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To just not know how to take this franchise any further?

(5 Posts)
CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Sun 05-Jun-11 17:21:04

Posted this on Self Employment forum too but thought I'd post here as I'm more likely to get a quicker response on here as it's busier.

About 4 months ago, my DH and I bought a franchise. It wasn't a huge amount of money buy any standards (well under 5k, less than most holidays really), but it used up a fair bit of our savings.

We thought the service the franchise offers was good and would be popular, and there doesn't seem to be anyone in our area offering the service on a mobile basis as we are. The franchise company assured us that other franchisees are doing extremely well and having lots of clients each week. After much thought we decided to go for it. The franchise company assured us that they would provide artwork mastercopies, and provide help and support and help us get going.

Well it took 6 weeks before the designer would send over the artwork master copy for us to get started (we could have designed our own but didn't want to as their artwork was designed by a graphic designer and was much more official and professional than we could have designed ourselves, and in any case it was part of the deal that they would provide this). We got 6000 leaflets printed and delivered by a leaflet delivery company and have had not one single response. Not even an enquiry phonecall or email. In addition to this, the franchise company don't return phonecalls, reply to emails or respond at all. I've tried phoning and leaving messages, and also sent emails to enquire about how we can take things forward, but have not had any acknowledgment or replies.

I have also made phone call after phone call to beauty and hairdressing salons (it isn't a beauty treatment as such more a cosmetic treatment) to see if they would like to offer the service to clients and not one is interested. Well actually I tell a lie, one was interested, but said that in order for me to offer the treatment in their salon (for which they would receive a 40% share per treatment so they would benefit well financially from it), they wanted me to spend £500+ on advertisements and extra leaflet drops advertising their salon, which obviously I was not prepared to do when we had no response to 6000 leaflets.

I really don't know where to go from here. I have run a business before previously, which I stopped when I had my 6 year old, and it went well. I've also worked in telesales before and again did well. I really am at a loss as to where to take things now, and like I said, I can't get a response from the company.

Thanks for reading, any advice would be much appreciated.

Lizcat Sun 05-Jun-11 17:31:46

Just a few ideas off the top of my head thoughts first 6000 leaflets is not very many I sent out 6000 leaflets to my well established client list to tell them I had moved 400yards to a more prominent location. If I was looking to start a new business I would be looking at a Royal mail leaflet drop to an entire postcode.
When we moved we also got involved in every possible community event and got talking to people about who we were and what we did.
In your position I would be taking to the streets particularly on market days etc to talk to potential clients.
If it is a cosmetic treatment could it be worth looking at wedding fairs as a chance to talk to potential clients. You could run a competition have a few winners who get the treatment and then become advocates for you.
Fiddle with you website to make sure that when you type in your service to goggle and your town name you come up first. It maybe worth looking in to Goggle ad clicks so that you come up as a sponsored link.
Finally your business cards whenever you get asked for a phone number for anything leaving the cat at the vets, car in garage etc. Say oh have one of your cards then you begin to begin to be in peoples minds more.

prettyfly1 Sun 05-Jun-11 17:35:25

One leaflet drop is not enough to get a new business started. Get out and about to community events, see if there is a wibn or athena in your area, talk to other companies who may be working with your target audience (so if it is a cosmetic treatment leisure centres, bridal companies, etc). Consider some pr work, make calls and generally get yourselves out there and moving. THAT SAID I would be very concerned at the lack of support.

prettyfly1 Sun 05-Jun-11 17:35:58

One leaflet drop is not enough to get a new business started. Get out and about to community events, see if there is a wibn or athena in your area, talk to other companies who may be working with your target audience (so if it is a cosmetic treatment leisure centres, bridal companies, etc). Consider some pr work, make calls and generally get yourselves out there and moving. THAT SAID I would be very concerned at the lack of support.

CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Sun 05-Jun-11 18:19:13

Prettyfly, I guess we weren't expecting the business to get started on one leaflet drop, but I thought we might have at least had one or two phone calls, from 6000 flyers. When I was running my previous business, I used to get a lot of response to flyers, but then the product I sold was different and possibly more in demand. I am very concerned at the lack of support from the company, and this is really bothering me.

Thanks to both of you for the suggestions. Liz, will check out bridal fairs, I think there is one locally in August so that would be a good one to start at.

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