IFA Members come together for IFA’s Second Annual California Franchising Day at the Sacramento Capitol

On March 4, IFA brought together over 25 member franchisors and franchisees for our second annual Franchising Day at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. Among the brands represented were, California Closets, CKE Restaurants, The Entrepreneur Authority, Franchise Services Inc., FranNet, Glass Doctor, Home Instead Senior Care, Interim HealthCare, IHOP, McDonald’s, Mr. Rooter, Plumbing Md, ARCO ampm, Instant Imprints, The UPS Store, Marriott, Yum! Brands, Schlotzsky’s and more.

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The wide array of brands and industries represented at the event helped drive the message to policymakers that franchising has a significant economic impact in California, which continues to thrive in the current regulatory climate due to the partnership that exists between franchisees and franchisors.

Mark Justice, EVP & COO, MR. Stax, Inc., an IHOP franchisee based in Valencia, echoed the importance of being engaged in IFA’s advocacy efforts. “An eye-opening experience! Not only did we influence and educate our state’s lawmakers about the franchise business model, we walked away with a better understanding of the political process in California.”

Attendees heard from several Committee Chairs and leadership from both parties in the morning as well as Nancy McFadden, a top advisor to Governor Jerry Brown, before breaking into smaller groups for more than 40 meetings with individual legislators throughout the afternoon. The meetings were a resounding success.

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Chris Mesker of The Entrepreneur Authority in Sacramento explained, “It was clear to me that our legislators were interested in learning how franchising is really geared for the small business owner vs. large corporation. Getting the opportunity to educate them on the business model and economic impact was a huge step in having them understand how vital we are to the fabric of California. The impact we made was very apparent. It was a great day and I can’t wait to be involved moving forward.”

During the meetings, attendees shared stories about their businesses and the importance of  franchise businesses in California and the nearly one million jobs they create. In a proactive approach, IFA and its members made the most of their time with legislators, advocating on behalf of this proven business model.

“Without the face-to-face legislative interaction with the IFA and its members, many legislators and their staff would have no exposure to franchising and a limited understanding of this small business employment engine,” said Don Conger, of Financial Services, Inc., the franchisor of Sir Speedy and TeamLogicIT, among other brands based in Mission Viejo.

Driving this message home was Don Higginson of The UPS Store in San Diego. “The jury is out on franchising. This business model has been around nearly 50 years now and has flourished under the current regulatory system.”

In conjunction with the event, an op-ed by IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira and Mr. Rooter of Sonoma County franchisee Saunda Kitchen appeared in Fox & Hounds, entitled “Franchise Business is a Team Sport”. The op-ed provides a unique look into how franchising allows entrepreneurs to go into business for themselves, but not by themselves with the support of a franchise system.

Moving forward, IFA will continue its outreach and engagement in California inviting legislators to in-district meetings and roundtables this spring and summer.

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Mark your calendar to attend IFA’s second annual “California Franchising Day”

Mark your calendar for March 4th to attend IFA’s second annual “California Franchising Day” at the Sacramento state Capitol. Building off of the success of last year, IFA invites our California members to join us in advocating on behalf of the franchise industry. It will be a great opportunity for franchisees and franchisors to let the California Legislature know the major economic impact that franchising makes in the state. Franchising employs nearly one million people through over 80 thousand franchise establishments, and contributes over $94 billion to California’s economy annually. In addition to meeting with legislators and staff, attendees will also get to speak one-on-one with key policymakers to educate them on the franchise industry.

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 Here are some fast facts on the Golden State:

  • 39 new California legislators were elected in the 2012 election year.
  • 2014 primary elections for the California State Assembly will be held on June 3, and a general election that will be held on November 4.
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 38,332,521 people in California. This is roughly 12% of the entire U.S. population.
  • There are approximately 83,000 franchised businesses and 925,000 people employed by franchises in California.
  • Franchise businesses have an economic output of $94 billion in the state.

To RSVP or for more information about California Franchising Day, please contact IFA’s Erica Farage at efarage@franchise.org or (202)662-0760

Increase Your Digital Marketing and Tech Solutions

FranTech Technology Toolkit

The IFA FranTech Toolkit is designed to help marketing, communications and information technology franchise professionals navigate the maze of digital marketing and technology solutions available to franchises today.

Find eight different ways that technology is helping to improve efficiencies and positively impact bottom lines.  Topics include a localizing your email marketing strategy; social, local and mobile marketing changes everything and online marketing.  This special advertising section is essential reading for your next strategy session.

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Franchise Digital Marketing & Technology in the Spotlight

IFA’s FranTech 2014: Digital Marketing & Technology Best Practices for Franchising, is scheduled April 10 and 11 in Denver.  Featured experts will examine how you can capitalize on new digital communications platforms and technologies to take your business to the next level. We will bring together leading experts in cloud computing, security, mobile marketing, lead generation and much more. Register now.

IFA Announces Partnership with New England Franchise Association

The International Franchise Association announced that the New England Franchise Association (NEFA) is now an affiliate of IFA’s Franchise Business Network (FBN). NEFA supports and promotes franchising within the six New England states by bringing franchise executives, franchisees and suppliers together to exchange ideas and build relationships. This partnership strengthens local business ties across the New England franchise community, in addition to expanding IFA’s FBN.

“We are pleased to welcome IFA’s new partnership with the NEFA. Together, we will be able to strengthen grassroots political involvement in the New England franchise community,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. “Through our collective mission, we will also bring unique networking opportunities to local franchise businesses at a time of continued economic and public policy uncertainty.”

The FBN meetings are grassroots networking opportunities for the franchise community. These regional programs facilitate networking with others in the franchise community, meeting potential customers and making new business contacts. Bringing local business owners together on a regular basis to create opportunities and offer affordable educational programs, participants are able to take advantage of educational programs and legislative information made available to them at no charge, except for the cost of meals.

New England franchises contribute over $70 billion dollars annually, through 32,000 franchise establishments and over 750,000 jobs. “Working with the IFA presents the opportunity to broaden franchise relationships in New England and surrounding areas,” said NEFA President, Murray Vetstein. “IFA’s FBN hosts an extensive network of franchise industry leaders. Through our partnership we will foster communication, learning and best practices by growing franchise relationships.”

For more information on IFA’s FBN, please click here.

Franchisee Leads Breakout Session on Disaster Response at U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundations, 2013 Corporate Responsibility Conference

This week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation hosted its Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) 2013 Corporate Responsibility Conference, effectively themed The Network Effect: How Business Drives Progress. It was an opportunity for businesses and leaders of corporate responsibility to convene around a variety of issues including energy and water use, woman’s economic empowerment, nutrition, and disaster resiliency.

Mitch Cohen, Franchisee, Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins, and April Schrenker, Manager, The Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin Robbins Community Foundation, participated in the Tapping Into Community During Disaster Response, Breakout Session. Here, they led a discussion on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and how Dunkin’ Brands’ Community Foundation has grown and operated since its launch after Hurricane Katrina. The Community Foundation provided disaster recovery efforts and donations to the affected victims and areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Seven years later, The Community Foundation has evolved into a grassroots campaign with a focus on mobilizing disaster response efforts through Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins’ community based franchise locations nationwide.

Best practices and constructive ideas were shared among business owners, and spokesmen and women from relief agencies like American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), aligning with the central point of the session, “One of the best sources of information on how to help disaster impacted community is by having employees on the ground. Whether it is a franchise owner or store manager, businesses can make smarter decisions and determine how best to help by leveraging their on-the-ground network.”

Cohen, franchise owner and operator of 13 Dunkin’ locations, is also Co-Chair of the Community Foundation, which has built a framework that allows the Dunkin’ Brands family to give back to those who help them every day in their communities. When speaking of the Foundation’s recent efforts after Hurricane Sandy, Cohen described how the Foundation likes to base decisions, not just on the ‘here and now’, but on effective response and recovery efforts that, “make a difference six, eight, and twelve months down the road.”

“Establish a mission with whom you’re giving to, and what for. Set expectations and guiding pillars that allow you to define certain criteria and expectations” added Cohen, when speaking of who to give to and for what reasons. The Foundation partners with national nonprofit organizations, in addition to regional and local level franchisees to support three critical issue areas, children’s health, hunger and safety. Since 2006, the Foundation has donated more than $4.4 million to organizations serving their neighborhoods.

Click here to view the 2013 Corporate Responsibility Conference online agenda.