Standing still is not an option at the British Franchise Association
As well as being the voice of ethical franchising since 1977, the British Franchise Association provides franchisors, franchisees and professional advisers with a range of services and takes part in a number of activities we hope contribute to their future prosperity.
And as a forward-thinking organisation, they’re under constant review.
Setting high standards
While standards are one of the biggest reasons franchisors undergo our accreditation to become members, they can also become one of the biggest barriers to some brands joining. As a result, the bfa has been working hard to ensure the joining process is one of collaboration, partnership and support.
It’s critical for the success of the industry that franchisors don’t feel intimidated by the process and view the opportunity to review and strengthen existing systems as a positive step.
Committing to operate as an ethical franchisor and maintaining that relationship is a big statement to make to a network and one we know increases brand value in the long run.
Once a franchise has joined the bfa, there are some important ongoing mechanisms to help it navigate the ups and downs of franchising, so we’re proud to now include a franchisee satisfaction survey as one of our tools to identify areas of improvement.
In addition, some significant updates are being made to dispute and mediation processes to try and help open lines of communication on issues before they have gone too far to resolve informally between franchisee and franchisor.
Brand and innovation
We produce significant project platforms for our members to obtain exposure and for franchise promotion at large. The next 12-24 months will see growth in the support we offer in this area.
In recent times, we’ve been able to facilitate collective digital advertising promotions, where franchisor members can contribute to a subsidised bfa run PR campaign to target prospect franchisees and help raise the profile of franchising.
The bfa puts considerable effort into facilitating high-quality content generation that’s low cost but provides a great return to those who engage. We realise that in order to expand the reach of franchising we need to be in a position to talk to numerous audiences.
To remain the trusted partner in franchising, we need to continue to earn that trust and this meant reconnecting with our communities and adding value.
Membership communications have been significantly restructured to ensure messages are clear, consistent and considered. Online forums have been designed to promote free advice and guidance along with the opportunity to seek member-to-member opinion.
The senior team are proactively building relationships on the front line to ensure there’s a solid understanding of today’s member requirements. The customer-centric environment we’re creating is at the heart of every team meeting, project and development.
However, let’s not forget our evolving membership community. For many years we policed standards alongside our affiliate community and existed as a franchisor-only association.
Today we want to represent the entire franchise industry and for us, that means the thousands of franchisees alongside the hundreds of franchisors. We know that in order to have true influence, the voices we represent must include those at the coalface of franchising.
Emily Price is chief operating officer at the British Franchise Association.