Networking Strategies for Franchise Success

The Power of Networking for Franchise Success

How the “Show Up, Be Up, Follow Up to Blow Up” Networking Formula Supercharges Franchise Growth

In franchising, the power of networking cannot be overstated. Networking is the steam that moves businesses toward growth and success. But how can you effectively use networking to grow your franchise brand? Enter the “Show Up, Be Up, Follow Up to Blow Up” networking formula — a drastic approach moving and inspiring the franchise community, one connection at a time. This formula works for franchise development teams, franchisees and suppliers. The formula is less about selling and more about building relationships and being a resource for your networking community which ultimately leads to sales. 

As someone relatively new to franchising, I have experienced the power of networking in franchising. I’ve found that my new connections have been welcoming, engaging and ready to help. I’ve heard repeatedly how franchising is a tight family that is ready to support one another. In my experience, it’s absolutely the truth!

Here’s the story…I met Michelle Rowan with Franchise Business Review at the IFA Conference 2022. At that time, we booked a date on the spot to connect. A strategy I call, “The first date.” From our first date, we became buddies. Now if you know Michelle she is an over giver. She recommended me for a keynote speaking opportunity and she invited me to speak at FBR Summit 2023. It was because of this connection; I was able to make an impact at the conference and launched my franchise coaching business. All because I showed up, booked an appointment on the spot and intentionally built a connection (and Michelle is an awesome person, too).

Show Up: Making Your Presence Felt

Networking strategies in franchising

For franchisors, franchise development teams, and suppliers showing up means being visible where potential franchisees and partners gather. Showing up at “out-of-the-box” events to attract ideal franchisees helps your brand gain visibility and momentum, as your brand could be unique at the event. For instance, if you want to attract potential franchisees who may be exiting corporate, you might show up at an event or conference that caters to that demographic. 

But showing up is not just about your physical presence; it’s about actively participating and engaging with the network. This visibility is crucial for building a robust, diverse networking family, as it attracts individuals who resonate with your brand’s culture and values.

Franchisees, too, must show up to attract their ideal clients. They must take responsibility for their local marketing and community outreach. Developing their networking skills is imperative to getting known and getting connected. While the national headquarters marketing strategy creates brand awareness, it’s up to the franchisee to go after local businesses. Networking is the best way to make it happen. Networking done right opens doors to resources, shared experiences, support, and referrals that can drastically increase the franchisee’s success.

Be Up: Elevating Your Game

Networking strategies in franchising

Being up is all about bringing your best self to these interactions. For franchisors, franchise development teams, and suppliers this means showcasing the strength of your brand and the support you offer to franchisees. It’s about demonstrating your commitment to mutual success and the growth of the franchise network. I get great joy in holding the door open for business owners in my network. It’s important that we all learn to hold the door open for others because when we do, we all win.

For franchisees, being up involves connecting with your local community and networks. Having great energy and excitement about who you are and what you do. Being up also means you actively look for how you can contribute to your local community, offering advice, and seeking to help your network with connections and introductions. This positive, collaborative approach can lead to drastic improvements in growing your local business. After all, the more you give, the more you receive.

Whether you are a franchisor or a franchisee, marketing is about being attractive. The event is NOT THE TIME TO SELL! You want to strive to be the type of person that people will want to and open doors for you. The best way to deepen that connection is to schedule a “date” with your new connections at the event. Waiting to follow up after the event can lead to frustration and lost opportunities. 

Follow Up: Cementing Relationships

Networking strategies in franchising

After your “first date,” you can determine how you and your new networking contact will stay connected. As a franchisor and franchise development teams, you can determine if it’s a good fit for them personally to consider your franchise. You can ask for referrals into their networks, ask where else they network, and you can connect them to other people in your network. This is where the magic happens. This is where passing connections turn into solid relationships. To increase visibility, it is important to connect with your new networking friend on their favorite social media platforms. 

Following up shows that you value the connections made and are serious about exploring opportunities to work together. This step is crucial for business development professionals as well, as it solidifies partnerships that can drastically enhance the franchise’s offerings and operational efficiency.

Blow Up: Achieving Exponential Growth

Networking strategies in franchising

By diligently applying the “Show Up, Be Up, Follow Up” formula, blowing up — in the best way possible — becomes inevitable. This strategy leads to a strong, interconnected network where support, innovation, and collaboration drive drastic growth. Suppliers, too, benefit from this approach by becoming integral parts of the franchise ecosystem, contributing to and benefiting from its success.

Networking in franchising is about much more than exchanging business cards. It’s a strategic approach encapsulated in the “Show Up, Be Up, Follow Up to Blow Up” formula. By showing up in the right places, being up for meaningful engagement, and following up to cement relationships, franchisors, franchisees, business development professionals, and suppliers can all experience drastic success. This formula doesn’t just grow businesses; it grows a vibrant, supportive community where everyone is invested in mutual success. If you don’t believe me, ask Michelle; she’ll tell you. 

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Toni Harris Taylor, also known as The Networking Queen™, is a dynamic, high energy conference speaker who infuses AI strategies into her show up, be up, follow up to blow up networking success formula. She is also a trainer and coach who partners with franchisors to teach their franchisees networking and community outreach strategies. Toni is a multi-unit, award winning franchisee with Network in Action and CEO and founder of Drastic Results Coaching.

Toni lives by the mantra of being DRASTIC and teaches her clients to do the same! She is an Intercontinental speaker, international coach, certified AI consultant and 12x author. Her latest book, Show Up! Be Up! Follow Up to Blow Up!, contains 25 short stories proving that networking works! Connect with Toni on LinkedIn.
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