2021 has seen the British Franchise Association expand support for franchisees across its network and beyond
The British Franchise Association (bfa)’s annual report highlights growth and representation as a primary focus for the association. In the last year, two new franchisor affordability programmes were launched, and the Franchise Business Insights (FBI) ezine was changed to generate high-quality industry insights and human-interest news stories from across the membership. 2021 has also introduced the Champion Programme, enabling the bfa to help franchisors promote their franchisee businesses.
The franchisor affordability programmes support franchisors with market entry, for those operating at lower cost and with flexible business models. These programmes support brands towards membership, enabling the bfa to strengthen and influence franchisors during their development, averting any issues that could harm the industry.
Successful events, for the first time virtual, such as the bfa Annual Conference and awards 2020, were a huge success. The event was hosted on a high-tech platform hosting over 1,000 attendees. The 2021 Annual Conference – the bfa’s first major face-to-face event since the start of COVID-19 – allowed entry to its franchisee members, and enabled the bfa network to upskill across a range of areas from marketing, finance and legal issues to workplace motivation and customer management.
Changes for the better
The FBI ezine was changed in August 2021 to produce content that is public-facing, supports member aims, celebrates member success and promotes franchising to a wide audience. The FBI showcases brands across the membership base, focusing each month on a different topic in line with the industry calendar and trends. The bfa website this year has also introduced a franchisee members area to provide guidance to franchisees directly and present a more comprehensive franchisee member experience.
The Qualified Franchise Professional (QFP) qualification represents an individual’s professional knowledge, experience and commitment to best practice in ethical business format franchising. In 2021 the bfa introduced cohort groups to the schedule to enable group learning and reflection sessions to support the heightened experience of collective experience sharing for the participants.
Finally, the bfa’s continued partnership with Empowering Women in Franchising has strengthened the bfa’s commitment to encouraging more women into franchising. The bfa’s annual EWIB event (Empowering Women in Business), and digital marketing campaigns support and showcase incredible businesswomen across the bfa network. New bfa partnerships continue to benefit the bfa franchise community, too; the bfa and WorkBuzz partnership launched at the end of 2020 provides enhanced value through the bfa’s accreditation process.