A franchisee is rarely successful if he or she acts as a sole proprietor. Instead, a small business owner should collaborate with team members to successfully promote his or her franchise.

Greg Nathan, an expert on franchise relationships, notes that small business operators who can actively engage their customers and employees will improve their chances for long-term success.

"Research shows franchisees who 'feel the love' are significantly more likely to recommend your franchise concept to others. And positive word of mouth is the most effective way to grow a franchise network, or any business for that matter," Nathan told Franchising.

Consider the following tips on how to enhance existing relationships and develop new partnerships to grow a franchise.

1. Be respectful
Franchisees have plenty at stake in their businesses, and the commitment they display can rub off on their operations.

Nathan notes that while a franchisee's employees might not be direct stakeholders in a small business, these workers share the responsibility for promoting a franchise's brand. Business operators who treat their employees with respect and courtesy will likely receive the same in return, and both parties can collaboratively expand a small business from the ground up.

2. Use one-on-one tutorials
Entrepreneur magazine states that a franchisee should consider the value of direct interactions with his or her employees. While new technology can make certain day-to-day operations easier, small business owners who offer ongoing support to employees through one-on-one tutorials can help these workers succeed.

A successful worker could contribute to a franchise in a number of ways, helping a small business increase its profits. With face-to-face interactions, a franchisee can address questions and concerns from a worker and help this staff member become a valuable member of the team.

3. Protect the franchise's brand
According to Forbes magazine, a franchisee's most valuable asset is his or her business' brand because it represents a company's attitude, beliefs and culture. A small business owner who disregards the franchise's identity puts his or her operations at risk and could suffer long-term damage.

However, franchisees can review a franchise's handbook to learn about how to effectively establish and promote the business' brand to customers and employees. The guidelines will help a franchisee ensure that he or she sends clear, direct messages that relay what his or her business offers.

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