Building Your Franchise Community

Tips on building a strong, centralized brand.

learn more about Jeff Cheatham

By Jeff Cheatham

ipopba | Getty Images

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

How to Be a Player's Coach

Businesses that make the move into franchising have their work cut out for them. Building a strong, centralized brand that becomes your franchise community is of utmost importance, and emphasized in great detail in The Franchise Bible by Rick Grossmann and Michael J. Katz Esq. The authors compare a successful brand to that of a "Player's Coach," a team leader who demonstrates a protective nature of the players he or she coaches. Similarly, franchisors must strive to guide their franchisees in a proven system designed to develop successful business owners. There are several moving parts to building a sound franchise community, discussed in detail below.

Related: 9 Ways You Can Build a Strong Franchise Community

Invest in the Best "Players" for Your Team

Ideal franchisee candidates are hard to come by. Among the thousands of franchise concepts on the market, each has its own idiosyncrasies that make the business model unique. And, by extension, there are unique and qualified franchisee candidates that match up well with the particular concept – but you have to identify, pursue and support them throughout the investigative process. Franchises are predicated on proven business models that, in most cases, do not require prior industry experience, however there are still many common denominators that hint at successful candidates such as networking and management experience. Developing profiles or "personas" is a solid strategy and enlisting the support of franchise brokers and consultants to build these profiles is advisable.

Related: Why Millennials Make Great Franchisees -- And How to Recruit Them

Perfecting the Investigative Process

Building a strong, centralized franchise community requires a step-by-step discovery process for franchisee candidates that's easy to understand and execute. The goal is to educate the prospective owners in a consultative approach that avoids the appearance of high-pressure sales tactics. Navigation through the investigative process should come in stages, as part of a natural progression.

Establishing an Advisory Committee

As franchisee owners progress through their training sessions and into the ongoing support provided by the franchisors, their dependency on a helping hand tends to wane a bit. Which is why Grossman and Katz recommend the establishment of a franchise advisory committee, in which select franchisees are allowed to exchange ideas, processes and efficiencies in a collective setting. It keeps them engaged, feeling special, and it's highly likely the feedback provided will be both productive and beneficial to building an overall strong franchise community. An extension of this advice includes the creation of an annual retreat, meeting or convention for all franchisees in the system.

Recognition and Appreciation

Advisory committees and annual retreats are team building practices that add both recognition and appreciation among franchisees. Annual awards or incentive programs for achieving certain goals can be extremely beneficial to building strong franchise communities. These can create friendly competition among franchisees and help them achieve goal-oriented pursuits well ahead of schedule.

Related: Building Community Is Good Business

A Final Word of Caution

Grossman and Katz do warn franchisors of what they refer to as the "Franchise Doldrums" – the point in which unit growth can stall after the initial ownership drive. One to two dozen units is "no-mans land" in which initial interest and early adopters are played out and the real recruiting of franchisees begins. The authors posit that it's highly advisable to have an elaborate and crafted plan in place for franchise lead-generation and sales development. It takes a balancing act to recruit new blood into the ownership circle, without upsetting the delicate balance of community you've already achieved. If you plan well ahead for this scenario, the less likely you'll end up in the doldrums.

Rick Grossmann and Michael J. Katz Esq. are the authors of The Franchise Bible: How to Buy a Franchise or Franchise Your Own Business. Buy it now.

Looking to delve deeper into the world of entrepreneurship? Visit our newly relaunched Entrepreneur Bookstore.

Jeff Cheatham

Founder and CEO of Creative Content

Jeff Cheatham is the founder and CEO of Creative Content, a full-service copywriting and public relations firm. He's based in Dallas and works with multiple B2B clients and over a dozen franchise brands to develop proprietary content campaigns for lead generation and sales development programs.


Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change
Thought Leaders

5 Small Daily Habits Self-Made Millionaires Use to Grow Their Wealth

We've all seen what self-made millionaires look like on TV, but it's a lot more subtle than that. Brian Tracy researched what small daily habits these successful entrepreneurs adopted on their journey from rags to riches.


6 Ways to Wring All the Value from Your Earned Media Coverage

Press coverage can help your brand gain visibility and increase credibility — but not if no one sees it. What can you do to get more value from the media placements you've worked so hard to earn?


Invest in Yourself: 10 Things Every Working Woman Should Do This Year

When striving for success, it is easy to forget about your mental and physical health. But without health, you cannot fully succeed. Follow these ten lifestyle strategies for success in your personal and professional life.

Business News

Out With the Kibble and In With the Steak. The World's Richest Dog Has a Net Worth of $400 Million – And a New Netflix Docuseries Too

'Gunther's Millions' is set to unpack the pooch's mysterious fortune and what those around him have done with his inheritance.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas To Start Right Now

To start one of these home-based businesses, you don't need a lot of funding -- just energy, passion and the drive to succeed.