What FRANdata Thinks

Why Finding Franchisee Decision Makers is Challenging

July 27th, 2023 by Meme Moy

Many businesses face significant hurdles when it comes to finding franchisee decision makers. Clients often come to us frustrated, realizing that what seemed like a simple task has turned into a complex and time-consuming process. Here are several reasons why locating accurate franchisee contact data can be so challenging:

1. Franchising: A Business Model, Not an Industry

Franchising is not an industry but rather a business model that spans across more than 230 industries. This is an important distinction to make because most data aggregators and web scrapers work within specific industries. Consequently, the diverse nature of franchising makes it difficult to gather comprehensive data without a nuanced understanding of the franchise landscape.

2. Blurring Lines Between Franchisors and Franchisees

Traditional databases often fail to distinguish between franchisors (HQ owners) and franchisees (unit owners). Separating the two requires a meticulous and manual process of unraveling the intricacies of franchising and possessing the necessary experience to piece together relevant information. This lack of differentiation further complicates the task of compiling accurate and targeted contact data. Needless to say franchisor decision makers are different from franchisee decision makers depending on the solution a supplier is offering.

3. Brand Names vs. Company Names

One common challenge in the franchise world is that brand names often differ from actual company names. For example, the Bluemont Group operates 70 Dunkin Donuts locations across the United States. Similarly, it can be difficult to determine which brands the Chicagoland Commissary oversees. These inconsistencies pose obstacles when trying to identify and organize franchise contacts.

4. The “Off Grid” Dilemma in Franchise Contact Information

Aggregators and web scrapers face a significant hurdle when franchise unit owners are “off grid” and not readily accessible online. These owners may not have a digital presence, making it impossible for web crawlers or scrapers to find their information. As a result, data aggregators are limited in their ability to collect comprehensive franchise contact data.

5. Knowing Where to Look

To effectively locate franchise contact information, one must possess sufficient knowledge of the franchise industry. Approaching a data aggregator or lead-generating engine without a clear understanding of franchising often results in a list filled with misfires and mistakes. Moreover, franchisors and franchisees are frequently grouped together under a broad “Franchise” category, if such a category even exists. This lack of specificity further compounds the difficulty in finding accurate contact information.

6. Varied Company Structures

Franchisees, particularly multi-unit franchisees, do not always structure their companies in the same way. For instance, an operating manager may oversee multiple LLCs, each with distinct decision-making capacities. Obtaining deeper insights into these complex company structures becomes crucial for accurately identifying the appropriate decision-makers within a franchise organization.


The Illusion of a Magic Button

In today’s era of big data, there is no magical button for easily finding franchisees and franchisor decision-makers. Locating accurate contact information, understanding how franchises operate, their purchasing patterns and their relationships with other businesses requires a comprehensive and intricate approach. It necessitates industry expertise, experience, and a deep understanding of the franchise landscape.

The challenges of finding and organizing franchise contact information stem from the unique nature of franchising as a business model, the blurring lines between franchisors and franchisees, inconsistencies in brand and company names, the limited accessibility of “off-grid” owners, the need for specialized knowledge to locate relevant contacts, and the complexities of varied company structures. Overcoming these challenges requires a thoughtful and meticulous approach, combined with industry insights and experience to ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of franchise contact data.

Click here to learn more about FRANdata solutions for determining and finding your next franchise targets.

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