The main characteristics for a franchise-like program for tech startup

John Zhu Can help MVP development in exchange of sales expertise

Last updated on June 9th, 2017

My partner and I have been working on an online marketing service which serves local businesses such as restaurants.

Recently, we launched a franchise-like program to attract marketing professionals who desire to run their own businesses for long-term and recurring income. We call these people "territory owners" because they are responsible for the business results in geographical areas.

The program gives territory owners two types of revenues:

  1. For each new customer, there will be a fixed amount $$, spread over a few months;
  2. In parallel, a recurring revenue-sharing will be worth a fixed % of revenues from the territory.

To attract young, less financially-established marketing and sales professionals, we made the initial investment requirement to just $1-2K.

I like to solicit advice/comments from this community regarding the following issues:

  1. what are the most important characteristics which need to be addressed in a program like this;
  2. how to make it attractive to young, ambitious but less financially-established marketing/sales professionals?

If you like to see details of the program, click here

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

June 10th, 2017

The points that would have to be addressed for me are not uncommon to most franchises. What kind of ongoing training and support does a franchisee receive for their investment? What proof exists that the system is successful and profitable? How long has this system been delivering results and to whom? What is the size of the market territory? What happens when someone has a territory but is a poor performer? Who is responsible if the system is not functioning properly and how does it affect my clients?

Specifically for your program here are questions you will need to answer from prospective franchisees. At such a low dollar figure, why should I use any system at all and not just my own talent where I can keep all of the revenue? Why should I believe this coupon tool works when coupon advertising fails in so many other circumstances? What makes this system in any way outstanding or unique? On its own, a coupon system does very little for the business owner, what added value do I as the marketer need to bring to the client that makes the coupons even useful? Where can I see the system in use and what other franchisees can I talk to about their experience with the franchise?

In general, the one-sheet you have posted doesn't tell me anything persuasive about your product/service. It describes features only and no benefits. It does not express a difference from other products/services. It does not offer a reason to believe. When you fail at your own marketing on all three points of persuasion, I would run from using it as a supposed amplifier of my own efforts as a marketing professional.

Gohar Rehman Cofounder and CEO at ATA Institute of Engineering & Technology

June 8th, 2017