The Benefits of Joining A Franchise Association
🕒: Four minutes
A franchise association such as the European Franchise Federation (EFF) is a membership organisation which engages with franchises in a specific region or industry and provides support to their members through a wide variety of services. An independent franchise association is a trade association formed by franchisees who are all operating under a single franchisor.
Membership of these associations carries with it a wide range of benefits and, whether you are a burgeoning franchisor or a new franchisee, finding and joining the appropriate association is an important concern. Below is compiled a brief compilation of some of the advantages of becoming a member of a local, national or international franchise association.
As a franchisor, the key reason you should ensure that your franchise is a member of a national or international franchise association is the essential element of credibility, which this subscription lends in the eyes of both potential franchisees and your consumer base. Members are accredited to these associations when they have been deemed to satisfy best practice franchising standards, and this accreditation process is a guarantee of the validity and calibre of the franchise offering.
The membership approval process varies depending upon the organisation you are joining but may include the following:
- A review of the franchise agreement, to ensure this document is clear and fair.
- A review of the operations manual provided by the franchisor.
- A review of the training and support offered to franchisees.
- A financial record (often the record of two or more years will be requested) to prove the feasibility of the business model.
Having supplied the above credentials and become a member of your chosen franchise association, you will be well-placed with your potential investors as an established and successful business. You can advertise your association membership on your website, and on your Franchise Europe profile, which is a great opportunity to highlight this mark of reliability.
Any franchisor who is actively looking for franchisees knows the importance of online visibility in ensuring website traffic and lead generation. Becoming a member of a franchise association is a great means of increasing brand recognition as many associations will prominently feature you as a member of their association and link back to your website. This will develop your search engine optimisation and may enable you to rank higher for organic traffic.
Another key element of this is the potential to win awards and recognition from your designated franchise association. Throughout the world, many associations hold award nights, during which exemplary franchises are lauded and given industry recognition. These awards are a great selling-point for your franchise and will also increase the visibility of your brand and your franchise offering. This is important, not just for generating interest from potential franchisees, but also as a means of increasing your customer reach and publicising your brand.
This is a major advantage of joining an independent franchise association as a new franchisee, or in setting up your own trade association if one does not yet exist. A good trade association can help negotiate better contract terms for all the franchisees on a collective basis. It is a great way of ensuring that franchise agreements do not vary from franchise to franchise, unless this is acceptable to the franchisees.
A strong association will also be able to negotiate supplier and marketing deals and develop powerful industry contacts, which will enable the sharing of support services and training programmes. As the size of the franchisee network grows the importance of this trade association also increases, as the machinations of this network will require more streamlining to ensure smooth progression. The association can help with this, and ensure unbiased representation for every franchisee.
Another central advantage to joining a franchise association, be it a national/international association or an independent network, is the opportunity for professional development which this membership entails. The opportunity offered to network with industry contacts is unparalleled and a franchise association is a great way to get to know the franchise market of your region or your country.
Many franchises, particularly real estate or business and professional franchises rely on business contacts to thrive and joining a franchise association is a great way to make these contacts. A franchise association allows a franchisor to build a better relationship with their franchisees but also to build better business relationships in general. Association events are a great way to meet other entrepreneurs and, through your association, you will hear about all the latest industry news and information.
A franchise association exists to represent the best interests of both franchisors and franchisees and to promote ethics and best practice standards in franchising. This is especially important in regions of Europe where there are not currently strict franchise disclosure laws as it will enable franchisees and franchisors alike to grow a strong support network.