as valuable because the reports, statistics and graphs that are given to you are crucial both for your management of internet advertising and for communication with corporate management. You are going to be held accountable for the success of your internet marketing programs. This data will help you be able to show both where you are successful and where work needs to be done and to show management the path to success you have planned.

This is not a commercial for any one service but Delivery Monitor is a good example of how they work and a good starting place for your evaluation. But be a thorough business person and evaluate the field of services so when you do budget to bring a email delivery reporting service on board as a vendor, you know what you are paying for and you know what they can do for your money making business.

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Smart Money Is On Web Site Traffic

There may be nothing more frustrating when you are trying to build a strong internet marketing plan than to see your email promotions fall apart because of poor email deliver-ability. The formula of marketing is one that you should be able to believe in.

. You know you have a good product or service that customers will benefit from and that will bring you repeat business once customer relationships are found.
. You know there is a market niche out there that are highly likely to patronize your business.
. You know that there is a market need for your product or service so once the customers are aware of what you have to offer, sales potential is significant.
. Marketing techniques should work to bring customers on board to get the sales moving and take your business to the next level.

Small wonder that you get frustrated because with all the elements in place, the problem is your marketing emails are not getting to the customers. So you have to spend additional money on email delivery monitoring and management services and additional time establishing relationships with ISPs just to get permission to push your emails through to the customers.

There really is no equivalent blockage in the non internet marketing world. It is as though you put a billboard up on the busiest intersection in town where customers you know can use your services drive every day only to find they closed the freeway and none of the customers will see the billboard. But you have to pay for it anyway.

Maybe it is time to rethink the equation. For one thing, email is one of the oldest forms of internet communications there is. Maybe it is too old. It is old enough that a culture of fear has been built around the whole spam problem and sophisticated tools are in use by customers, ISPs and spammers all at war about whether scam artists should be able to abuse internet customers through email.

But something has changed right under the feet of email scammers that has also altered the formula for internet marketing entirely. And that change may have made email as a less important internet marketing tool. The thing that has changed is WEB 2.0 which has changed the formula for how people use the internet and how people market on it as well. Because WEB 2.0 has changed the approach to the internet to make web site more than just online brochures but living “places” where people interact and the web visitor becomes a vital part of the web site itself, that changes how we might approach marketing to web savvy customers.

As odd as it may seem, email may be too slow as a mode of communication with your customers in this day of instant messaging, message boards and voice over internet communications. It isn’t that people don?t use email any more because they do. But with the imposition of so many restrictions causing email deliver-ability to become a nightmare, a shift in focus to direct marketing to a very active internet community on your web site is in order.

This means that instead of throwing good money after bad trying to fix the email deliver-ability problem, maybe email marketing is no longer where the smart money should go. Instead the smart money might be better used to update your web site, to make your online “presence” a real place and to build and then capitalize on live and active web traffic as a far more dynamic way to conduct your money making marketing campaign.

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Learning Email Marketing

Sending letters by post was more popularly known as snail mail because of the unbelievable length of time needed to accomplish the task. However, gone are the days of snail mailing, thanks to the internet revolution. For those who want to have a faster and more efficient communication system, then there’s the electronic mail.

The use of email has been taken advantage of by both individuals and money making online businesses. For business establishments, informing a target group of a certain product used to take a lot of time and effort using the snail mail. Today, businesses are banking on email marketing to do their communications in a fast and efficient manner.

Email marketing or e-marketing is the process of enhancing communications through the use emails. Thus, the use of a computer as well as internet connection is vital in email marketing. No more stamps and envelopes, and endless waiting time—just a computer and internet connection.

While e-marketing is not just limited to email, more people are shifting their focus to emails. Through email marketing, one can send out product information, newsletters, sales letter advertising and public relations campaigns. After sales service can also be conducted through the use of emails.

Email marketing means having an unlimited set of information at the tip of one’s hand. Email marketing makes Information accessible and useful, from acquiring customers through product information and keeping them through after sales service. The technology allows the possibility of connecting to various customers and knowing important information about these customers.

Most money making business cease to communicating with their customers once they get them to buy or patronize their products. These businesses could not however be blamed because of the workload required to get back to those customers with their records and other pertinent information in one’s hand. Email marketing can take care of these requirements, just at the click of a mouse. Regular communication is the key to acquiring and keeping clients.

Through the technology offered by email marketing, one can keep track of client information like the letters sent to them, their preferences, their last purchase and their present and future interests.

Email marketing allows businesses to customize their emails and to program their delivery at specific schedules. It allows you to communicate with your clients with their important record at hand, ready and available at any time.

The popularity of using email as a marketing technique has risen because email is cost effective. It allows one to reach as many clients as possible with the least time and expenses. Email marketing makes communication fats, and allows immediate response from clients the moment they receive the email.

However, those who avail of email marketing should make sure that they are sending worthwhile information to their clients and are not pestering them instead. Most clients get turned off from too much email garbage reaching their email addresses that they tend to disregard these emails. To avoid this, make sure that your target recipient will have a use for the materials you are sending him.

Before you use e-marketing or if you are already using this strategy, make sure that you do not resort to hard selling as this might turn off some clients. Also be on the lookout for the right schedule to send your emails. And do not forget to make use of sign up boxes where the browser can just check his preference.

Email addresses of prospective clients may be collected by simply asking site visitors if they want to subscribe to a certain newsletter and having them sign up for it. Specify the exact information they want and ask them to check their boxes. This way, you will know their hobbies, interests and other data that may be useful. You will also be able to increase traffic to your website.

Information that is helpful to your target markets will be welcome and will not be brushed off easily. You can even devise a way in which they can send the newsletter to a friend’s email, thus increasing your email list.

While e-marketing appears to be the crowd favorite at this point, there is no denying that it has just taken off and is still in that stage or boom or bust. The United States has made its mark in e-marketing while Europe is fast catching up to the us money making internet ideas.

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Get Paid To Programs For Wahms

?Get paid to? programs (or GPTs as they are often called) are one of the many ways that Wahms can make money from home. If you?ve been looking for a work at home job, you?ve no doubt run across ads that claim that you can make money by reading e-mails, answering surveys and trying free samples. The good news is many Wahms make money doing those exact things. The bad news is that this particular industry is rife with scammers. If you are interested in getting involved with GPT programs, you?ll have to do your homework and take special precautions to protect yourself and your computer.

It should be noted that very few people make full time income from GPT programs. Like mystery shopping, GPT should be used as a supplemental income source at best. For many Wahms, the GPT programs are a fun and easy way to earn some extra money when they need it. People who have experience with the programs recommend that you never rely on GPT to pay your monthly bills. But they can be a perfect solution to earn money for a special occasion or holiday shopping.

Just what are GPT programs? They fall into three basic categories: get paid to read e-mail, get paid to fill out surveys and get paid to try products. Each type has its own pros and cons. Before you start any GPT program, you should take some steps to protect your personal information. You will be required to give your personal information for many of these programs and the less you actually say about yourself the better.

To start you should register a separate e-mail address for your GPT purposes. Many programs can result in a lot of spam mail, so you?ll want to keep your main e-mail address separate. You can also register with NetZero to get a free voicemail inbox and private phone number. This is helpful in keeping your home phone free of telemarketing calls.

Get paid to read e-mail programs will pay you a few cents for receiving e-mail and clicking on links. Normally these e-mails offer special deals on products or encourage you to sign up for programs. Sometimes, depending on the e-mail program , you will get more money or ?points? if you try the offer. You are not obligated to try the offers, and will get paid a small amount just for clicking on the link inside of the e-mail. There are many popular paid e-mail companies. Do some research before you sign up for a program to make sure that people are actually getting paid. Try not to sign up for too many programs at once or your GPT e-mail address will be swamped.

Getting paid to fill out surveys works in a similar way. You will sign up for a survey program and then fill out some personal information. You will be matched to surveys that are looking for the opinions of people in your income bracket, of your age or one of several different qualification factors. Depending on the company, you will get paid per survey, or completing surveys will earn you points that can later be redeemed. Just as with get paid to read e-mail programs, do research on survey companies before you sign up. There are hundreds out there but only a handful are worth the time and effort.

Finally there are get paid to try products programs. These programs pay significantly more than the other GPT programs. However, you will be required to pay anywhere from $1 to $10 to try the products. When you use these kinds of programs, you have to be careful to take complete records of what you will be receiving and when you need to cancel service or return the item. Most of the time you will be registered for recurring billing for a monthly service, which can be cancelled within the initial 7 to 14 days. You can call the companies and cancel the service, yet still be paid for signing up for the GPT program.

Remember that GPT programs are a great way to supplement income but are not something to be relied on for monthly bills.

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Make Money Writing Articles: Scams To Avoid

Are you looking to make money writing articles online? If you are, you need to be cautious. Unfortunately, there are a number of scams that target this amazing work-at-home opportunity.

One of the many scams you will come across online involves taking your articles and running. This leaves you with hours unpaid. There is a way that you can prevent this from happening to you. For new projects, most legitimate clients will want to start out small, to gauge your writing skills. This may involve getting a $100 project to start with. Be cautious of someone who wants you to do a $1,000 project the first time. You don?t have to turn it down, but offer yourself protection. Require a small amount of payment upfront or at the halfway point. If you aren?t paid, don?t finish the work.

As for what you can do if someone you meet online takes your articles and runs, remember that you retain the rights to your articles. If you were not paid, you still legally own the articles in question. You can use other methods to make money, so that you aren?t faced with a total loss. Post them on revenue sharing websites, where you receive a page view bonus. Since the scammer may have already posted your articles online, take the time to rewrite them. Yes, this isn?t fair, but it does provide you with protection

There is another approach that you can take that involves taking action. Look for your articles online. If they are saved on your computer, copy two sentences and enter them into a search engine. Find the website and determine who the web-hosting is through. Contact the company. If advertisements are displayed, contact those advertisers. These companies do not always want their names associated with illegally obtain content, so they may require it to be removed or the scammer may have their accounts disabled.

Another scam involves having you pay to get article writing projects. Yes, there are legitimate companies that require you to pay a small monthly fee, like $10, but you shouldn?t have to. There are legitimate article writing opportunities online where you are paid to write, not the other way around.

In keeping with paying a fee, bidding websites are a method of finding article writing projects. These websites have projects listed that you can bid on. The buyer will then choose who he or she wants to work with. You are charged a fee for using this website, but it is usually just a percentage of your profits, not always a monthly fee. %link3# that offer you protection, such as guaranteeing that you will be paid as long as you completed the work, makes this fee more than worth it.

Getting your personal information and using it for identity theft is another article writing scam that you may find online. Many companies do need your personal information, such as your full name, address, and even your social security number. However, some scammers are trying to capitalize on this. Legitimate revenue sharing websites will ask for your personal information upfront. If you do not know for sure if the website in question is legitimate, ask around online or perform a standard internet search.

As a recap, there are a number of scams that target those looking to make money by writing articles online. With that said, don?t let these scams stop you from making money, as writing articles for pay can be and usually is a legitimate work-at-home opportunity.

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How To Use Articles As Blog Postings

Do you write your own articles? If so, you may add these articles to your website as content. Did you know there is more that you can do with them? There is. You can use these articles as blog postings as well.

In addition to writing your own articles, you can also outsource the writing. Outsourced articles are articles that you paid another writer to compose for you. Since you want to get the most value for your money, you may be wondering what you can do with those outsourced articles. You do have a number of different options, but you should closely examine blog postings.

As nice as it is to hear that you can use articles you wrote or outsourced on a blog, you may be looking for more information. Why should you do so? How is the best way to get started?

In terms of why, blogs are increasing in popularity. More people are starting to write them and more people are starting to read them. Are you a webmaster who sells a product or relies on income generated from advertisements and affiliate programs? Do you currently have a blog that accompanies your website? If not, you should. Blogs can be used as an internet marketing tool.

In addition to accompanying a niche website, blogs can make money on their own. There a numerous pay for post companies online. This is where you write a blog post around the product or company that you are assigned to. You can also make money through with the use of advertisements and affiliate programs. Typically, it is recommended that you sell a product through a website, but you can list your product or service available for sale through a blog as well.

Now that you know why you should have a blog or how you can make money through one, you may be curious how articles come into play. Some of the most popular blogs on the internet get updated multiple times a day. On that same note, these are often professional bloggers. If you want to make money blogging, but don?t have the time to write each of your blog posts or update on a daily basis, you can outsource the writing. However, if you have the time to write your own blog posts, do so.

When outsourcing writing for a blog, many wonder what approach they should take. Should you inform writers of the blog or should you request traditional articles? The decision is yours to make, but you may have better luck with ordering articles. Articles are longer than blog postings. This means that you can divide an article into two, three, or even four different blog posts. For your blog titles, simply just label them as being Part 1, Part 2, and so forth. This approach gets you a better value for your money.

As previously stated, you can create a blog that accompanies an existing website. If that is the case, make sure the two themes match up. For example, if your website sells computer software, have your blog focus on the same subject. Blog postings can outline tips to shop for computer software, the importance of comparing prices, and popular software programs can be reviewed. After each blog posting, you will want to create a link to your website. If readers like what you have to say, they may visit your website to see what you have available for sale.

On the other hand, if you are looking to make money through blogging, by way of advertisements and affiliate programs, you can use any articles that you want. With that said, blogs that have one specific theme tend the work the best. Your income potential increases when you have targeted advertisements on your website. Targeted ads are difficult to come by if you cover a wide range of topics. So, stick with a theme, but remember that you can create as many blogs as you want.

One question that many have is hosting. There are a number of free blogging companies online. Blogger and WordPress are the two most popular. WordPress is nice, but you are not allowed to display advertisements when using a free blog. This means that you must purchase a web hosting plan and host your blog elsewhere. If you want to use blogging as a way to generate traffic to your website, a free blog from Blogger may be okay.

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4 Strategies You Can Use To Build Momentum For Home Business Right Away

Be honest with yourself. Are you one of those people that believe that you just don?t have the time to get your home business up and running? You?re not alone. Many people I talk to claim they have too much to do and not enough time to do it. They wind up defeating themselves and their business looses momentum and suffers.

Full time jobs, family obligations, maintaining health and too many other distractions are the main reasons for not building momentum for their business. You can wind up feeling that your life is spent catering to every one else?s obligations.

However, I have some good news! You can find and maximize time to build momentum for your home business. All you need is to find time and commit to use that time for your home business only. Try the following strategies to make your home based business flourish.

Document Your Daily Routine

The first thing you will need to do find a quiet place and write down your schedule. Document the start and end time on events like getting ready for work, driving your kids to school, your commute to your day job, gym time and any other weekly commitments you have. Don?t forget to include weekends and family time (this is most important).

After completing this exercise you should have a good visual of what your work week looks like. You should see openings in your week. Make your goal easy: try to find two hours you can commit to spend on your business. You should be able to re-prioritize some time.

Stay with the Schedule You Created and Re-Evaluate

The next thing you need to do is stick with your schedule. This can be tough because you are creating a new habit. Once you get the hang of your new routine, you should always re-evaluate your schedule. You may be able to find more time to spend on your home business.

Sticking with your schedule means you need to discipline yourself to work. This means that you have to find a way after work, after little league games, after dinner and after putting the kids to bed.

Don?t Forget Your Family.

Spending time with my family is always a top priority for me. I have young children so I try to focus on the business when my kids are in bed. I find that using the evening hours is best for me to spend on my home business. It seems to be the most quite part of the day.

If you have to use your family time to spend on your business, make sure you communicate with your family so they have an expectation of what you are doing. However, I would recommend that you set a time limit so you can spend that time you want with your family. This will provide balance for you.

Embrace Distractions

As we all know life also throws us off schedule. Try your best to embrace that fact instead of fighting it. If your child stays up late, focus on helping your child quiet down and go to sleep. Try not to focus on what you could be doing. Don?t worry. The work will still be there when you are ready.

If you have to stay late at your day job, then choose to work late. Usually, you?ll find that it is better just to focus on one thing at a time. You?ll be more efficient and effective. Having a clear and guilt free mind while working on your business is most productive.

To handle new ideas that can distract you while you are working, keep an MP3 Recorder handy so if an idea comes up you can record it or write down the idea in a notebook. You can always prioritize those thoughts at a later time. You will also find that you are using less energy dealing with distractions instead of fighting them.

So there is good news when it comes to finding time to work on your own business. Don?t despair and don?t get frustrated. Just remember that you have total control of your time and you alone can change your habits to build your businesses momentum.

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4 Steps To Making Your Home Business A True Automated System

You hear it al the time if you have been involved or are involved in the home business or internet business industry:

?You need a system to succeed.?

I like to take this a step further. You not only need a ?system?, but in order to get the most out of your home business opportunity, you need to have an Automated System. To take that even one step further, your Automated System must hit your prospects from EVERY angle in order to achieve the highest levels of prosperity.

Here are four techniques that if used on all of your prospects WILL increase your earnings with ANY home or internet business opportunity.

Step 1: Create a ?capture? or ?squeeze? page.

Even if you have no idea what this is, you have almost certainly seen a capture page and even been ?captured by one. A capture page is simply a page that is set up to give some brief information about a product or service, but then requires the prospect to enter their info to get the full details. It is often a teaser or hyped up page to get the prospect to want to know more. The most effective capture pages touch on the prospects personal or financial needs compelling them to find out more by filling in their information. Once they do, you own their information for life and can continue to follow up with them or contact them about other offers of services you have no, or develop in the future. Capture pages are a MUST to start building your list that you will be able to promote any product or service. A great program that allows even the most novice person to create capture pages in minutes is Lead Page Generator.

Special note: NEVER LOSE YOUR LIST OF CAPTURED NAMES, ADDRESSES, EMAILS, ETC.

Those that are highly successful in any home business or internet opportunity have a list of thousands that they have built over the years. Any time they have a new product, service or opportunity to promote they send it out to their list first. This gives you a big head start and if your products, services and opportunities have been successful in the past, your list will follow you everywhere.

This all leads into the second technique to creating a totally automated system, email auto responders.

Step 2: Follow up with prospects via email

This is the easiest and most recognizable form of follow up. When creating a capture page, all you have to do is tie the information form into an auto responder. This can be done very easily using services such as aweber. Now, when a prospect fills in their information, you not only get to keep their information for your list, but now you can follow up with them daily, weekly, monthly without having to lift a finger. Of course, you have to write your email follow up messages ahead of time, but once you have them completed, you are following up with your prospects over and over while doing no additional work.

While email is a nice tool to make your system automated, it is far too often the ONLY tool people use. This is a huge mistake. Fact is, that email follow up and marketing is becoming far less effective due to spam laws and people filtering their email accounts.

In order to reach as many people as possible, you need to come at them from different angles.

Step 3: Follow up with a voice broadcasting system

Voice broadcasting gives you yet another method of following up with prospects. It is an awesome tool and as of late has been sort of the ?new email.? Because email is getting caught by filters and spam control features, it is necessary to try and reach prospects using other methods. Outside of email, voice broadcasting is the easiest and least expensive means of following up. In addition, voice broadcasting can keep your system totally automated. You can record a simple message or series of messages, collect the prospects phone number on your capture page and then simply set up your voice broadcasting software to call them once, weekly, monthly or whatever you choose. There are lots of services to use out there. Goldcalling, voiceshot, probuilderplus, and protus are just a few.

Step 4: Postcard follow up

Direct mail is by far the most forgotten means of follow up, but often the most effective. Postcards are a terrific way to make sure that your prospects hear form you. By simply collecting their mailing info on your capture page, you have set yourself up to use an incredible tool that will definitely help increase your sales and income.

There are a couple of services that allow you to set up a direct mail campaign to work just like an email auto responder. The best service in my opinion is PostCardAutoresponder.com. You can input a prospects mailing address and set up a campaign that will send them a postcard once, twice, weekly, monthly, or whatever you choose. Just set it up once and forget it. You can contact a prospect for an entire year on autopilot . You can even create custom postcards for any business , service or opportunity.

If you use that simple 4 step plan to create an automated system for your business, you will definitely increase sales and income. Plus, you will not only have an automated system that works for you while you are doing the things you enjoy, but it will be one that contacts prospects from every angle so they are sure to get your message early and often. Remember, it is not always enough just to have a system. You need to have an automated system that you can plug each prospect into that will run itself while you focus on building your business.

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38 Top Questions To Ask Franchisors Word Count:

Buying a Franchise is a huge step, just like buying any business.

The best part about a franchise, though, is that you should expect a great track record and the answers to any and all questions you have, because the franchisor should have been there and done it all before!

This article will give you plenty of questions to ask.

NB: You may have to sign Non-Disclosure documents and actually apply for a Franchise before you can get answers to some (but certainly not all) of these questions. If you find a franchisor is reluctant to answer these questions, that should tell you something, shouldn’t it?

1. Is the Franchisor a Member of the Franchise Council of Australia?

2. Does the Franchise comply fully with FCA Code of Conduct and Member Standards in all regards?

These two requirements are compulsory for membership of the FCA, so you can be assured that if they are an FCA Member, they have already been vetted for compliance with these.

NB: Membership is optional – if Franchisors are members, it may provide a degree of credibility, however, many good Franchisors are not members of the FCA.

3. Was the Business successfully piloted (run as business) by the Franchisor?

4. How long has the Franchise been in operation?

5. How many franchises have been sold?

6. How many franchises are company owned?

7. How many Franchises are there in active operation?

8. How many franchisees have sold their franchise as an ongoing concern?

9. How many active franchisees consistently meet franchise revenue and profit projections?

10. How many legal suits have been lodged by franchisees against franchisor?

11. How many Franchisee council meetings have been held in last 12 months?

12. What marketing is generated by Franchisor?

13. What level of Training is provided?

14. What level of ongoing support is provided?

15. How is training and support provided?

16. What is the makeup of the head office team?

17. What are the Customer profiles?

18. Time and lifestyle outcomes (5 days a week, 7 days a week, etc.)?

19. Is employment of staff required?

20. What guarantees are offered if any, regarding:

a) Marketing

b) Income support

c) Business generation

d) Franchise buyback

21. Can you speak with as many franchisees as you want, and will they give you some contact names and numbers?

22. When you have spoken to a Franchisee with less than 12 months in the franchise, get them to give a rating out of 5, where 5 is highest, 1 is lowest about:

a) Marketing support
b) Level of ongoing Support
c) Level and quality of Training
d) Business generation as a result of franchisor marketing
e) General satisfaction

23. When you have spoken to a Franchisee with more than 12 months in the franchise, get them to give a rating out of 5, where 5 is highest, 1 is lowest about:

a) Marketing support
b) Level of ongoing Support
c) Level and quality of Training
d) Business generation as a result of franchisor marketing
e) General satisfaction

24. Will the Franchisor provide vendor finance or assist with finance (ask if you will require financial assistance)?

25. Is the market for the services or products likely to grow in the future?

26. What market share does the franchise have / how strong is the competition?

27. Is it easy for competitors to start up alternative franchises?

28. What market awareness (branding) does the franchise have in their marketplace?

29. Are they the leading player in the sector?

30. What is their competitive advantage?

31. Is their competitive advantage unique or can it be easily copied?

32. Are they first mover in their industry?

33. What innovations has the Franchisor made in the business model over the past 12 months to stay ahead of competition?

34. Will the business grow in value as business grows?

35. Will I be able to sell my online business?

36. Has there been franchisees who sold out for a money making profit?

37. Is there an exit strategy (sale, employee buyout, company buyback, etc) in the Franchise system for me to get out of the franchise?

38. How many days a week will I have to work?

Hopefully, these questions made you think a bit harder about the franchising opportunities available. But if you just haven?t got the time to make contact and ask all those questions, simply go to the website to sort the sheep from the goats.

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