Who Do you Know in Franchising?
Who do you know? This is a very simple question, but one that can take time to answer. Stop and consider who’s in your circle that works in franchising. Do you have an uncle who owns various locations? A former colleague who’s an investor within a brand? What about a cousin who’s a franchising lawyer? And that’s only the beginning. Chances are, when you stop to look at your entire circle of people. There will be several who either own a franchise location, or work in the field to some degree.
And that’s with your circle alone. There are also friends of friends, those you will meet along the way, and more.
As you begin talking to friends and family, you will naturally be introduced to more franchisees. You never know who someone else might know. Once details are in place, start marketing through word of mouth and you will see people start to say, “Oh you know who owns a food truck” or “I know a guy who does this.” If they don’t offer, ask for an introduction. This is another great way to meet others who are within your field.
There will be connections you didn’t know were in franchising. Trust us, this happens more than you’d think. There are those with multiple jobs, or who are secretive about their professional life. As you start identifying other franchisees (or those with franchising connections), these hidden investors will become apparent. And hopefully, they’ll be willing to help you in your franchising path.
Besides, the more you talk to, the more you interact with the brand, and the more you spread the word about your upcoming location, the wider your growth will expand.
First, off, why is it important to connect with those you know? They’ve been there first. They know more than you do. They know the particulars of franchising, and it’s likely that they will share their tips. Whatever they have to share, accept the information with thanks. These lessons are invaluable and they can save you some serious grief down the road.
If it’s easier to digest, take notes so that you can utilize the information when it’s applicable.
It’s also important to have a support system that you can talk to with insider information. While a spouse can be there to spitball, a mentor or fellow franchise owner will have pointed feedback.
Next, start making more connections in franchising. This will happen naturally with your brand. You can also start going to networking events, talk to others about your ventures, and have those conversations where you can expand your professional connections.
Even if you start off as distant acquaintances, you never know when another can utilize your skills and vice versa. Hone those relationships now, not for personal gain, but to grow as a business owner.
Then it’s time to reach out to those you know. Send an email or message on LinkedIn. If you’re close you can even call or text. (Though you should always stay professional.) You won’t hear back from everyone; this is ok. People are busy and they don’t always get (or get to) every email. Don’t take it personally if you don’t get a response.
If you send enough messages, you’re bound to hear back – the percentages are in your favor. Talk kindly with these people who take the time to reach out. Ask them for coffee or if you live far away, simply connect through email and let them know what you’re up to. They might have some specific advice, or they might simply want to be kept in the loop about your professional growth. In either scenario, remember to remain in touch and let them know when milestones come along.
You’ll be surprised about how many people that are truly excited for your franchising growth. And it’s often from those who you didn’t expect to react so positively.
Addressing those you know and making more friends in the business world is a great way to start your upcoming franchise.