Top 5 Reasons to Form (or Join) a Franchise Association

As a new or potential franchisee, you should be intimately aware of why and how much you need to interact with other franchisees within and outside of your franchise system. Further, you also need to be aware of how valuable those connections are for helping your business succeed. When you have like-minded colleagues to lean on and learn from, you have a treasure trove of resources that can help you on the journey to your success as a business owner – before your investment in a franchise becomes a “sunk cost”.

That said, below are my Top 5 Reasons for why you should be part of a franchise association of like-minded franchisees:

1. Access to professionals in your own industry

This one’s a no-brainer. Think of organizations like the National Restaurant Association that caters to the burgeoning food/restaurant industry. Birds of a feather…..

2. Bargaining power

Being part of a larger group gives you – and everyone in the group – the strength and power of sheer numbers. That factor can be leveraged in the former of discounts from suppliers, marketing/promoting your business and much more. Think Sam’s Club. As a member, you benefit from the lower prices of goods and services they provide. As American Express says, “Membership has its privileges.”

3. Pooled resources

As a new franchisee, you’ve likely already heard about this concept in relation to co-op marketing with other local/regional franchisees within your franchise system whereby you share the cost of advertising/marketing with other franchisees. Another aspect to explore as part of a franchise association: How you can work with another franchise or small business owner whose services/products complement your own.

4. Professional / Institutional memory

Just as every family has members (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) you can rely on for “ancestral memory”, the franchising industry has a similar pool of knowledge. Being part of an association makes you privy to that vast pool of knowledge. Franchising has been around for several decades and many of the pioneers and/or their descendants are still in the industry. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Talk to and learn from others who have blazed the trail you’ve chosen.

5. Advocacy

This strategy builds upon “strength in numbers” and the other points I’ve mentioned. An organized group of like-minded individuals have so much more clout than a few people working on their own to further a cause that results in real change. Who wouldn’t want to be part of a group that advances their own agenda while providing needed products/service to the society/culture they live in? Of course, the idea has had good and bad implementations. But in the realm of franchising, a franchisee wants to be on the good side of the equation – being a positive member of a group of like-minded individuals/business owners who are committed to making a difference.