Franchising is not new. And it seems for growing and finding new franchisees that the basics are the same as they have always been for this type of business. You seek out people and get to know them. You see if there is a good fit for them and your company and you try to form the partnership.
There are some new growth channels in the world today that allow for more of this type of networking and connecting. Let’s go over a few so you’re able to take advantage and grow your franchise by finding more of the right franchisees.
I’ve been seeing more and more people utilizing webinars for networking. They often will host one every month or every other month. They seem to look to their target audience for ideas. They usually center around a question the audience has. And in the webinar the host discusses the answers or has a guest or two on that can help with the answers.
So in your situation you’re probably looking for those interested in owning a business. Maybe you could host webinars discussing franchising. But you could also discuss your industry and general questions and buying and operating a business. You could have on current franchisees for discussions.
2. LinkedIn Sales Navigator
The cost is pretty reasonable when you figure out the benefit of finding even a single new franchisee. But you need the time to use the tool Basically with Sales Navigator you get to search for people based on their profile information. So I would look at who your current franchisees are and look for their similarities. Then go to Navigator and start filtering by those similarities to find similar people.
Then you can start by connecting and looking to build a relationship. I would recommend always being honest about why you’re connecting and why you want to get to know them.
LinkedIn has proven to be a very good tool for professional networking.
3. Business Coaches
I’m sure business coaches have been around for a long time. I had one as a client that started his business in the ’90s. He had worked with a lot of successful people. He was very knowledgeable, but the really great thing was how many connections he had.
Coaches are great people to know in business. It’s good to seek them out and build relationships. They are often looking to refer their clients and colleagues. So if a business coach is working with someone that wants to get into entrepreneurship they want to have options to share with them. And you could be one of those options.
4. Local Business Leaders
If your franchise is location based then it’s good to get to know the business leaders in the areas you’re targeting. There are usually multiple associations for any particular area. Not just the Chamber of Commerce, but real estate and building associations. Retail associations. All kinds of things that the local business leaders are part of. You want to get to know these folks because they may be looking to buy into more businesses or they may know someone that is looking to go into business.
Content marketing is a real opportunity to connect. I’ll focus on podcasting for this one. You could start a podcast that focuses on your industry or on the franchising industry. Have your current franchisees on to discuss what they’re doing. Have vendors on as guests that you work with. Have other franchisors on to discuss things.
People that are curious about buying into a franchise are seeking out content about it. They are listing to podcasts, watching videos and reading blog posts all the time. The more content you can put out the more likely you are to attract those folks.
There is really nothing crazy new about the growth channels here. They are about networking. They’re about trying to earn the attention of potential franchisees. But these are some new ways to go about doing this. The Internet has been wonderful for all sorts of reasons. And it’s really a great tool for franchisors that are looking to expand by finding the right potential franchisees.