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Franchise Groups Advocate Creating Franchisee Associations

The chairman and CEO of the San Diego-based AAFD, attorney Robert Purvin, contends that it isn't a healthy thing for franchise owners to sit back and let their franchisor big brother take care of them. Taking everything into account, the franchisor has a fiscal obligation to its own business survival, one that doesn't always coincide with a franchised shop. Purvin argues that there are considerable benefits to franchise owning entrepreneurs to take charge and band at the same time. There are advantages of economies of scale of a group, just like when local franchise owners on a mini-scale form local marketing cooperatives to leverage their collective advertising buying power.

"A franchisee association can be a powerful asset to a franchise system," argues Purvin. He says that the checks and balances that a healthy independent association provides make a franchise chain better. Purvin says franchisee associations can provide a number of support services that the franchisor has no interest in offering. He says they as well facilitate better transparency and communication. They can as well fill in training gaps.

Email this week to franchisee association members

In an email this week to franchisee association members and franchisees, the just-turned 20-year-old AAFD says it offers "members significant discounts on the important services and products that they need to run their businesses just as: legal services, payment processing services, PR services, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) bundles, graphic design services, health insurance and more. Members as well enjoy free conference calling and webinar capabilities. The heart and soul of our organization, but, is our ability to organize and support independent franchisee associations as chapters of the AAFD."

There are holes in what franchisors will make available to franchise owners. Purvin gives two examples. He says franchisors will not provide health care plans or legal services to franchise owners. They typically don't provide cost-saving bundles in telecommunications, printing and other services. "Many franchisors are focused on their core businesses and aren't interested in generic opportunities [for franchisees]," he declares. "This provides an possibility for a franchise owner association to negotiate attractive group pricing and shared rebates that the franchisor has left on the table," he states.

The International Franchise Association as well observes that independent franchisee associations can be helpful to chains. IFA communications and marketing vice president Alisa Harrison declares: "We fully support and encourage franchisees joining franchisee associations that are recognized by the brand. Communication among franchisees and with the franchisor is very important to ensuring that the brand remains strong and viable. There are many examples of where input from the franchisees has led to improvements and research benefitting the whole system. Franchisor and franchisees benefit from a strong system that supports the brand." The IFA spokesperson adds, "Ongoing communication through officially recognized associations has proven to be an effective way to facilitate that support."

The International Franchise Association

Harrison as well reminds franchisees that the International Franchise Association, which has promoted the licensing of franchises for over half a century, has deep pockets to lobby for better government policies that help both franchise owners and franchisors. "For franchisees who want to get involved in the policy discussions impacting the franchise industry and to learn best practices to grow their businesses, we clearly encourage them to join the IFA," she declares.

Don Sniegowski is editor of Blue MauMau, the daily news journal for franchise & small business owners. Contact him at +1 321-1268 or editor@bluemaumau.org.

More information: Bluemaumau
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