The BFA has been at the heart of franchising, so why no longer?

June 10, 2019

Companies all over the world are assessing their relevance in today’s markets, ensuring products and services are fit for the consumer and implementing plans, processes and teams that support agile development environments and the British Franchise Association (BFA) is no different.

It is no secret that in recent years the BFA has come under fire for its ‘dated operation’ and to be honest I’d be inclined to agree with the statement.

The challenge for the current BFA leadership team and one we are pleased to accept is the transformation to a business that aligns as the natural strategic partner to any franchisor and their franchisees, delivering strategies that add significant value and facilitating market leading campaigns that put UK franchising on the map and in the minds of the next generation.

What’s our ‘why change’?
First and foremost franchising standards are everything, without them franchising would struggle to maintain the low failure rates, perception would hugely impact people’s appetite to invest and it is highly likely that consumers would think twice about where they spend their money.

That’s not to say that we believe franchisors are not capable of operating to high standards without the BFA, but it is certainly true that many require support and guidance to help them navigate the ups and downs of franchisor network development.

Of the 99 per cent of franchisors applying for membership some require a form of adjustment to their core framework in order to obtain accreditation and many go on to seek advice and guidance throughout the duration of their membership with us.

We don’t just keep our eye on the UK, the BFA sits on both European and global franchise councils to ensure we are well versed in opportunities and threats that arise globally and could impact the UK industry.

The UK developer accreditation has been born out of identification of unethical franchising trends globally, so in order to protect the UK industry we now liaise with international brands looking to enter so they fully understand the landscape and expectations in the UK.

Related: 4 Reasons Why Franchising in the UK is Here to Stay

Knowledge is power and with power we can influence
This message is critical to the future of franchising and whether you are a new franchisor, or 40 years into your network development, this is the reason to consider joining the BFA.

We have numerous examples of mistakes being made to the detriment of the industry and this intelligence drives our educational strategies, so what are they?

  • Free online education for franchisees and franchisors to support their knowledge of franchising prior to deciding on investing. This results in higher quality entrants.
  • Classroom and evidenced based training to help franchisee support teams, resulting in better franchise understanding and development structures.
  • High quality member conference programmes which deal with leadership, culture, sales, performance management, digital strategies and everything impacting the success of franchise businesses. Without dealing with the generic business trends franchising cannot expect to compete.
  • Industry surveys to identify trends, and support the strategic decisions of people operating in the sector. We also use this to present franchising in the media.
  • The Franchise Gym is set up to help maximise business performance in franchising, offering franchisors and their networks low-cost flexible solutions during development and change projects. Although in pilot phase this will officially launch this year in September.
  • The BFA, in collaboration with The Franchise Trust have built an employability programme to support different demographics into the workplace to secure a future in franchising. Our members and their franchisees will have the opportunity to support this initiative and see a collective franchise industry reduce UK unemployment.
  • If the BFA’s education could influence the UK’s academic agenda franchising would be in the minds of all youngsters going through this system – so that is what we are doing. An interactive video for school children, college franchise fairs, lecturer sessions in universities and potentially a new franchise module being designed by the BFA and a leading business school – watch this space.

Promotion for all who commit to the cause
The cause is the opportunity to build a strong industry that self protects within the collective to provide enviable circumstances for growth. In order to provide an ethical and fair approach to this there are a few rules:

  • If you wish to be involved you must practice what you preach and support the industry at large, this requires your commitment to the association to further broaden the reach and representation.
  • In recent years we have transformed the PR agenda to communicate not only in franchising but into businesses, sectors and regions to drive a growing awareness. Although we do promote the association through these channels we use evidence based case studies and our member brands to substantiate our messages.
  • Franchise guides have been produced and targeted digital campaigns run to expand reach using only our accredited advisors and franchisors.
  • Our website features numerous materials for people to be inspired by franchising and we are producing more opportunities for franchisors and their franchisees to benefit from the resources and partnerships we are building – our new website will be live in October.
  • This is of course the age of partnerships and this means that we are working hard in the background to create valuable opportunities that benefit franchising and our members – you will see some of our projects come to fruition over the coming months.

Related: Franchise Reviews Directory

Is the BFA team up to the job?
The association’s management team has 80 plus years of experience in franchising both at the coalface as franchisees, leading strategies for franchisors and of course driving standards and education in the industry as confidents, advisors and influencers.

We are on a journey of transformation and want the industry to join us in leading the direction. So in answer to the question posed in the title of this article – the association no longer sits at the heart of this industry, it is at the forefront representing, innovating and leading the way, ready to support the next generation of franchisors, franchisees, business leaders and influencers, and help current members do the same.

My final thought
A quote from Henry Ford, ‘Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.’

By Emily Price – chief operating officer at the BFA

Source: Franchise World

Inaugural BFA affiliates and supplier awards

August 20, 2018

The BFA for the first time at their annual conference recognised its affiliate category of professional advisers and suppliers by introducing the BFA Professional Affiliate and Supplier Awards.

The new awards with four categories of entry are in recognition of the excellent work of its professional members who were first welcomed into membership in 1985, as critical partners for the association in its central mission to ensure the high standards demanded by ethical business-format franchising model.

This specific group of members has been significant in the ongoing development of the association’s standards, collaborating on industry intelligence, evolving legislation and real-world changes in franchising practice.

Pip Wilkins said: “We are really proud that this year and going forward we will be recognising some of the amazing achievements and contributions of both professional affiliates and suppliers. Year-on-year we will evolve these awards in line with the evolution of our sector, just as we have for our industry leading franchisor and franchisee awards.”

Related: Meet the 19 UK franchisees competing for 2018 bfa Franchisee of the Year Awards

BFA Professional Affiliate and Supplier Award winners

The 2018 award winners for the BFA Professional Affiliate and Supplier Awards with comments from Wilkins on members’ achievements.

Innovation and Development
d&t (Accountants and business advisers)
‘d&t have revolutionised their industry and made the services they offer integral to monitoring effective business performance and enabling cost saving, network wide decisions to be made by franchisors to the benefit of their franchisees.’

Industry Contribution
HSBC (Banking)
‘With economic commentaries that are second to none, a leading edge and bespoke franchise website, major development of their UK team and replication of their UK model internationally, we wish them the best for the future.’

Team of the Year
The Franchising Centre (Franchise consultants, training centre, recruitment and career development)
‘This team clearly articulated a strong vision, mission and values, evidenced during a crucial period of strategic transition with a focus on developing their team members. As they say, train them and they will stay. This is a team that has ample of experience, more than 300 years combined in fact.’

Customer Service
Platinum Wave (Franchise consultants)
‘Not only have they sought to offer first class service, but they have also recognised the need to participate in industry events which has given them both greater brand recognition and built their credibility in our sector. I’m pleased to see their hard work recognised.’

Source: Franchise World

You can leverage £7.2bn growth potential of the North West with a franchise

June 22, 2018

If you’re an ambitious entrepreneur then new research and industry trends highlight that you could find success starting a franchise in the North West, while the upcoming Northern Franchise Exhibition can provide you with a kick start.

A major new report examining business growth in the UK reveals that the North West generated £165bn GVA (Gross Value Added) in 2016, a figure exceeded only by London and the South East.

The research shows further potential for growth in the area with an estimated £7.2bn of economic output still to be realised by aspiring and existing business owners.

Related: Karina Jadhav To Give Keynote Presentation At The Northern Franchise Exhibition

Franchising provides entrepreneurs with a proven blueprint for launching and operating their own successful business, at a range of investment levels and to suit all lifestyles and ambitions. It also offers the platform to expand existing businesses.

Set against the backdrop of the burgeoning region, The Northern Franchise Exhibition – which takes place on June 22 and June 23 – presents a great opportunity for you to examine the many advantages offered by the franchising business model.

Well-known brands and industry experts will come together to help provide advice and insights; whether you’re looking to take the first steps into business ownership, expand an existing business portfolio, or increase the reach of your own business via franchising.

The Northern Franchise Exhibition, which has been accredited by the British Franchise Association (bfa), will enable you to meet a showcase of brands looking for new franchise partners including ActionCOACH, Merry Maids, Esquires Coffee, Sherpa Kids, and event sponsor Fitness Space.

You’ll also be able to attend 40 free seminars providing education on every stage of the franchise lifecycle from selection and financing to business expansion, and there will be a Growing Your Own Business Conference where experts will deliver a series of workshops on sales, marketing, and effective business planning.

Pip Wilkins, CEO of the bfa commented: “As recent reports indicate, the North West provides an environment in which businesses can flourish.

“In conjunction with The Franchise Exhibitions, the bfa is proud to deliver an event in Manchester which allows budding entrepreneurs to explore the potential of ethical, business format franchising as a route to business ownership or expansion.”

Helen Wood, portfolio sales manager at Venture Marketing Group, organisers of The Franchise Exhibitions, added: “Whether seeking a low-cost business to fit around family life, or a high-investment opportunity with a global name, The Northern Franchise Exhibition is an essential event for anyone seeking to leverage the advantages of franchising.”

Those wishing to attend the exhibition at EventCity on 22 & 23 June can obtain free tickets by registering online here and entering the promotional code STR1.

Source: Start-Ups

Keynote trio for BFA annual conference

June 15, 2018

The BFA has announced a trio of keynote speakers for its annual conference at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Birmingham on June 28 and 29, 2018.

Mary Portas, the retail consultant and television broadcaster who set-up Mary’s Living & Giving shops with the Save the Children charity, will present to conference on day one.

Jan Spaticchia, the chairman and co-founder of the fitness franchise energie Group and the former highest ranked woman in the British Army, Nicky Moffat CBE will be addressing the audience on day two.

At the event the BFA and ITN Productions will be launching its news and current affairs-style TV programme to – The Future is Franchising. Natasha Kaplinsky, the well-known TV presenter anchors the show that aims to explain the sector and the opportunities it can bring to individuals and businesses alike.

The conference offers attendees a comprehensive seminar programme, networking opportunities to share best practice and will celebrate success, with the newly qualified BFA members presented with their Qualified Franchise Professional certificates.

The event will also reveal the winners of the annual BFA/HSBC Franchise Awards at a gala dinner on the Thursday evening.

This year the association has introduced a Franchisee Track conference package with the aim of welcoming more franchisees to the event. The one-day package includes the franchise awards and overnight accommodation.

* New and prior to the conference on June 27 at the ICC, the BFA is launching a new event – BFA Super Brand. The focus on the day will be the development of the expanding franchise sector of multi-unit operators and multi-brand franchisors, both in the UK and internationally. The keynote speaker will be Josephine Fairley, the co-founder of Green and Black’s.

For further information and registration details for the events visit www.thebfa.org/events

Source: Franchise World

Law firm encourages businesses to consider franchising for growth

June 13, 2018
Neath law firm Hutchinson Thomas held a special seminar on Friday June 8 to showcase the benefits of franchising for business – as well as the potential pitfalls. 
Hutchinson Thomas is the only law firm in South West Wales accredited by the British Franchise Association to act on legal matters for franchises or franchisees. This is a specialist area of law with only a handful of firms in the UK recognised in this way.
Hosted by Hutchinson Thomas and chaired by Darren Davies, head of the Franchise Law team within the firm, the event featured presentations from Suzie McCafferty, an international franchise consultant; David Kaye, a specialist lawyer in this field with Scottish law firm Harper Macleod; and Sukhdeep Dehal, a franchise development manager with Lloyds Bank.
Attendees learned the types of businesses best suited to this business model, what the legal requirements are and some of the dangers and pitfalls.
It is estimated that the UK franchise industry now contributes a remarkable £15 billion to the UK economy annually. It is estimated that some 45,000 franchises are operating in the UK, employing more than 600,000 people.
The industry, which can offer a less risk alternative to launching a business from scratch, has enjoyed phenomenal growth in the past 10 years with the number of people employed by the sector increasing by 70 per cent in the ten years between 2006 and 2016.
Darren Davies, head of the Franchise Law team at Hutchinson Thomas, said:
“We were delighted to be able to bring so many experts in this field to South Wales and the presentations were well attended by companies interested in exploring the potential for growth that franchising a business can offer.
“This sector has enjoyed incredible growth in the past decade and we are very proud to be one of only a very small number of firms in the UK accredited by the British Franchise Association to act in this field.”

Source: Wales247

Meet the 19 UK franchisees competing for 2018 bfa Franchisee of the Year Awards

April 27, 2018

Take inspiration from the UK franchisees who have just been shortlisted by the British Franchise Association (bfa) in recognition of their outstanding business success.

Named as finalists for the 2018 bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Award, entrepreneurs feature from a cross-sector of industries and franchises up and down the country such as Right at Home, Little Kickers, ActionCOACH, Razzamataz, and Sandler Training.

Running for almost 30 years and established by industry body the bfa, the Awards seek to “highlight the outstanding business acumen, passion and achievement of individuals and businesses” operating in the £15bn+ UK franchise sector.

Three of the 17 finalists are in the running to win the Young Franchisee of the Year title; an accolade awarded to franchisees aged 30 and under who have established a profitable franchise and achieved success beyond their years.

One of these finalists is Almas Adam of Right at Home. Adam, 27, has run his Loughton homecare business for three years, employing 40 people who provide quality care for 60 clients.

Within his first year, Right at Home Loughton was awarded the Right at Home ‘Right Start’ Award for having the best start among Right at Home franchisees who began in the same year. And in 2017, Almas was a finalist in the innovation category at the national British Care Awards.

Right at Home has commented that Adam being shortlisted by the bfa shows he “has come a long way from the nervous teenager who was crippled by shyness; and his success to date has opened the door to far greater business ambition – a fantastic example of franchising empowering young people to reach their true potential.”

Meet the 19 UK franchisees shortlisted for the Awards:

Customer Focus Franchisee of the Year

  • Molly Maid – Julie Ward & Allison Bayes (Braintree)
  • Right at Home – Andrew Davis (Bournemouth & Poole)
  • Minster Cleaning Services – James Lofthouse (North & South Sheffield)
  • Dyno – RJ, NP, DJ Illingworth – Machmade Ltd (Greater Merseyside)

Young Franchisee of the Year

  • Right at Home – Almas Adam (Loughton)
  • Little Kickers – Emma Ogden (South East Leicester & Northants)
  • Razzamataz Theatre Schools – Helen Bell (Sheffield)

Lifestyle Franchisee of the Year

  • Razzamataz Theatre Schools – Hayley Limpkin (Medway)
  • ActionCOACH – Lucy Cameron (South East)
  • The Christmas Decorators – Louise Walsh (Birmingham)

Multi-unit Award

  • Costa – Diljit Brar (Goldex Investments Group Ltd)
  • Pirtek – Jason Woods (Worcester, Gloucester, Kidderminster, Swansea & Cardiff)
  • Autosmart – Lee Atkins (Coventry, Rugby & Solihull)

Network Contribution Award

  • InXpress – Neil Hatt (South Birmingham)
  • Sandler Training – Andy McCreadie (South West)
  • Electric – Jeff Longley (North Birmingham)

The franchisees will now go on to be judged by a panel which includes Pip Wilkins QFP, chief executive of the bfa, among others, with the winners announced at an awards ceremony at the ICC Birmingham on June 28.

Wikins said:

“Our annual awards are growing more popular than ever. I would like to thank everyone who entered as the commitment, passion and effort is apparent in every application.

“Congratulations to all our finalists, as we know that a lot of hard work goes in to the applications and presentations, and they have done an incredible job to achieve the shortlist. ”

Source: Start-Ups

These are the 18 best franchises to join in the UK, according to the bfa

April 25, 2018

The finalists for the annual bfa Franchisor of the Year Awards have been announced with some familiar names among those listed…

The UK’s top franchise brands include McDonald’s, Driver Hire, Tax Assist, and Tutor Doctor – according to the finalist list announced for the esteemed British Franchise Association (bfa) HSBC Franchisor of the Year Awards 2018.

A celebration of excellence in franchising, highlighting success across areas such as franchise support and brand awareness, the Franchisor the Year Awards are industry-renowned for recognising franchises who go the extra mile.

The awards shortlist was decided by franchise experts including Pip Wilkins QFP, CEO of the bfa.

The finalists will now present their cases to a judging panel – which includes Alan Wilkinson QFP, head of UK franchise development at The Franchising Centre, among others – on March 20 and March 22, with winners announced at the bfa Annual Conference on June 28 at the ICC in Birmingham.

The franchisor award category finalists are as follows:

  1. Angela’s Swim School
  2. Agency Express
  3. Autosmart
  4. Barking Mad
  5. Bright & Beautiful UK
  6. Costa Coffee
  7. Driver Hire Nationwide
  8. Expense Reduction Analysts
  9. Fitness Space
  10. Home Instead
  11. Mac Tools
  12. McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd
  13. Revive! Auto Innovations (UK) Ltd
  14. Riverford Organic Farmers
  15. Stage Coach Performing Arts
  16. TaxAssist Accountants
  17. Tutor Doctor
  18. We Love Pets

Wilkins commented;

“Our annual awards are proving more popular than ever, with a 32% increase in entries this year over 2017, so it’s been a tough task to narrow it down to our 18 finalists. I’d like to thank everyone who entered and congratulate our finalists, you have already earned the right to proudly display our new bfa HSBC Franchise Award Finalist logo.

“It’s wonderful to see so many great entries, the effort and commitment that goes into every one is undeniable. Good luck to all on the shortlist and I look forward to seeing your presentations next month!”

On being shortlisted for the awards, Tutor Doctor’s director of global franchisee support, Tim Morris, added:

“We’re immensely proud to be able to showcase our efforts and exciting results to our esteemed colleagues at the bfa and our peers throughout the franchise industry and beyond.”

Source: Start-Ups