One of the essential features of franchising is that prospective franchisees want to own and operate their own business but want to do it safely by reducing the risks. Franchisors should have established a system that they can prove works and that substantially reduces the risks of failure for a small start up business but not all franchisors operate to the highest standards.
Membership of the BFA does not guarantee that the franchisor will be a good franchisor and that you will be successful, but what it does guarantee is that if the franchisor wants to do it right to a sufficient extent that it is prepared to go through the hoops and costs of applying for membership of the BFA and complying with its code of ethics. The whole point about the BFA’s requirements is that they are there to ensure that franchisees’ interests are fully protected. The BFA undertakes an accreditation process and also a reaccreditation process is applied to ensure that members continue to comply with their requirements. It is most unlikely that a franchisor who is not committed to being a good franchisor would seek to join the BFA or indeed that such a franchisor would be accepted for membership.
What this means is that the BFA provides a mark of approval, but not a guarantee of success!
Written by: John Pratt
Partner, Hamilton Pratt