Starting a franchise business is not a decision to be taken lightly - it’s something you should take your time with and research carefully.
Part of that research should involve a brand’s British Franchise Association membership status. The bfa is the body that protects and promotes good franchising practice in the UK and is recognised by government and internationally for its values and credibility. It accredits franchisors against a strict set of criteria before offering membership.
Here are some of the ways in which the bfa helps prospective franchisees and why you should consider membership to be a powerful indicator - and one you should actively seek.
Not all franchises are equal
The bfa’s work is entirely standards based and has been since its formation in 1977. If a franchisor can’t meet the required standards, it cannot join - each year applications are refused.
The process involves an in-depth examination of the franchise model and the business’ proven performance.
bfa membership is not a guarantee of success, as becoming a successful franchisee depends on many factors, not least your own passion, the right match and your work ethic.
The banks involved in franchising all respect the standards represented by the bfa. They understand bfa accreditation and the quality needed to gain and retain it, so therefore look more favourably on funding applications from franchisees of member brands.
bfa member franchisors adhere to the guidelines in the franchising code of ethics and the rules of membership, which enshrine the principles of best practice in franchising.
For example, projections on turnover and profit should be based on historically attained numbers - either by an existing franchisee or a company owned outlet - with proof available.
Franchisees can join
Franchisees of bfa members can join the association, accessing business and personal benefits galore. Legal, human resources and business support combines with deals on everything from car hire and shopping to holidays.
There’s also the opportunity of representation, as three franchisees sit on the bfa’s board of directors and many more on its governance committees.
The bfa runs a host of events throughout the year to help prospective business owners enter the £15 billion franchise sector.
There are four bfa supported franchise exhibitions annually, where only accredited brands can attend and a wealth of advice is on offer; a women in business conference in November; the Great Northern Breakfast in June; Scottish Franchise Week in spring; and prospective franchisee seminars, which move around the country on a monthly basis.