Hundreds of franchisees have joined the British Franchise Association recently, following the launch of a new grassroots initiative
In the last few weeks the British Franchise Association has launched an initiative to promote free franchisee membership to all franchisees of our accredited franchisor members. The aim is to grow the franchising community and for the first time in the association’s history to truly represent all stakeholders in the sector. I’m proud to be able to find a way that allows franchisees to easily engage and see some benefit from being part of the association that represents our industry.
Since the bfa was established in 1977, we’ve represented excellence in business format franchising and to date have ensured any legislative threats to UK franchising have been avoided.
We’ve done this by developing a robust accreditation framework that means franchisors displaying the bfa brand are proper business format franchisors and by upholding the highest of ethical standards in franchising.
Our community represents not only franchisors, but professional advisers and suppliers that partner with the bfa to help shape our standards. These relationships are critical in ensuring franchisors can access the right advice and structure their business models ethically. We recognised though that the majority of franchising happens at the grassroots level and it’s for this reason we felt strongly this community of franchisees should be supported and represented.
From taking the decision to be more inclusive eight years ago, it has been a long journey to reach the point we’re at today. When you have always been seen as a franchisor association, changing perceptions and building trust with a new stakeholder group is challenging.
As a sector, we’ve evolved year on year and I don’t know of another sector that supports and collaborates like ours. The challenging times we have all experienced recently have underlined that we’re stronger together and by inviting our franchisee colleagues to be part of the bfa, we will grow to be even stronger.
I’m excited to report that in the last three weeks more than 350 franchisees have joined the bfa and that number continues to grow day by day. Franchisees are already engaging with the bfa and their peers through their Facebook Hub group and weekly online Power Hours. This for me evidences that our decision to be truly inclusive and represent franchisees is one of the best decisions we have made.
There’s so much for anyone considering franchising to be excited about. We have lots of tools to help you decide whether franchising is right for you and, if it is, how to choose the right franchisor.
The starting point on your due diligence journey is thebfa.org. Rest assured that we are here to support you too.
Pip Wilkins is CEO of the British Franchise Association