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Wondering whether to join a franchisee association? That may be one of the many decisions you’re facing if you’re a new franchisee. Let’s take a look at what they do and the benefits of membership.
What is a franchisee association?
A franchisee association is an entity that’s entirely separate and independent of the franchise itself. This sets it apart from other groups like franchisee advisory boards, which many franchise brands themselves create. An association gives franchisees a collective voice and a means to communicate with the franchisor. While in some cases a franchisor may consider such an association its adversary, usually both sides see its value.
Who better to consult for advice, tips, and best practices than your franchisee peer group? Sharing information is a key benefit of a franchisee association. For example, franchisors don’t always have the capacity to help franchisees navigate every regulation that comes along with business ownership. An association, however, can help franchisees navigate new or confusing laws that affect the way they run their business. And when there’s a conflict with the franchisor, the “louder,” collective voice of an association is usually more effective at representing franchisee interests than any one single owner could be.
What to look for
Some associations operate more effectively than others. A worthwhile association will stand as the voice of the franchisees through a collaborative process with the franchisor’s management. The association should represent the interests of the entire franchisee community and serve as a tool for addressing issues. It should focus on brand and franchise system matters, rather than weighing in on specific issues that an individual franchisee has with the franchisor. Look for a group that focuses on the positive, is forward-looking, and that creates opportunities for franchisees to get involved. It may be helpful to ask about the history of the association. If it was formed as a reaction to a dispute with the franchisor, its usefulness may not extend past that dispute.
Franchisee associations can facilitate franchisee involvement in advertising and purchasing issues, and in planning on regional and national levels. Many provide mentoring, training, and legal support services to members. These many benefits make it worth your while to investigate a franchisee association if there is one in your franchise system.Read More
If you have a thriving business that you want to take to the next level, is it a wise move to franchise your business? In truth, not all businesses are cut out to be franchises. Here’s a checklist of 5 characteristics your business should have if you’re looking to franchise.
First and foremost, you must have a proven business model. While a unique and exciting concept may be likely to attract franchisees, you need more than just the “sizzle” factor. It’s vital to have at least one successfully operating prototype. Consistently strong unit performance gives you credibility with prospective franchisees.
In order to franchise your business you need to demonstrate its potential. It’s easier to attract franchisees if you can differentiate your business from other franchise opportunities. Examples of such a competitive edge include a unique product or service, a relatively low investment requirement, or a compelling marketing strategy. Consider it a good sign if you’ve received unsolicited inquiries about franchising; they indicate you may indeed have a marketable concept.
Could the average businessperson learn to operate your business in a relatively short period of time (three months or less)? If your success is primarily due to a particular location, a rock star salesperson, or 80-hour work weeks, it won’t be easy to “clone.” In order for franchisees to successfully replicate your business, you’ll need all your ducks in a row. This means having established systems that can accommodate rapid growth and all of your operating procedures well documented.
An owner-operator franchisee will expect to get a healthy return for the time that they spend in the business as well as their financial investment. So in order to satisfy franchisees, your business will need to generate returns well above those of comparable investment opportunities. In today’s marketplace, this equates to a minimum 15% Return on Investment (ROI) after the deduction of a 4-8% royalty.
The most successful franchisors are typically those most committed to making their franchisees successful. Your responsibility will go beyond the need to sell franchises, you’ll also need to create ongoing value for franchisees. This means having the knowledge and expertise to train and provide ongoing support to franchisees.
Developing the next great franchise is a worthy goal, but there are many challenges along the way. Make sure your business has what it takes before you take the franchising path. If this list of characteristics comes close to describing your business, you may just fit the profile of a successful franchisor-to-be.Read More