How Franchisees Can Support the Local Community

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As a successful franchisee, there are lots of ways you can support the local community. If you’re looking for guidance on how franchisees can play a role in supporting the residents and businesses around them, here are some of our best ideas. 

Being successful in business feels wonderful, and lots of generous entrepreneurs want to share their good fortune with those around them. Franchises can make a big difference to those who live and work in the area. Whether you’re interested in offering professional opportunities, supporting local charities or lifting up your fellow businesspeople, here’s some inspiration on how you can support your local community as a franchisee. 

1. Support local suppliers

An easy way to give back to your community is by supporting local suppliers as much as possible. When it comes to your actual stock or equipment, your choices may be limited, as some franchisors use the same suppliers across their network to keep costs down. But there are still plenty of ways you can support your fellow businesspeople. 

If it’s not possible to support locals for your business essentials, enlist their services instead. Seek out local cleaners, maintenance people, grounds maintenance or delivery platforms, to name just a few ideas. You could also work with local marketing or advertising professionals (if this isn’t something your franchise provides) to spread the word about your business. 

It’s usually mutually beneficial to work this way too; small local businesses are often cheaper and you’ll get the satisfaction of supporting fellow entrepreneurs or franchisees. 

If we want to have these amazing small businesses, we need to actively seek out and support those who put their necks on the line to chase down a dream. It could be a lasting relationship that holds more value in the long run.
—Branch Street Coffee Roasters

2. Give back to local causes

Supporting charities and local community causes is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling ways to put your success to good use. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Organise food bank collections on your premises and encourage customers to donate. If you’re running a food franchise, you could also donate non-perishable spare stock or give fresh supplies to a local soup kitchen.
  • Hold fundraisers or sponsor local events to support specific causes close to your heart.
  • Attend charity auctions and donate your profits to the fun items/services on offer.
  • Raise awareness of good causes or initiatives by shouting out about them on social media or creating a community noticeboard on your premises. 
  • Set up a buy-one, donate-one scheme, where you donate a certain amount of your time/products/services to charity based on what your customers are buying e.g. donating a new pair of shoes to underprivileged kids for every five pairs you sell in store. 

3. Create work experience opportunities

You might not be in a position to take on new, permanent staff, but you can support out-of-work people in different ways. You could welcome young people or those seeking a career change into your business for a week or two and let them gain experience. They’ll be able to help with simple tasks, taking some pressure off your existing staff, and get to put something on their CV after. 

If you’re keen to help young people in particular, you could reach out to local schools, colleges or universities to find the right candidates for work experience. This is likely to be particularly beneficial if you’re running a trade-based or highly-skilled business, such as an automotive franchise or interior design franchise. 

4. Build mutually-beneficial partnerships

Not all the businesses around you should be seen as competition. In fact, making allies of the skilled professionals nearby could be the smartest way to support your local business community. No matter how experienced and knowledgeable you are, there are bound to be a few gaps in your skillset that others can help with. And at a time when your franchise is bringing in plenty of income, you could exchange your help for something far more valuable than money. 

Mutually beneficial partnerships with other local franchisees or independent businesses can actually drive sales and help you welcome new customers through the door. If your business is in a great position right now, you could team up with a struggling business to help boost their customer numbers. And instead of accepting payment for the partnership, you could swap services instead. 

Here’s how it could work:

Let’s imagine you run a local cafe. Tucked round the corner is a new cleaning franchise that’s struggling to establish itself. You could agree to display leaflets or promote the business on your social media pages in exchange for discounted cleaning services for your cafe. 

Of course, make sure you’re confident the business you’re teaming up with genuinely offers quality services or goods. Associating yourself with a company that’s untrustworthy or poor quality could do permanent damage to your own business. 

5. Back community events

An excellent way to make a real difference is to set up your very own charity event. You could host a fun family day for locals, organise an evening auction for the biggest names in your area or arrange a community drive like a mass litter picking session - Covid restrictions permitting, of course. If you’re looking for more tips, we’ve written a dedicated article about how to set up a fundraising event that’s packed with lots of great advice. 

Don’t have the time or resources to organise your own event? Look into sponsoring an existing one instead. For a donation, you’ll be able to put your name to the event and make a difference to a wonderful cause. Here are some ideas of the kind of events you could sponsor:

  • Grassroots sports matches
  • School events (such as winter fetes)
  • Hospice fundraisers
  • Local fun runs
  • Church fundraisers

Give back as a franchisee

We hope we’ve given you some inspiration about how to start bringing out your inner philanthropist. No matter what you choose to do, remember it’s the thought that counts. Whether you donate an hour of your time, £100 or write a six-figure cheque is irrelevant; the fact that you’ve given up a moment of your time or a penny of your hard-earned profits is something to be proud of. 

If you’re looking for more advice on all things franchising and entrepreneurship, check out our catalogue of insightful articles.

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