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Franchisees Need a Different "Level the Playing" Field Strategy

Franchisees in California never had a chance to get the bill passed. They did show that there is significant numbers of franchisees that illustrated the need for a more level playing field. That is very different from the past efforts when franchisees were afraid to be in the public eye and didn't show up at the hearings or write letters. Kudos to the franchisees that stepped up in California.

Over the years franchisees and their representatives have had some success in passing legislation and some failure. Of the 18 states that have some sort of franchise regulation, very few have a "good faith and fair dealing" clause.

The original legislation that was submitted by franchisees was a better bill for California, but that got tabled and the "Good Faith Bill" was allowed to continue. That right there was the death knell.

Ultimately the successful franchise systems come to realize that collaboration is the key to strong franchise relationships, the settlement with the Edible Arrangements illustrates the power of collaboration. The sad part of that is franchisee association and the franchisor ending up spending $100's of thousands of dollars in litigation that would have ben better invested in the brand.

Franchisees and their leaders need to rethink their strategies.


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About Jim Coen

Jim Coen's picture

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Franchise Specialist

With over 30 years of franchise, marketing, and entrepreneurial experience, Jim Coen is a franchise expert. Who can help prospective franchisees, private equity investors, franchisees, multi-unit franchisees, and stockholders, evaluate franchise business models and Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDD). Jim is not an attorney his specialty is analyzing the franchise business model for all stakeholders.

In May 2014 Jim was named the Interim Executive Director of The Planet Fitness Independent Franchisee Association (PFIFA) he finished in that capacity on October 31, 2014.

From September 2013 to November 2014, Jim served as the Executive Director of the Maine Franchise Owners Association (MFOA), this Maven served in that capacity on a part-time basis. This Maven is now a Member of the Board of Directors.

From April 1, 2008 thru November 2012 this Maven served as President of the Dunkin’ Donuts Independent Franchise Owners (DDIFO). DDIFO represents franchisees that own and operate over 2600 Dunkin’ Donuts shops in the US.

Jim served as the Vice Chairman of the Coalition of Franchisee Associations (CFA), from 2009 – 2011. As Vice-Chairman, Jim worked with the Fair Franchising Committee to develop the Universal Franchisee Bill of Rights (UFBOR).

From 2006 thru 2008, Jim was the Executive Director and Board Member of the New England Franchise Association (NEFA). NEFA is a franchise trade group that brings franchise executives, area developers, and vendors together to share ideas and best practices.

Prior to that Jim sold and trained franchisees at Supercoups, a direct mail company based in MA that is similar to Val Pak. Jim became VP of Sales for the largest Super Coups franchisee based in the Boston area.


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Franchise Consultant