September 25th, 2018 by Marketing in Suppliers

The rising importance of content in the marketing mix has led to a hurried approach to creating content and sharing it often just for the sake of creating and sharing content. There are as many articles and lists of what you should and shouldn’t say as we’ve had hot dinners. But, being a keen consumers of hot dinners, we’ve boiled it down (pun intended) to one simple diagram.

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As you can see, it’s not just about what you want to say. If you want to shout about your new widget or amazing new service then great, but that’s not enough to make it good content. If your target audience love watching kitten videos on social media, that doesn’t mean you should spend all your time filming cats. The content that works is in that sweet spot where it’s of benefit to both parties.


It’s important to remember that video content is not just another version of your TV ad. Your audience has a lot more power about whether they engage with it and how much they engage with it, so you need to make it worth their while.


It sounds simple, but you can only get to it with hard work. At Transmission, this is why we spend time understanding both. It’s not just enough to spend some time with our clients, experiencing their products or visiting their stores. We also take the time to understand their audience. Why they use those products and visit those stores, but also why they don’t.


If you’d like to talk to use about how we can help create content for your business, we’ll be at the Franchise Supplier Showcase on 17th November. To book in a 10 minute slot, just drop us an email via and we’ll be happy to chat.


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September 25th, 2018 by Marketing in Suppliers

Bite sized chunks


You may not have come across the term microlearning before, but you’ve almost certainly done some, perhaps without even realising it. Not sure how to change the tyre on your car? Want a quick guide to cooking that exquisite dish for friends and family? Got a problem with your laptop or smartphone? If you don’t have someone immediately to ask where do you go? You type your search into Google and hope you find some good links. Most likely you’ll end up at YouTube watching a short video that someone has helpfully uploaded. That’s a good example of everyday microlearning.


Why does it matter to me?

Your franchisees are busy people. You’ll have trained them when they came on board with you, but are you sure you’re reaching them beyond that on a regular basis? Microlearning is a great way for your franchisees to learn new skills or knowledge in bite sized chunks when they need it most. Offering meaningful learning in digestible pieces will help you improve the value proposition you offer your franchisees. Good support will always be welcomed!


What is microlearning?

Microlearning activities are short, sharp and targeted. They can take many forms, but these tips will help you make them useful and valued:

1. Aim for them to take no longer than 5 minutes, preferably shorter. The competition for attention in our working and personal lives gets fiercer by the day.

2. They should be engaging, to the point and easy to digest. Franchisees are more likely to give up time in their busy day if they can consume and understand them quickly.

3. They are best used for skills, but they can also be very useful to remind and reinforce. For example, it could be quick tips on customer service or how to manage your social media channels.

4. Make it relevant. Engagement with a short activity is much more likely if it’s pushed to a franchisee when they need it most.


How do I create it?

You might not see yourself as a content creator or trainer, but it’s easier than you think. Here’s some things you might want to try:

1. Short videos. Your smartphone is a very portable videoing device! You can capture high quality videos using your smartphone. And you can edit them using the native software on your phone too. Or if the learning point is better delivered by one of your franchisees get them to do it and share it.

2. Short audio clips. Most modern smartphones also come with good audio recording and editing software. You may find audio helpful where the learner doesn’t need to see a visual and can maybe be doing something else at the same time.

3. Images. There is a raft of free (or freemium – where you get a certain amount for free and pay for extras) software tools available on the internet now. For example, you can edit photos using Pixlr, create professional looking banners, flyers and other images suitable for use on the web using Canva (this has many free images, but you can buy more targeted ones starting at $1 per image), and you can also find royalty-free photos and images to use on sites like Unsplash and Pixabay (the sushi image in this blog article is from Pixabay).


Still not sure and want some advice? Contact Frankie at iflourish at

September 11th, 2018 by Marketing in Suppliers

Coconut Creatives logo

Coconut Creatives often stress the importance of using videos in franchise recruitment. Based on their experience using videos, here are 4 ideas to introduce into your recruitment marketing.


It is consistently proven 95% of viewers retain more of the information they watch in a video, compared to just 10% of those reading written content. This is an amazing statistic about how the human brain retains more of the information it visualises.


Rather than seeing videos a time-consuming, one-off project to implement occasionally, consider how using videos in your online marketing can help build relationships with your prospects. In a way you couldn’t achieve through copy. Here are 4 quick and easy types of video you should try out:


  1. TESTIMONIALS This type of video is absolutely crucial, and worth implementing as soon as you can, if you haven’t already. There’s nothing more confidence-building to a prospective franchisee, than someone like them on video. Having smiling franchisees talking in a positive way about their experiences with your network, and the business they have built using your opportunity is, by far, one of the most powerful videos you can use.
  2. AN INTERVIEW WITH THE FRANCHISOR Having a video of the franchise founder or MD allows people watching to hear the passion from the franchisor, for their business. It is an easy way for prospectives to gain an idea of the culture, a feel of the opportunity, and to “meet” the franchisor. Adding videos with the franchise support team, is also beneficial. People buy from people, so you want to present your team as the friendly people they are.
  3. AN OVERVIEW Once you have secured interest from your prospects, the next style of video to consider is an overview of the franchise. Show first-hand clips of a variety of franchisees speaking, clips of the head office team in action, and an overview of what your franchise opportunity looks like in real life.
  4. DAY IN THE LIFE And finally, following on from the overview, another key video, is the “Day in the life” video. Showing a typical day a prospective franchisee could have, after they have signed up with you. It offers them behind-the-scenes access of what to expect, beyond buying into the opportunity.


If you’re worried about the cost of this type of marketing investment, the first three types of videos can easily be filmed when people are already together, such as at one of your regional meetings, or at your annual conference. Some franchisors choose to hire a videographer to film the conference, adding these ideas into your remit for them will provide you with footage which can be used throughout the year.


I’ve made a video, but where should I upload it?

Definitely on your website! This should also be linked to your social media pages. When you send out your email marketing, include a link to the video, with a screen shot, so new contacts know what you have. Essentially, anywhere people have touch points with your franchise opportunity. It is worth having a development plan for actioning the videos you want to create, and the types of campaigns you can generate to lead to them. Then you can create the right messaging to accompany each stage of your recruitment process.


So, there we have it! A number of video options for you to create. And have fun with along the way. Ideal for introducing your prospectives to your franchise opportunity, in a way which will engage them and more importantly, they will remember.

September 7th, 2018 by Marketing in Suppliers

canstockphoto50941167 hr dept

Not again! From being too hungover to work, to calling in “dead” only to return the following week as though nothing had happened, employee absences can be a pain for employers. Especially if one particular employee is a repeat offender and keeps calling in sick.


This can be costly and burdensome for small businesses (which are likely to be impacted more than a larger organisation). And it can also create conflict amongst your workforce – when people are actually sick and do need time off to recover.


The opposite to employee absenteeism has been coined “presenteeism”. This is where employees feel the need to be present at work for longer than required. We believe that this can end up being just as unproductive as absence itself.


So how do employers strike the right balance when it comes to managing their workforce? Read our top tips on how to manage both an employee who keeps calling in sick and the employee who won’t go home!


Pre-empt with a policy

Having an absence policy means that you can be fair to your business and your employees. Following a set procedure in all circumstances of employee absence sets expectations. It also creates a fair working culture for your team.


It is important to know how many days absence are taken across the company, so that excessive days off are easily spotted and dealt with.


Oversee and observe

If you are present and integrated with your team, you should start to pick up on atmosphere and energy levels. This is a good way to predict, and even counter, employee absence.


An employee with a carefree attitude and a fully-booked social calendar, which they tell everyone in the office about, could be planning to pull a sickie. If you suspect this, make sure everyone in the team is aware of your sickness policy and has access to it.


On the other hand, an employee who is frequently working late could be one more late night away from exhaustion and calling in sick. They may benefit from a helping hand – perhaps organise some time for management training.


Spot a trend before it catches on

It’s not unusual for employees to phone in to work sick to extend their weekend. And if they have done it once and succeeded, there is nothing to stop them from trying it again. You’ll want to be recording all employee absences in an HR management tool such as the HR Dept Toolkit so that you can easily identify patterns emerging.


Similarly, you can track who is and isn’t taking their holiday. Managing holiday is an important business process and is essential in preventing employee burnout.


Talk it out

Start as you mean to go on. We suggest arranging a back-to-work interview with any employee who has been absent from work due to sickness. This will let your employees know that you are keeping track of absences.


And for those that had a legitimate reason for being off? It will allow you to demonstrate you care. Your employee also gets the chance to speak confidentially about their absence and discuss any necessary support.


Separately, regular 1-2-1 meetings with your employees are a good chance to discuss all aspects of their workload and find solutions if there is a problem.


Make it formal

If you have tried all of the above, and your employee is still taking too many “duvet days”, it is time to start formal meetings to improve their attendance. It’s really not fair on the business or other staff – particularly the poor employee who you’ve been helping to cut down their long hours, who’ll be the first one to end up with extra work covering the absence.


For further advice on how to manage frequent employee absences, contact your local HR Dept office today

September 5th, 2018 by Marketing in Suppliers

suresite-group-2018 (1)

A decade of austerity has had its impact on forecourt H&S standards, with cuts to Environmental Health and Trading Standards having a serious knock-on effect for many sites.
But whilst visits from the petroleum officer are less frequent than perhaps once they were, the assumption that you can now downgrade H&S as a priority is far from the truth. Enforcement visits may have reduced, but health and safety obligations certainly haven’t. Forecourts’ obligations remain mandatory and should by no means be seen as mere ‘added value’.


Cutting corners is not only bad for employees and customers, but it’s also bad for business. It takes years to build a brand but less than a minute to ruin one. For sites that fail to comply, there is the very real threat of legal sanctions (fines and even imprisonment) or civil actions and the loss of stock, reputation and staff morale. Neglecting H&S is not only wrong, but it simply isn’t worth the risk.


Walking around a petrol forecourt, there are many easily identifiable hazards, including loose or raised block paving and blocked drainage. But there are also many potential dangers out of sight– such as what is happening underground.


Historically, forecourts consisted of no more than a few pumps and a kiosk. Now they’re attached to convenience stores, takeaways, carwashes and electric vehicle charging points. And so with more and more features being added, the overall potential for risk is rising too.


Sites with recently installed EV charging points will need to consider specific control measures, such as ensuring that the equipment, charging cables and vehicles are all out of the designated hazard zones at the time of charging.
We often come across ATMs that have been added with little thought for the potential impact, including obstructions and blocked kiosk sightlines. For those that only have a small-sized forecourt it can be a challenge fitting things in the correct – and safest – way.


It’s an ever-changing scene as petrol forecourts must constantly evolve to maximise business. They’re forever trying to keep on top of new developments, but this should never come at the expense of H&S.
Many of these issues could be resolved by conducting suitable and sufficient risk assessments. But many forecourt operators don’t have the wherewithal or desire to conduct them satisfactorily.


Another common H&S issue emerges when people assume that someone else has already done something – whether it is putting right a potential hazard or reporting a near miss. It’s crucial to coordinate with others who may use the site. Sufficient information, instruction and training around this matter is therefore an essential part of site safety.
No formal qualifications are required to run a filling station, yet there is a clear need for employees to be competent. With employees unlikely to be paid much more than minimum wage, this can lead to high turnovers, which in turn doesn’t motivate forecourt operators to offer much in the way of training. If an employee  turns up for work and before they know it, someone’s collided with a dispenser, what would they do? Sufficient training would enable a faster, more suitable response to a potentially hazardous situation like this.


Petroleum storage legislation is somewhat weaker than it was five years ago, which is mostly down to the Government’s desire to reduce red tape. One example of this is that leaks and spills no longer legally need to be reported to the Petroleum Enforcement Authority. Though I would maintain it is good practice to do so.
Much of the current legislation is goal setting, meaning that it tells you where you need to be, but doesn’t give tell you how to get there. Guidance is required to clarify this. We have a good health and safety record in the UK for now, but there is no doubt there are many forecourts that could be doing plenty more to protect themselves from enforcement action and civil claims – as well as incidents.


Undoubtedly one of the biggest changes that has come out of the recent revision of the Blue Book is the update of the leak detection requirements for wetstock management. Any petroleum forecourt with single skin tanks or lines is now expected to contract the services of an approved third-party wetstock monitoring provider, such as Suresite.


This wholesale amendment from simple record keeping may come as a shock to some operators. However, whilst some might find these expectations onerous and hard-to-implement, the penalties of non-compliance could be far more dramatic. The change in guidance is about raising wetstock control standards, which is intended to be a positive step in an increasingly environmentally conscious world.
Putting it another way, the implementation of wetstock management services can also lead to improvements in business performance through the reporting and monitoring provided by the wetstock management provider. So this is a change that is good for the environment and good for business.

August 30th, 2018 by Marketing in Suppliers

transmission logo


Social video is one of the most rapidly growing parts of the marketing toolbox but it’s also one where people are still finding their way. A lot of brands get carried away with the opportunity to get direct contact with their consumers and waste it by making simple mistakes. We don’t want you to be one of them so here are five things you must remember when creating social video:


  1. Be regular. It doesn’t matter if you’re posting 5 times a day or once a week, as long as you’re regular. Engaging an audience takes time so you need to let them know what to expect from you. That also gives you a structure to plan to so you don’t run through all your brilliant ideas within the first week and then struggle to fill the void after that.
  2. Square format is a must. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all use a native square format in their newsfeeds. These feeds optimised to that format so it’s best to plan for it. You don’t want black lines surrounding your gorgeous new film when you could be using the whole screen.
  3. Look and listen. Over 80% of videos watched on Facebook are viewed without any sound. It’s important that you can get your message across in the visuals alone with the audio playing a supporting role.
  4. Be relevant. Social media feeds are highly personalised so people are used to seeing content that is not just relevant to them but relevant to them at the time they’re viewing it. Social media puts the viewer in control of what they see so if you’re irrelevant you will just be ignored.
  5. Put your best self forward. You’ve heard of the term “Insta-Life” for people that portray themselves as living a lifestyle way above the reality. Well, viewers have started to expect certain higher standards in the quality of the content in their feed. If you post video content that isn’t high quality it reflects on your brand negatively.

For an example of how it can be done correctly and the benefits your business could reap from doing so watch this film about Visit London’s recent campaign with Transmission.

August 8th, 2018 by Marketing in Suppliers

We meet with hundreds of business owners, ranging from those that run brilliant businesses to those at the other end of the spectrum and have failed to make their business work. The common factor amongst those at the more successful end is not related to industry type, economic conditions or the fact that have some niche product, but rather they have simply appreciated that they know business success starts with themselves and their own actions.

For example, great business people understand the need to continually educate themselves. There is a wealth of information out there, from books to webinars to on-line content (and of course business coaching!) but the important thing is whether you actually take advantage of it.

A great way to start is to sign up to an Audible account, download a book a month and play it in the car instead of the radio on the way to and from work. Take the time to learn more about sales, marketing, team management, personal motivation etc. etc. …. Take that ‘I already know it’ attitude out of the equation as the more you learn the more you earn!

Another common trait of those more successful business people (no doubt also a common theme with successful people in general, whatever they do!) is the ability to live your life above the ‘point of power’ as we call it at ActionCOACH.

Above the point people take full responsibility for their actions, allow themselves to be held accountable and take full ownership of their lives. Below the point people blame others, make excuses or just choose to live in complete denial.


action power

We all know below the point people, those who whinge and moan about life and the worse thing is, spending any time with them can bring you down below the point too. Usually they don’t even realise they are down there, because it is someone else’s fault, never theirs! And the longer you stay down there, the harder it can be to get back up above the point because you’ll find a whole load of stuff that reinforces those negative beliefs!

Negative responses are quicker and easier to apply because as humans we are hard wired to take the line of least resistance, so making an excuse and blaming something or someone else because you’ve lost a piece of business is the natural thing to do. However, successful people realise that negative response is not going to work and so will ‘own their ship’ and be accountable and respond accordingly.

Jack Canfield, renowned entrepreneur and author explains it well when he describes;


Event x Response = Outcome


In other words, if you don’t like the outcome you are experiencing then don’t go blaming the event as you rarely have influence over it. Instead look at your response to the event and change that to give you a different outcome.

Action; the key message is this;

Don’t just wish your business was doing better, take responsibility to take positive action to do something about it. Wishing is not a strategy!

ActionCOACH is a franchise business and the world’s largest business coaching company. We have 200 franchise partners in the UK and are one of only 4 Franchises to achieve Smith & Henderson’s coveted 5-Star Franchisee Satisfaction Awards Status 5 times.


To get in touch to talk through how ActionCOACH can help you not only grow your business, but reach your goals too email us on

August 6th, 2018 by Marketing in Suppliers

You’ve got an established franchise business and you’re recruiting more franchisees. That’s good news of course, but how do you train your growing number of franchisees? How do you know your franchisees are following your model correctly? How do you know the quality you’ve strived for is being delivered in every part of your network?


How e-learning can help you

You’ve most likely got onboarding training for your new franchisees. But it’s human nature that we find it hard to remember everything we’re told up front. Learning is most effective when it’s implemented, and that may happen at some point after your franchisees have come on board. Using e-learning allows your franchisees to jump online, 24/7/365 and engage with essential training when they need it most, making it much more likely that the learning will be implemented and change behaviours and actions.


For example, you might be rolling out a new campaign to recruit customers and be using social media to promote it. Or you might be introducing a new IT system, e.g. for customer management or bookings, and you need to train your franchisees how to use it effectively. Tailored e-learning can help train your franchisees in targeted topics that are made available to them when they need it most.


E-learning can also help ensure franchisees are delivering your business model effectively and to the quality standards you expect. You most likely have a manual (or several) explaining your model and standards. But does it really bring to life the passion that you put into establishing your successful business? E-learning using the right mix of graphics, video and questions can really enliven your training, making it easy to digest and increasing engagement.


How can iflourish help you?

Our learning platform, Course Builder, enables you to create and publish learning content rapidly and distribute it to whoever in your franchise network needs it, whether it’s individuals, groups or your whole network. Course Builder is branded using your logo, brand colours and fonts so that your franchisees know that it’s part of your online presence. You can test franchisees’ knowledge through a wide range of question types, set pass marks where necessary and reward them with points and branded certificates.


Watch our short video below to find out more about Course Builder.


Not tried e-learning before?

You may be new to e-learning, but that’s no problem as we also deliver an effective onboarding process that will help you get up and running quickly and successfully.


We’ll train you how to use Course Builder, although we think you’ll agree it’s so simple you won’t need much training, and we’ll work with you on your learning strategy to identify what learning to prioritise and how to develop it.


Worried you don’t have the skills?

You may be surprised to hear that you already have the skills in-house to create and publish effective e-learning. We help many businesses uncover their natural creative talents. The award-winning Puddle Ducks franchise started using Course Builder in 2014. Without any prior expertise or graphics skills, they have produced over 60 of their own courses on a wide range of topics.


Want to boost your growth?

If you want to boost your growth and help your franchisees flourish get in touch with Frankie O’Brien at or on 07850 059 075 for a free demo and trial.


July 24th, 2018 by Marketing in Suppliers

Coconut Creatives logo

At Coconut Creatives, we are often asked about the current state of the franchise recruitment market in the UK. What are the trends, and how can franchisors improve their strategies? To answer this, we will address current trends, shining some light on what is happening with your recruitment.

You’re creating some awesome recruitment campaigns, no doubt about it. But the return on your investment doesn’t seem to reflect what you know is an excellent concept. We have seen first-hand how difficult the current landscape is for franchise recruitment. Let’s examine what is happening:

Looking to Google
Coconut Creatives achieved Google Partner status in 2017. This demonstrates our ability to create highly-effective Google AdWords campaigns on behalf of our clients, as we support their recruitment strategies. In doing this, we gain crucial insight into how people are using the search engine to help research their franchise decision-making process. Most of your leads, or potential leads, will at one point, turn to Google for answers.

With regard to franchise recruitment, we will typically see a steady 12-month pattern of spikes and drops throughout the year. Traditionally, franchise searches drop-off over the summer, before a spike in September. This is followed by a gradual drop leading toward December and a really quiet period over Christmas. A sudden clear surge is once again apparent throughout January to March. This has been a consistent pattern in franchise search behaviour over the last five years.



But in 2018, we haven’t seen this same trend. Since the normal Christmas drop-off at the end of last year, we have only experienced a slight uplift in January with a second minimal uplift in February. Nothing like the number of searches for franchise opportunities we would normally expect to see through Google. In fact, it appears the number of searches for franchising is currently at the lowest point it’s been in five years.

So, what’s changed?
In order to understand what is affecting the franchise industry, we need to look at general employment records for a moment. According to the Office of National Statistics employment report released earlier this month*, from December 2017 to February 2018, and March to May 2018, the number of people in work has increased.



Conversely, for the same periods, the number of people who are unemployed has decreased. We are currently seeing the highest levels of employment since comparable records began in 1971.



Alongside this, we are also experiencing a positive economic upturn, with businesses being in a stronger position to offer competitive wages to their staff. This in spite of some of the larger high-street names going into recent administration.



As business improves, franchising declines?
When we see a strengthening of the job market, it is generally a result of a growing economy, and the drive to avoid pain which normally leads to a career change, is reduced. In a nutshell, people just aren’t looking to risk moving careers, or losing their wage.



This doesn’t help with franchise recruitment. People aren’t ready to take the risk of setting-up their own business, or have sufficient motivation to move away from job pain. This is one of the reasons we are experiencing a decline in the number of online searches for franchising opportunities. This is a generalisation – some sectors haven’t been affected by this dip, so are still seeing the same level of searches.



The other factor to consider is Brexit. Whilst you may not think it has an effect on your franchise, per se, the reality is Brexit has reduced the general public’s confidence in future economic and job security, whilst the Government manoeuvres the deal.



So, Brexit has started to dampen activity?
Whenever there is a big UK-wide event, such as a General Election, it is clear to see a correlation with the types of searches being carried out. We have seen a clear change in traffic leading to franchising, in response to Brexit.



Tied-in with this is a lack of desire for some people to want to invest in a new business, and lead it through Brexit. Many potential franchisees are quietly watching what is happening with the Government’s Brexit plans. This uncertainty diminishes the motivation for people to make significant changes to their situation.



So Brexit uncertainty, combined with a strong job market and increased wages, are the root causes for the declining trend in franchise related searches.



How do we solve a problem like franchise recruitment?
Whilst the recruitment landscape is changing, and less people are searching in a crowded franchise pool, it’s not all doom and gloom!



Whatever happens post-Brexit, good or bad, we anticipate franchise recruitment searches to bounce back up again. If Brexit has a positive impact on UK business, this will lead to in increased confidence for potential franchisees to make the investment. If Brexit has a negative impact on the UK, this will drive more people to seek to take control of their own futures. And your franchise recruitment will be back on track!



So, whilst the environment for franchise recruitment feels tough at the moment, this is not to say you can’t still recruit. What we are seeing is how the best franchisors focus their attention on their after-lead marketing. You may be experiencing a lower level of leads generated, by really focusing in on how you lavish attention on your lead, you can still recruit new franchisees into your network. Franchising is experiencing quality over quantity, which in the long-run, works out better for you, anyway. Don’t lose heart!




July 23rd, 2018 by Marketing in Suppliers

transmission logo

To state the obvious, video is already an extremely popular content medium. But far from plateauing, online video is set to continue its rapid growth. By 2020 it’s set to reach an overwhelming 80% share of all global internet traffic.

transmission July

This trend is propelled by two key factors. Firstly, there is the growing popularity of on-demand video. Consumers want to view TV programmes and movies instantly, and with TV stations going online and platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo, they can do exactly that.


Then there is the increasing popularity of video-based social media. Facebook is the biggest social platform for video in the world, and Snapchat and Instagram’s increasing popularity (both of which now involve video) mean wider views of video content from social platforms. Posts containing video attract 1,200% more shares than text and image posts combined so it’s a powerful tool to not only engage your existing audience, but to reach like-minded people too.


Although it’s true that online video consumption is highest in teens and young people, it’s not exclusive to this demographic. This appetite for online video content is inter-generational with people across the spectrum seeking out content that is relevant, entertaining and enriching.


Transmission enables franchises to take advantage of these trends. We create video content to push out your offering to online audiences in an engaging and attention-grabbing way, ensuring you’re ahead of the game when consumers are making their choices online.


Of course, we could write a much longer article, but it seems more fitting for us to showcase the power of video content through, well, video content. Find out how your business can harness the awesome power of social video here: