3 Simple Ways to Create Strong Relationships with your Franchisees

Franchising is all about relationships; and, like in any other human interaction conflicts may arise from time to time. The stronger the relationship, the better one can handle these times of disagreement. Here are 3 simple ways to strengthen relationships with your franchisees:

  • Communicate often:

In this world of electronic communication where emails prevail, grabbing the phone at least every 6 weeks for no other reason than to communicate with your franchisees can be very powerful. The bigger the organization, the harder this program is to implement, however making this “reaching out”  activity a priority will make a big difference in your relationship with your franchisees and your internal organization. Make sure everyone in your company is involved in this activity. No one is that busy that they can’t make one or two calls a day. The idea is to keep these calls light. For example: “Hi Joe, this is Mary Ann from the mail room. I just wanted to say hi. We met when you were here at training and that’s been a long time. How are you doing?” It’s that simple. Let them know you care!

  • Remember your franchisees’ birthdays:

Remembering a person’s birthday is also a way of letting them know that you care about them and that they’re important to you. Today, with electronic calendar reminders, this is so simple that there’s no reason why it can’t be done. Additionally, there’re many electronic cards services available at very little cost making it even easier for us to make franchisees’ special days a bit brighter. It’s important that the cards come from a senior level manager, preferably the CEO. An assistant can email the cards on behalf of the manager, BUT he or she should take the time to read the list of cards that go out every day. This simple step will make your franchisees feel more like people to you and less like numbers; and over time, it will strengthen your relationship with them.

  • Celebrate their life successes:

Most franchisors are very good at celebrating the performance achievements of franchisees. This is positive, but it’s even better when you celebrate other wins as well. Your franchisees are people with lives that are rich and full, so celebrate their entire lives not just a portion of them. Congratulate them for the birth of a child, the graduation of their children, a marathon in which they participated. Anything that contributes to your franchisees’ happiness is reason to celebrate and to share with others.  This outlook requires open and constant communication with your franchisees and also among your staff so that this type of news gets to the person in your organization responsible for formal communications to get included in your electronic newsletters and other more formal media to share with the entire network.

Your thoughts? Please share other simple ideas franchisors can implement to strengthen franchisee relations.


  1. Another idea — along the lines of remembering a franchisee’s birthday — acknowlege a franchisee’s anniversary in the (franchise) business — could be when they went to training, signed the agreement or, for bricks-and-mortar franchises, the day they opened for business! In the franchise pre-opening guides, I include a fax/form that the new franchisees send in to corporate the day they first open or when they sign on their first client, etc. Each year thereafter, the franchisor (CEO, etc.) can call to acknowlege the anniversary with the franchise “family.”

  2. You are absolutely right Valerie. This is a great idea. I just attended a conference and thought that celebrating only 5 years or 10 years was not enough. I thought that every franchisee should have a ribbon with the number of years they’ve been in the business. But I like your idea much better.

  3. Lizette,

    You are so correct. And this seems so simple, yet it hasn’t been “built in” to how we function. By making the time to humanize the faces of franchisees and franchisors, a layer of disconnect will unconsciously be peeled away, and like you said, will make things easier when the inevitable (also human) disagreements occur.

    Thanks for sharing these ideas. I plan to implement them.

  4. You’re welcome Lori! I appreciate the comment.