Developing a strong community is essential to a successful franchise.

One of the most popular sayings in franchising is “In business for yourself, but not by yourself”. While this typically refers to the assistance received from franchisors, a great deal can be learned from other franchisees. Same can be said about franchisors who benefit from the shared knowledge and background of their franchisees. After all, teaming up together instead of going at it alone is what makes a strong and successful business.

Of course, franchisees benefit by receiving assistance with financing, site selection, design and construction, training, purchasing, marketing as well as other business systems.

As new franchisees become more experienced and find success in their businesses, they develop relationships with others who have shared experiences and similar expertise. Some experienced franchisees even mentor newer members and offer advice, training assistance, emotional support and encouragement. Franchisors are supportive by encouraging positive interaction through implementing social media forums, organizing performance groups and idea share webinars and hosting annual meetings.

Franchisors can also learn a great deal from franchisees on the front lines implementing their systems and carrying out the company objective. As a franchise grows and develops, there can be a difference of opinion among franchisees as well as between the franchisee and franchisor. By creating an advisory council, both sides can work together on how to improve operations of the organization as well as develop an open line of communication. An advisory council encourages communication, creativity, inventiveness and responsiveness. It can also serve as a forum to discuss problems or concerns, and also allows each to work together to coordinate activities.

When franchisors and franchisees work together, they use the collective knowledge of the entire franchise community to improve operations, increase productivity and find the success they desire.