Anyone who has read a business book has heard of the importance of networking. Meeting and developing relationships with other business owners can help you earn referrals, find new vendors, and know where to turn for advice. So, we hope you’re making the most of your professional connections and finding ways to foster them. But you might be overlooking the best networking opportunity any franchisee has.
The Missing Link
A franchise is a unique business model in many ways, but one of the most beneficial is connecting you with a group of other business owners on your same path. When you join a franchise, you instantly join a group of business owners who have done exactly what you’re doing. They’ve suffered through trial and error, so you don’t have to, and they can offer invaluable feedback. Other franchisees in your system aren’t your competitors — they’re your network and best resource.
Many franchisees forget this. Business owners are used to seeing anyone offering the same product as a threat. But generally speaking, each franchisee does better when the entire system is doing well. One of the most overlooked aspects of owning a franchise is investing in each other’s success.
Knowing other franchise owners will help you find faster solutions to problems and increase profitability. Networking done right also creates a community you can depend on in good and bad times. And don’t forget the value of blowing off a little steam. Every business owner needs a chance to relax and sometimes vent. Why not do it with people who best understand the pressures you face?
Now is the time to start if you’re not already connecting with other franchisees. A good area franchise developer will organize group training sessions or get-togethers. Don’t skip these events. They’re some of the best opportunities to connect with other franchisees. Trade shows and conferences are also chances to meet like-minded franchise owners. A direct introduction can also result in powerful connections.
We all need mentors and a community. No business owner should go it alone; under the franchise model, you don’t have to. If you’re not taking advantage of networking opportunities within your franchise system, you’re leaving one of the biggest benefits of franchise ownership on the table.