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5 Ways to Grow Your Franchise Network While Physically Separated

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5 Ways to Grow Your Franchise Network While Physically Separated
Smiling handsome freelancer working remotely from home. He is speaking on the phone.
Jelena Danilovic/Getty Images/iStockphoto

As I sat down to write this, my doorbell rang. My ears perked up. Who could be here? Why? No one is supposed to be out. My cynical doubt turned to delight as I discovered a lovely bouquet of flowers sent to me and my husband.

The sender? Our daughter, who is 3,000 miles away in Brooklyn. Her location has been a source of anxiety for both of us during this pandemic, so she sent flowers instead of herself.

The flowers are lovely, naturally; you can imagine what I think of my awesome girl-child. But even better, the bouquet is a reminder of spring’s beauty as we wait out more weeks in confinement. It will also remind me of her daily. Long after the flowers have faded, the note signed in her nickname will be posted. What a joy to connect this way and stay in touch.

For franchisees, it’s not financially feasible to send flowers to all your clients, but it is possible to stay in touch and develop new prospects as we wait to get back to normal. This is a rough time for business, as we all know. Looming payrolls, missed rent payments. We also know that franchises have proven track records that can allow business owners to bounce back more quickly.

For your part, be sure to continue with your networking during this time to maintain and expand your client relationships.

Here are five ways.

Get your online gameface on. LinkedIn, website sales, and group webinars within your sector are all available. Be findable and responsive. Others are online more than ever, and you want to be remembered after this craziness ends. Engage, write comments, and contribute your own stories.

Stay in your clients’ front-of-mind. When we feel a bit unsteady, it is time to build our support group. Do this in short calls to your clients. See how they’re doing with their own work challenges, future plans, and kids at home. No selling allowed. If ever we’ve felt like we’re in the same boat, it is now. A goodwill call simply reinforces that we all want to stay connected.

Offer webinars or classes. Depending on your focus, you might be able to offer training or webinars related to your service. Perhaps real estate franchises can offer classes on how to prepare homes for sale or rent. Or, you can continue with your fitness franchise in remote classes—at discounted prices (or even free), it keeps your customers close.

Snail mail rocks. Mail delivery is one of the best values out there. Since it has become rarer, it has also started to become more unique and valued. I work with a company using “Thrive” as the title of a promotional program.

The coordinator sent a simple sticker for my computer with theadopted rainbow symbol representing all our hopes—of course, it also has the program title on it. That creates positive reminders of the company for a long time.

Learn more from and about others. How many LinkedIn contacts do you really know professionally? Why not interview some of your contacts to discover more about their career, their goals, and how they are handling the current pandemic? Maybe you’ll find a future client or business partner for your franchise, simply by getting to know that person better.

Together apart, stay connected with your customers and professional franchise network. A little growth now will help you recover quickly and take on the next months of continued change.

Anne Daniells is a co-owner of Enterprising Solutions, a professional services firm specializing in corporate communication and financial improvement for businesses where she shares decades of corporate and entrepreneurial experience—including franchise ownership—in her writings on business culture. She has authored hundreds of articles for publications including,, and Reach out via her website for more on where corporate culture, communication, and human architecture collide.

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