Your business plan is the figurative travel guide for your future. It tells you where you’re headed, how you’ll get there, and what you’ll do when you arrive. It will soon become the curriculum vitae of your franchise, communicating your goals to your potential recruits, investors, and partners.
The introduction is a three-page overview of how you will reach the peak of your success. Unlike your executive summary, it doesn’t include extended bullet points or detailed financial projections. Its goal is to compel your recruits and investors. Your introduction should answer five questions:
1) What’s the Purpose of Your Franchise?
When Drew Houston launched Dropbox in 2007, it instantly became a booming startup failure. Without a clear concept of his company’s purpose, he just couldn’t break even. One day, he sat down to draft a comprehensive definition of Dropbox’s purpose for his marketing campaign, and the sales began rolling in. Within only a year, he surpassed a million registered users, going on to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs of his time.
Your purpose shifts beyond mere profit potential, though. It defines your company culture and brand identity—both of which define your ethics and how you will contribute to the world around you. The most successful entrepreneurs in history have a greater purpose. This is your chance to find your own, but choose well. This is one of the most compelling ways to appeal to investors.
2) Why Is This the Right Time for Your Franchise Concept?
If McDonald’s had franchised its business three years earlier, it might never have become the iconic brand it is today. Not every purpose fits the present moment. The market doesn’t respond to your dreams, but to the needs you fulfill, and those are constantly evolving. Timing is everything, and if the market is already flooded, you have little hope of achieving grand success. Use this part of your introduction of franchise business to clarify why this is the perfect era for your concept.
3) Who is Your Demographic?
There can be no business plan without a comprehensive understanding of your target market. Who are they? What do they value? Where do they shop? What media do they use? All of these questions will define the rest of your business plan.
4) How Will You Compete with Direct Rivals?
To gain a competitive advantage, you need to differentiate yourself in a way that ensures that you stand out from the crowd. Use this section of your introduction to franchise business to describe how you’re different from your direct competition. Your product or service isn’t the only differentiation tool at your disposal. You can also differentiate your concept by:
Offering an original leadership style and support strategy
Listening to a reliable group of C-Suite partners
Relying on technology to automate some of your everyday tasks
Creating an enhanced customer experience
Communicating unique brand values through your advertising
5) How and When Will You Earn Profits?
It’s time to bring your inner bookkeeper to the table. While you’ll certainly need a basic profit calculation, you should also factor depreciation, opportunity costs, and value-added costs into the mix. This part of your introduction of franchise business should include a five and 10-year plan that proves your structure is sustainable. Define how you intend to charge recruits as well as how your franchise structure will support your future.
Your introduction of franchise business is like the blurb of a book. It establishes your concept and tells the reader what to expect from the rest of your business plan. This is your opportunity to dream your best dream.