Congratulations! You’ve invested the time and energy into finding the ideal franchise to help make your dream of owning your own business a reality.

Now that it’s time to really get down to business, the decisions and to-do’s seem endless. You’ve learned more than you ever imagined about real estate, hiring, finance, operations, and so much more. As you tackle each of these necessary components to driving a successful business, building awareness and creating visibility may fall down your punch list.

With this in mind, and experience under our belt from working with national and regional retail, professional service, and home-based franchise brands, we share with you five effective strategies for your first 60 days to better connect with your community of potential customers.

1. Join your local Chamber of Commerce. Hyper-local chambers often offer affordable membership fees for new businesses and provide a variety of ways to put down roots in the community and generate influential word-of-mouth. From partnering for a ribbon-cutting and reaching out to local business leaders on your behalf, to providing valuable writing, speaking, and sponsorship opportunities, your local chamber gives you inside access to the business community.

2. Act online – early and often! Generate excitement for your opening by posting photos pre- and during construction, leading up to the “ta-da” finish. Build a database by creating opt-in access for more information and exclusive offers. Encourage more online reviews by showing appreciation for positive ones as well as addressing any concerns in negative reviews.

3. Invite the Mayor or local legislator to participate in your grand opening event. Local public officials welcome opportunities to personally and visibly connect with their constituents. This activity also opens the door to encourage media to stop by for a photo – or video – op.

4. Connect with local bloggers and social media favorites. Today’s hometown influencers cover every imaginable topic with a local twist. Ask around or do a quick Google search for appropriate blogs and social media handles and develop some unique content or special offers you can share with them to entice coverage.

5. Support a local non-profit. Most communities include at least one non-profit organization that is particularly active or focused on a mission with local relevance and benefit. Showing your support as a sponsor, hosting a benefit, or donating a proceed of sales demonstrates your franchisee’s authentic interest and personal commitment to the community.

Interested in learning more about the power of PR to boost your franchise appeal? Let’s talk.