Many franchise systems have franchisee associations. Some of these associations have open membership for all franchisees, while others form in response to a particular issue and with a specific goal in mind. Joining a franchisee association can have a variety of benefits, as franchise lawyer Jeffrey M. Goldstein explains.
5 Benefits of Joining a Franchisee Association
1. Franchisee Associations are Independent of the Franchisor
Franchisee associations often get confused with franchisee advisory boards, but there is a critical difference between the two. Franchisee advisory boards are typically formed by the franchisor, while franchisee associations are entirely independent, franchisee-organized and franchisee-operated.
This isn’t to say that franchisee advisory boards are unhelpful—in some systems they do play a valid role. But, for franchisees seeking to collaborate or provide input without the franchisor’s oversight, a franchisee association is a better option.
2. Members Can Share Insights and Information
When you join a franchisee association, you can benefit from other franchisees’ experiences and insights. Members often communicate freely—about both the good and the bad. Even if you aren’t joining a franchisee association in response to a specific concern with the franchisor, there is still a lot of value to be gained from joining together with like-minded franchisees.
3. Taking Collective Action Can Get the Franchisor’s Attention
If you share concerns with other like-minded franchisees, taking collective action as an association can help you get the franchisor’s attention. Franchisors are far more likely to seriously consider an association’s complaints as opposed to isolated complaints from individual franchisees. This is especially true if you are seeking changes to things like system standards, purchasing requirements or operational controls.
4. Joining a Franchisee Association Can Provide Anonymity
If you are concerned that complaining to your franchisor could have unfavorable consequences, you are not alone. Fortunately, joining a franchisee association can provide anonymity. While someone will have to speak on the association’s behalf (who could even be a franchise lawyer hired by the association), members can remain anonymous in most cases.
5. Franchisees in an Association Can Pool Their Resources
If you need to take legal action against your franchisor, joining an association can allow you to pool your resources with other member franchisees. This can be a very cost-effective approach to addressing complaints and resolving issues that affect multiple franchised outlets. Similar to crowdfunding, each member of the association can make a relatively modest contribution to cover the cost of addressing the member franchisees’ concerns in an efficient and unified manner—and then no one franchisee has to bear the financial burden of taking action for the group’s collective benefit.
Learn More from National Franchise Lawyer Jeffrey M. Goldstein
If you have more questions about joining a franchisee association or addressing issues with your franchisor as a group, we encourage you to get in touch. To schedule a confidential initial consultation with national franchise lawyer Jeffrey M. Goldstein, please call 202-293-3947 or send us your contact information online today.