New processes and templates make it easy for owners to cross-promote brands. Discover creative ways to save time and resources—and increase business.
It’s all about generating value to shop owners and customers.
That’s the mission Derrick Biggs is on as Neighborly shares business development practices that are being implemented by franchisees.Biggs is the Neighborly brand manager who focuses on “multi-branding opportunities that unite all 14 franchise brands into one customer-facing program.”
"Neighborly makes us more competitive," Biggs says. A combination of newly implemented software and existing processes to help entrepreneurs with business development while building customers’ trust.
Technology and templates
Neighborly’s recent Reunion event featured panel discussions around the Find-A-Neighbor software. Owners simply enter their ZIP code to view a map with all the local Neighborly brands. “They can export the contact information and reach out to other owners,” Biggs says.
In the past, many franchisees were “stuck” on how best to initiate conversations with their counterparts. “People were asking how to ‘get off the ground’ with introductions. Now we have email templates to get things moving. They don’t have to spend time re-creating messages.”
The next step is for owners to strategize a referral plan in person. In Spokane, Washington, one of The Grounds Guys franchisees recently started a new group. They gather at a local restaurant and follow up later with productive conversations.
Related: When do you find time to market your business?
“One brand educates the other about tactics and best practices,” Biggs says. “They talk about how to follow through with local marketing opportunities and philanthropy.”
For example, if a Mr. Appliance technician spots a plumbing issue while on a job, he can recommend a nearby Mr. Rooter shop. "Homeowners appreciate the referral, which builds trust and loyalty," Biggs says.
Franchise owners also offer incentives to staffers when a referral is made and the job order is completed. Proprietors in a San Antonio group track activities and offer technicians a finder’s fee. “They announce the results in meetings, which creates a buzz,” Biggs says.
Another way owners market efficiently is by collaborating on leave-behinds. “If you have eight shops in a local area who invest in a magnet, there are multiple brands on one piece, which multiplies the marketing opportunity for all,” Biggs says.
Similarly, franchisees can collaborate on spring and fall home shows, which are popular in the trades. Still, those gatherings require a sizeable commitment for owners, who have to assemble and staff a branded booth and provide giveaways while running the office.
“Brands that split the costs and time,” Biggs says, “can save resources and still have an effective presence in the community without losing three days out of the shop.”
Biggs says a willingness to maximize the local Neighborly network can lead to new business and free up precious time.