The shifting perception of franchising

Slowly but surely, franchising is starting to get the recognition it deserves

The shifting perception of franchising

I’m privileged to have become chief executive of the bfa at a time when the perception of franchising is finally shifting. Those of us in franchising already know it’s a sector with abundant opportunities and one which has outperformed the wider economy in good times and bad. The numbers are clear in this regard, with growth of 10% over the last two years adding to robust performance throughout the prior downturn.

And it seems that more people are beginning to notice and understand its potential impact on individuals, companies, job creation, local communities and economic prosperity. The f-word is no longer one of the business world’s best-kept secrets.

At the bfa we’ve worked hard alongside the standards-based businesses in the community to get stories out far and wide in the media. It’s no easy task; with franchising spanning just about all business sectors, there’s a broad mix of different audiences to reach and engage.

But, by working together, we’ve engaged trade, regional, national and broadcast press, developing very strong relationships with business journalists that have vastly increased the visibility of franchising as an option for budding entrepreneurs. We’ve also driven increasing numbers of people to events to raise awareness of what franchising is, how it works and the opportunities on offer. And, through national campaigns, we’ve showcased the truly life-changing impact that franchising can have.

As a result, the bfa has reached record audience numbers. But that’s not all: having recently featured in four different national newspapers over four consecutive weeks, the media is also paying attention to what’s happening in a dynamic and driven part of the economy. We’re fielding more enquiries than ever for stories and articles.

Of course there’s still a lot to do, which is why we’re so pleased to have an external relations committee as part of the bfa’s governance for the first time. This will help build on the excellent work that people in franchising are doing with academic institutions and government figures at all levels.

The ethical franchising community has never been stronger or more visible than it is currently and that’s to the benefit of all of us in it, from owner-operator franchisees to globally renowned business leaders and professionals. Together we’re raising the bar and changing perceptions: the f-word is making itself heard.”

Pip Wilkins
Pip Wilkins