Networking is a vital part of owning and operating a successful franchise.
Connecting with fellow franchise owners, potential partners, and industry leaders can provide invaluable support, advice, and opportunities for your business.
However, as a busy franchise owner, finding the time to build your network can be a challenge.
Here are some great networking tips for franchise owners with packed schedules:
Attend Franchise Events and Conferences
One of the most efficient ways to grow your network is by attending franchise trade shows, conventions, and conferences.
These events bring together key players in the franchise industry, allowing you to meet and mingle with fellow franchisees, franchisors, vendors, and experts.
Look for both national events and regional meetups focused on your particular industry or locality.
Block off time in your calendar and prepare well in advance to maximize the return on your time investment.
Schedule One-on-One Meetings
Do not just rely on bumping into the right people at crowded events.
Reach out and request 15–30-minute one-on-one meetings with specific individuals you would like to connect with, such as:
- Experienced franchisees in your area
- Representatives from your franchisor’s corporate team
- Vendors you would like to build a relationship with
Meeting face-to-face over coffee allows for deeper conversation and stronger rapport building.
Join a Franchise Association
Industry associations like the International Franchise Association provide excellent networking communities.
Attend local chapter meetings, sign up for association social events, and volunteer for committees to expand your connections in the franchise world.
The shared industry focus gives you an instant commonality with fellow members.
Connect at Community Events
Look for opportunities to meet other business leaders right in your own community.
Attend chamber of commerce mixers, community leadership events, business award ceremonies, and charity fundraisers.
Having local connections can be invaluable for gaining referrals, recruiting talent, and raising your franchise’s profile.
Suggested Reading: Top Franchised Business Categories: A Guide for Prospective Franchise Owners
Leverage Social Media
Use platforms like LinkedIn to directly connect with franchise professionals and join industry groups to take part in relevant conversations.
Share insights and post questions to establish yourself as an engaged member of the franchise community.
But do not over-promote – social media networking should focus on building relationships, not just making sales pitches.
Schedule Networking Time
Treat networking like any key responsibility – put it on your calendar.
Dedicate set blocks of time each week or month when you will proactively reach out to new connections, follow up with existing ones, attend events, or work on cultivating deeper ties.
Busy professionals need to be intentional about networking.
Don’t let promising connections fizzle due to lack of follow up.
After meeting fellow franchisees, vendors, or community leaders, send a follow up email to continue the conversation.
Share an article or resource that builds on what you discussed.
Stay top of mind by periodically checking in with updates and seeing how you can be helpful.
Offer to Help First
Look for opportunities to provide value and assistance to others in your network first before directly asking for something in return.
Whether it’s giving advice to a new franchisee just starting out or introducing two people who could mutually benefit from connecting, your generosity and goodwill will come back to you in the form of expanded connections.
Networking is an Asset for Franchise Owners
As a busy franchise owner, dedicating time and effort specifically to growing your network may feel like a drain when you’re already overloaded.
But approaching networking strategically can help you maximize your time investment.
By following these tips, you can develop meaningful connections that provide support and propel ongoing success even with a packed schedule.
Franchise Matchmakers is a team of franchising professionals dedicated to helping people explore business ownership as a career path.
Contact them at email@example.com to find out more about franchising options that are perfect for you.