The Bright Past and Future of IFA’s Franchise Relations Committee

Franchise Relations

What lies ahead for one of the biggest components of franchising: franchise relations.

By Harvey Homsey, Express Employment Professionals and IFA’s Franchise Relations Committee Chair

As the current chair and on behalf of the IFA Franchise Relations Committee (FRC), it is my pleasure to pen this short piece about the current plans and goals of the FRC. As we take a look back at how the FRC started and has evolved to the active committee it is today, we are excited to be advancing our goal and continuing to foster the ever-important relationship between franchisor and franchisee. 

Franchise Relations Committee Logo

Who are we?

It all began with a dream that IFA member franchisors had to help make the relationship between franchisors and franchisees even better. These pioneer franchisors each had their own ideas and wanted to pool that knowledge together — not only for each other to share, but also to share with other franchisors. The goal was to create a means to help franchisors work with, support and service their franchisees better, and to create a long-term, good working relationship. With these goals in mind and under the guidance and leadership of the IFA, the Franchise Relations Committee was born. 

Throughout the beginning years, the committee developed and provided plans, curriculum, materials and leadership to help franchisors assist franchisees to develop, grow and improve their businesses. It wasn’t long before the committee began to create a library of materials available for use by franchisors at all levels. 

In the ever-inclusive world of franchising, the committee quickly realized a missing participant on the committee was franchisees. What better way to create an amazing relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee than to have both parties at the table. Thus, franchisees were added to the committee. One could see franchisors and franchisees of the same brand sitting together on the Franchise Relations Committee striving to reach and achieve the committee’s goals. 

Guidance, growth and going strong.

The growth of the committee and brainpower increased even more when the group made the wise decision to add suppliers to the mix of the committee membership. Today, the committee is thriving with active franchisors, franchisees and suppliers. 

The library of resources and documents available to members was only the start of the sharing of guidance and best practices to foster positive and improving franchise relations. It became evident that the committee had a wealth of knowledge to share in other formats as well. So, in true IFA excellence form, the FRC became an active part of the IFA Convention by presenting breakout sessions at the annual meetings. And, after a few years of providing successful presentations, the FRC’s role at the Convention grew to two breakout sessions and the very popular Franchise Relations Summit.  

With IFA 2020 finally here, the Franchise Relations Committee is excited to present two breakouts and another Franchise Relations Summit. These sessions continue to provide a wealth of information as both franchisors and franchisees are tapped to lead the breakouts/summit, proving we learn best from those in the know who are “doing.”

What’s next? 

While the FRC continues to provide resources, the committee has taken on new challenges to promote best practices and collaborative relationship techniques. IFA says their continual vision for the Franchise Relations Committee is to “be the best resource and model to help franchisees and franchisors succeed together.” This couldn’t be more true, with the committee having created documents and presented webinars about many franchise relations topics from mentorship to territory development, financial stability and succession planning. 

This is just the beginning. The Franchise Relations Committee is planning more materials and articles throughout the year and beyond, to include not only revamping and increasing the library of franchise relations resources, but also regular columns in this magazine, virtual roundtables and short video presentations. Be on the lookout for these opportunities.  

The dream of those pioneer franchisors that began years ago has not only become reality, but continues to mature. Together we can all be a part of creating, developing and maintaining that amazing partnership between franchisors and franchisees through “franchise relations.” 

Harvey Homsey is Chair of the Franchise Relations Committee at the International Franchise Association and Vice President of Express Employment Professionals. Find out more about the FRC here