Let’s Go After The Competition
Local FOAs can do a lot to help franchisees who are struggling. Competition comes in many forms, and franchisees sometimes need help improving sales at their stores.
It becomes very frustrating when we invest tons of money to acquire a 7-Eleven franchise, or a 7-Eleven BCP store, and within a month, or six months, or a year we see new competition just across the street, or even building up all around us. The average franchisee will look to 7-Eleven, Inc. for help, and 7-Eleven will help, customizing pricing, reviewing purchasing on slow selling items, and reviewing the franchised operation.
One of the differences between us as franchisees and our competition is that we are involved in a 50-50 split with our franchisor, so when we raise prices, we get 50 percent of the profit, whereas our competitor receives closer to 100 percent of the price hike.
However, as 7-Eleven franchisees we have distinct advantages that our competitors do not. We are part of the of the largest c-store organization in the world, and we have a massive franchised system supporting our product offerings and our physical operation. 7-Eleven itself operates over 10,000 stores in North America, and some 60,000 worldwide, but this is not enough to make every store successful.
The biggest advantage we have as franchisees is we are part of the community. We care about our customers, because they make us successful, and we want to support and get involved with our community as much as possible.
Recently in Virginia, the Eastern Virginia FOA experimented with helping a franchisee get more involved in the community. With the help of a market manager we identified a store, and we planned a community appreciation event involving customers, FOA members and SEI management.
Two weeks prior to the event we distributed a flyer announcing a com- munity event at the store. We invited the local Hampton City mayor, Donny Tuck, who on the day of the event greeted the community. We gave away some 400-plus Big Bites, 200 Ta-quitos, 40 pizza slices and 800 cookies. The event was a huge success, and a win-win-win for the franchisee, the community and 7-Eleven. All expenses were paid for by our FOA and 7-Eleven, Inc. Our FOA members and SEI staff were actively involved serving food to the community. The day generated a positive result, and the community got a very strong message that we are there for them.
We are going to do another event soon to help another store in a different area. This was our first experience uplifting a store, and now we have decided to help four stores in a year, and SEI has committed to helping us. We decided we must do something to send a strong message to the community that we are part of them, and the community is part of us.
As FOA leaders, we have the power to help our franchisee members. My challenge to everyone is to get united and meet the competition head-on. Let’s identify stores that have lost sales due to competition and are struggling, and let’s help those stores out. Let’s all get united and compete with our competition. If 46 FOAs help 4 stores per year, we can uplift 184 stores in a year. In 5 years, perhaps there won’t be any low volume stores to help. Just a thought.