One of the hardest things to do when you are starting a franchise is to let people know you’re in business. You could spend thousands of dollars on advertising, or you could join some local networking groups.
Here are some of the best groups to join when starting a franchise.
#1. Your Local Chamber of Commerce
Joining a chamber of commerce is a natural first step when you enter into franchise ownership. These organizations advocate for local businesses, host networking events and in general, help the community become a more business friendly place to operate.
As a member, you get plenty of perks. The perks vary depending on the specific chamber but they can include:
- Discounted networking events
- Member-to-member discounts
- Instant credibility within the community
- Sponsorship opportunities
By joining your chamber of commerce you’ll get more than networking opportunities. You’ll align your business with a reputable local organization, helping you start off stronger in the eyes of the community.
#2. BNI International
BNI International is a large organization with small chapters across the world. Each chapter has only one person/business representing your industry. That means that if you open a cleaning franchise, you won’t be competing with several other household cleaners for business. The connections you make in your chapter will be yours to nurture and yours to accept referrals from.
If you take a look on Meetup.com, you’ll find several networking groups in your area. These can be especially helpful for you if you’re new to a region or if you want to connect with others who work in your industry.
To find a local meetup group, go to meetup.com and sign up for a free account. Then, enter your search criteria. For example, if you open a senior care franchise, you might want to look for meetups for elderly people in your area. Or, you might want to meetup with realtors who might know seniors who are transitioning out of their home and into a senior care center.
There are numerous ways to network with people in your area. By joining these groups, you’ll do yourself and your franchise huge favors.