The Approved Franchise Association doubles its members network with plans for a successful year ahead

The AFA, a long-standing partner with Elite Business, has revealed how they've grown and doubled their thriving members network over the past year

The Approved Franchise Association doubles its members network with plans for a successful year ahead

The AFA, a long-standing partner with Elite Business, has revealed how
they’ve grown and doubled their thriving members network over the past year

It is important franchises across the UK are regulated and supervised to ensure they are delivering the best to the general public. The Approved Franchise Association (AFA) has helped the franchise industry across the UK flourish through constant support and guidance while promoting high standards and accreditation among its members. By April last year, the AFA has doubled its membership as more businesses flock to the organisation to help grow their company. The AFA has now shared their past year highlights with us, revealing how they have increased their network with the aim to unite and transform the franchising industry for the better.

In a bid to grow and expand their services, the AFA hired a new Business Development Manager, Sarah Canny, to join the organisation as its first full-time member of staff. Sarah had helped increase membership of franchisees, organised regional meetings, networking events, partner offers, discounts and more, adding excellent value to AFA’s partners and members across the country.

Taking on additional help, two AFA members have been appointed Regional and Deputy Regional Chairs and were put in charge of running regular, local networking events to give back to the franchising community. The AFA aim to host regional events all over the UK, ensuring all its members have access to meetings to keep themselves up to date with regulations and ethical guidelines.

Since partnering with Natwest and HSBC in 2018, the AFA has expanded its network even further to help provide its members with additional perks and benefits of joining their organisation. Two of the AFA’s trusted HR, Employment Law and Health & Safety partners, Croner and Peninsula, have agreed to offer free HR advice to any members who may be facing issues in that department. Reviewing platform TRUSTist® have offered huge discounts to AFA members and advertising businesses Franchise Local, now allow members to add AFA accreditation to the profiles on their website.

They have also put additional time and effort into improving their services to make it easy for members to access their content. Through partnering with managed live chat platform, Melu, the AFA’s website is now managed operated by real people in live time, helping to improve accessibility to members and website visitors. This in turn has increased user engagement while boosting customer loyalty and satisfaction.

The AFA has also recognised the astounding efforts of franchises across the UK, rewarding those who have achieved excellence in the sector. Last year, they partnered with Elite Business to present the EF100 list in a bid to honour the best in British franchising. In addition, five of their regional chairs, two founding members and several members were featured in the list. In 2019, the AFA held its first ever National Conference and AFA awards. The National Conference included a keynote speech by Ben Kench, the well-known sales and business growth coach and creator of ‘The Business Booster Programme’. They also organised a speed mentoring session, which received tremendous feedback received from its attendees. The AFA Awards Dinner, held at the Jury’s Inn in Milton Keynes, was attended by over 140 franchisors, franchisees and suppliers from across the sector to recognise excellence and celebrate the best in the industry.

The AFA has also increased its online presence across its social media accounts including Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. The organisation happily publishes content from its thriving members network, including their accomplishments, awards, taking on new franchises and any exciting news stories they’d like to share.

The organisation now hopes to continue push on forward with its success, providing greater support to its members and continue promoting franchising as a lucrative industry with hopes to grow the sector and appeal to the masses.

“As you can see, 2019 has been a very busy year for the AFA!” Clare Robinson, CEO of AFA said. “In 2020, we are looking at running workshops with industry experts, as well as continuing to offer e-learning services to members on a vast range of topics. We’re really looking forward to seeing what the coming year has in store for the AFA. Our aim is to meet more of the franchising community and provide greater support to more members in their franchising journey. We will also continue to promote franchising to the wider business audience, thereby contributing to the growth of the sector as a whole.”

The AFA serves a self-regulatory body, providing the franchises in the UK with quality accreditation, implementing ethical values and providing additional support and information. Franchisees who sign up with the AFA can receive all the perks that come with a membership, joining a thriving community of like-minded individuals with a shared purpose of bringing their business and the franchise sector to greater heights.

Latifa Yedroudj
Latifa Yedroudj