Goldstein Legal was out in full force at this year’s keenly awaited bfa Annual Conference. Entitled The Power of Collective Ambition: Strengthening collaboration across our industry, the conference hosted a range of motivational keynote speakers with a focus on how industry representatives can work collaboratively to make a difference to the future of franchising.
As always, the range and depth of debate was inspiring. Here we’ve taken the opportunity to cherry-pick our favourite, most memorable insights from the event.
Adventurer, Tori James, spoke directly to the hopes and fears of franchisors and franchisees. Her amazing expedition when she reached the top of Mount Everest at a mere 25 years of age (making her the youngest woman to ever reach the summit) was a fascinating lesson in what can be done when you step outside of your comfort zone.
The message that came from the panel of industry experts chaired by bfa Chief Executive Officer, Pip Wilkins, was loud and clear. Collaboration between franchisors and franchisees is key to the success and health of any franchise – large or small. All four franchise panellists agreed that every business should have a system that enables the franchisor to listen to franchisee’s ideas and initiatives, allowing them to respond and incorporate new ideas where feasible.
The success behind the Barking Mad franchise, is partly due to the fact that it believes customer focus is king, according to marketing manager, Richard Dancy, who led an interactive session by the same name. Speaking about the many ways in which the franchise upholds this ethos, Dancy explained that not all business initiatives need to generate turnover directly. Barking Mad’s bereavement forum, for example, provides support to those clients whose dogs have passed away and its very existence communicates the importance that the franchise puts on good customer relations.
The conference’s legal seminar highlighted the very important issue of franchise agreement renewals. Panel members stated the importance of maintaining a system to manage the timings of franchise agreement renewals, so that both franchisor and franchisee are up to date, thus reducing the risk of either needing to seek legal advice to resolve disputes that often arise when renewals are left to the last minute. This is of particular significance when changes in territory are in play.
A lesson to franchisees that came out of the The Power of PR & Digital Marketing panel was to take advantage of the digital world to fully research your chosen franchise. If you fail to do this, your chosen franchisor could view it as cause for concern!
However, panel members agreed that most franchisors will assist prospective franchisees with their research, by helping them identify different sources of information.
Ultimately though, the most poignant message to come out of this year’s conference was the importance of collaboration and the strength that comes with it, be it between franchisors and franchisees or through valuing and motivating your own team.
The bfa Franchisee and Franchisor of the Year Awards were testament to exactly this. Congratulations to all of this year’s franchisee and franchisor winners and thank you to the bfa for another wonderfully organised and stimulating Annual Conference.
Goldstein Legal’s Catrina Newman and Ayla Karmali collecting
QFP certificates during the conference