September 26, 2019
The reasons for owning a franchise of a successful brand are so powerful it can be easy to lose sight of another extremely important aspect of operation. Yes, an established, well-developed system for success makes a franchise business strong, right out of the gates, when a new location opens. But it does not do so in a vacuum.
When a new franchise location opens in a city, people there may be somewhat aware of the brand already, but even so, the new operation is essentially just like any other new business in town. It must ingratiate itself into the community fabric, in an authentic way.
In fact, it could be argued that it is even more important for a franchise, than it is for an independent business, to strive hard to become a part of the local community — to overcome its potential “outsider-moving-in” status, even if the owner is native to the local area. It’s a new brand for the area, and the brand and community need to get to know each other.
Our ideal franchise partner needs to take relationship building seriously to succeed. Here are three methods for networking and diving into the local community.
Relationships With Other Local Business Owners
Get to know other business owners. Except for competitors who offer the same or a similar service to yours, you will find that, by and large, other entrepreneurs want to help you get business; because what comes around goes around.
For example, if you operate a portable storage business, make a lunch date with a popular realtor. Before you know it, your service and brand will be on the tip of that realtor’s tongue when one of his or her residential clients is ready to move. And when customers come to you with storage needs as they prepare their house for market, you can send them to your friend the realtor.
In the portable storage business, every other business is a potential client. When a business is renovating or moving and needs to store furnishings and equipment, they will come to you, if they know you. It’s worth the time and effort to make the rounds and introduce yourself and give a brief “elevator pitch” about your services.
Remember, a relationship is a two-way street. Our ideal franchise partner will send new clients to others as often as they can. They’ll return the favor.
Relationships With Local Organizations
A great way to meet other business owners — as well as potential customers in the area — is to get involved with local organizations. Our ideal franchise partner will join one or more civic clubs, and you’ll meet every week with business leaders in the community. You’ll be their go-to when they need your particular service, and they’ll recommend you to others. And you’ll do good things in the process.
Other community organizations are a must as well. Perhaps you identify a cause or charity that is close to your heart and become a champion, sponsor, and/or donor. Don’t do it for the potential business; do it because it’s the right thing to do. Whether it’s a school athletics booster club, a local soup kitchen, a holiday toy drive, or anything else important to the area, give it your time and generosity.
It’s a positive force for good, and making friends in the process is good for business as well.
Relationships With Other Franchisees
A third way to leverage relationships is by fostering connections with other franchisees of your same franchise brand. Get to know owners of the same business concept in other towns and territories. You aren’t competitors, and you can share notes and save each other time and hassle with wisdom from each other’s trial and error.
You will find that owners who have been doing it longer than you have are more than happy to give advice on what to do and what not to do.
Again, it must be a two-way street. Don’t just call another franchisee and ask for help, say “thanks,” and hang up. Call them out of the blue to share a profitable insight you just discovered, with no expectation of something in return. Chances are, they will reciprocate soon enough anyway.
And if you are in a business such as the moving and portable storage business, you’ll even ping-pong business back and forth to each other. When someone moves from your town to theirs, it benefits all.
Founded by Michael McAlhany in 2004, the mission of UNITS Moving and Portable Storage is to provide personal customer service while supplying the most innovative equipment in order to eliminate frustrations associated with moving and storage space issues.
UNITS Moving and Portable Storage currently has 24 franchised and three corporate territories across the United States. With a presence in more than 40 markets, and growing, the brand is looking to expand with the right people in the right markets.
For more information on how to take advantage of this opportunity, or simply to learn more about the moving and portable storage industry, visit https://www.unitsfranchisegroup.com/ and fill out the inquiry form. We will reach out to you to talk more about your interest in our brand, and how UNITS Moving and Portable Storage can help you reach your personal and financial goals.