How often do you network? Do you spend time on meeting and getting to know others? Or is it an event that happens to come up if and when you have the time? This is generally a habit that’s formed by personality. There are franchise owners who enjoy networking on all fronts – and there are those who dislike networking events. Whatever your take on it, however, it’s a good idea to reevaluate your idea of meeting and working with others, specifically so that you can use it to your favor and help your franchise location.
How you choose – and how you plan – to network can greatly advance your franchise location. Take a look at these smart tips and how they’ve helped others advance their businesses, and consider using them to market your own business and grow it into higher levels of income.
1. Keep Up With Local Events
As you begin your franchising journey, it’s a good idea to keep up with local events. Check out city calendar and see if and when you can attend. In order to attend and meet others, you have to first know when and where to be. Reach out to local entities or search online, then keep track on your calendar. This way you can keep up to date with events and where you’ll want to show up as a franchise owner.
2. Consider Sponsoring Said Events
Once your franchise location becomes established, you can also consider sponsoring said events. You will likely be contacted by local charities or companies who are setting up the event. If you can afford it or build it into your marketing budget, drop some dollars. Sponsor an event for a tax-free way to get your name out into the public. You can purchase items, or simply get your name on a sign.
This is a great way to interact with future customers and allow them to learn about who you are and what you do.
3. Set Aside Time to Network as a Franchisee
As the business owner, it’s your job to meet new folks and let them know who you are. Call or email those in your area and consider some one-on-one appointments to allow you to talk with business owners and learn about their unique skills. Set realistic expectations and determine how often you’ll network each month. Whether this is once a week, every other week, etc., stick to it and keep your connections strong to help your business grow.
4. Determine to Attend Networking Events
It’s also a good idea to attend group networking events. Whether you join an organization or pop in here and there, this is one of the best ways to get your name out there and introduced to others. Remember that you are also introducing the public to your brand, and allowing them to learn about your platform. Eventually, the goal is for them to provide you with new business; give them a reason to do so.
5. Help Others, Don’t Just Expect References
When networking, it’s all about what you can do for others just as much as what they can do for you. Don’t get caught up in over-selling your brand (or yourself), but consider how you can help you your new connections as well. This is a two-way street, and failing to hold up your end of the deal could prevent new leads from helping you out or gaining your trust.
6. Have a Good Attitude as a Franchisee
You are a reflection of your franchise business, which means how you act and hold yourself will give others an idea about your brand. Be respectful and kind, and avoid faux pas such as making overly political statements, saying anything offensive, etc. Most of these are obvious, but you want to show your franchise in a good light. This means being polite at all times and giving people a reason to trust your brand far before they ever step foot inside your location.
7. Invite Your Franchise Workers
As your franchise grows and you’re training your employees, consider inviting them to your networking events. It’s a great opportunity for them to be introduced to new folks, too. They can also share their own personal insights about the business and bring a fresh face to a group of folks you may already know.
8. Consider Paid Networking Groups
There are membership groups wherein you pay an annual fee and commit time and effort to the cause. This brings more business for all involved through referrals and nailing down professional relationships. Don’t overlook the impact that these types of organizations can bring to the table. Even if you can’t completely commit your time, consider sending an employee in order to see just how much business the connection could bring to your franchise location.