Does your brand have an independent franchisee association? If it doesn't, it should!
It doesn't matter how successful you and your franchise brand currently are. Every franchise system should have an independent franchisee association. I relate the importance of a franchisee association to that of a trade association. A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association or sector association, is an organization founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry. Independent Franchisee Associations serve the same purpose, the biggest difference is that they are branded and have contractual arrangements to the franchisor.
A franchisee trade association participates in public relations activities such as advertising, education, political donations, lobbying and publishing, but its main focus is collaboration between the franchisees. Franchisee Associations may offer other services, such as producing conferences, networking or charitable events or offering classes or educational materials. Most franchisee associations are non-profit organizations governed by laws and directed by officers who are also members.
If you and fellow franchisees are concerned about retribution or retaliation from the franchisor, I would suggest you incorporate your association in a state that protects "Franchise Owners Freedom of Association".
These states have laws protecting franchisee associations: Washington, Hawaii, Minnesota, Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska, New Jersey, Rhode Island, California, Iowa, and Michigan.
If you have any questions about your franchisee association or lack thereof please ask them here at this forum, or contact me directly.
Franchisor doesn't collaborate with the Franchisee Association
The Independent Franchisee Association is ignored by our franchisor. Franchisees that are members are treated differently. The franchisor has alienated all its franchisees and they haven't sold a franchise for over a year and didn't publish a FDD in 2014.
I feel like I am on a sinking ship.
We have the same problem
We have the same problem. Our franchisor has not sold a franchise in over FOUR years and we are in one of the fastest growing cities in the world, ATLANTA. We have also been without regional management for over six months. How can they get away with this? Do we have any recourse?
Ask for a Copy of the by-laws
The by-laws often have a clause that allows a certain % of the members of the association to call for a special meeting.
The special meeting would be about the dissatisfaction of the results of the Boardand ask for a special meeting with the franchisor with a specially selected committee.
Organized Franchisees Improve Brand Value for all Stakeholders
Organized franchisees can make a huge difference in the value and success of a franchise system.
Most franchisors act as if they are the only drivers on the bus. My experience is quite the opposite. Both franchisees and franchisor drive brand value and success. Collaboration is a key component to brand success. Franchisees and franchisor communicating and working together is a key factor.
Many successful franchise systems have either Purchasing Co-ops, Franchisee Advisory Councils or Independent Franchisee Associations. Some have all three.
The more communication and collaboration that exists in a franchise system, the more adept that system is in serving its customers and building its brand.
Franchisees need to organize and communicate with each other and the franchisor.
There is always recourse...
The question is what is the problem? I would need some answers to some questions in order to offer any advice.
Are the franchisees making $? Are the franchisees paying royalties? How many franchisees are there?
How do you start a Franchisee Association?
Our system has about 100 franchisees in a number of states.
What is the best way to start a franchisee association?