Why join a bfa member
Joining a franchise could be one of the largest and most important investments that you make in your life – not only in financial terms, but also in terms of your own time and commitment. Franchising, allows many people to start entirely new lives, realising new lifestyles and ambitions, but only when done well. Therefore, making the right choice at the very start about which franchise to join, if any, is paramount. This includes making sure you have thoroughly researched all the available franchise opportunities, what they involve and the market in which they operate. Whilst this is something that you should never try to cut corners on, there is one key aspect that can give you a much higher level of confidence when going through this.
The British Franchise Association (bfa) is the not-for-profit voice of franchising in the UK. It operates to accredit and promote ethical franchising and therefore differentiate the good franchise opportunities from the not-so-good. For a franchisor to be a member of the bfa, they must pass a strict accreditation process, which looks at all aspects of the franchise operation to make sure it is proven, protected, ethical, sustainable and free of ambiguity and misleading statements.
When researching franchise opportunities, membership of the bfa is a guiding light for those who have chosen to put themselves forward against the bfa’s codes of business practice and have passed. It will never be a guarantee of success and it should never replace your own research, but the confidence that it can give you is invaluable.
As you are looking at franchises that are members of the bfa you will see that not all of them have the same type of membership. The differences in categories of membership can be found below:
Full Members of the bfa are established franchised businesses with a proven trading and franchising record. They are prepared to have their reputation examined by the bfa, and have an established network of franchisees.
Associate Members of the bfa have proven their ability to launch and support at least one franchised outlet for 12 months and are now in the business of building their network. The franchisor will be investing in support and development. There will be few franchisees whose experience you can research and a short period of time over which the business has been tested, but the business will have evidence of its ability to establish a solid network.
Provisionally Listed companies are at the beginning of their development in franchising although the franchise may be at the pilot stage. There is a real business up and running where end products and services are being sold successfully to consumers. The franchise agreement is sound, and by joining the bfa the company has committed itself to develop the business in accordance with bfa industry standards.
Franchising remains one of the most successful forms of starting your own business, with extremely high success rates and much more security than starting out on your own without the proven system, support and brand.
Franchisee Membership of the bfa was launched in 2012, providing influence, recognition and access to the bfa’s governance for franchisees. With franchisees on the Board of the bfa and dedicated benefits and services to help franchisees in business, the new membership is the first of its kind in the world.
However, the bfa must protect its brand, which has been built around ethics and standards since its creation. Therefore access to Franchisee Membership is only possible if you are part of an accredited bfa Member network. For more information see the Franchisee Membership pages.