IFA’s Emerging Franchisor Conference → GO BIG!


Ever wondered what it is like to be given all tools necessary and then told to build something?  Well, as many of us know, it’s definitely a challenge to start on your own! However, given the proper resources, it could end up being the best learning opportunity! Now take that approach and apply it to your business. If you are a growing franchisor and looking for the premier franchising networking event filled with resources, then look no further! IFA has teamed up with a taskforce to implement a program that could best serve the Emerging Franchisors needs.

The 2014 Emerging Franchisor Conference is an interactive platform for executives of brands that are just stepping into the market.  Join fellow professionals who have been in the business for quite a while to gain tips and apply proven strategies on how to make your brand shine. Hear Warren Ellish, President & CEO of Ellish Marketing Group talk about World-Class Branding, Catherine Monson, CEO of FastSigns International discuss corporate culture and Mary Kennedy Thompson of the Dwyer Group give her “Lessons in Leadership.” After hearing their motivational stories, there is no doubt that you will be recharged and ready to GO BIG!

Not only does this event advise you on the necessary steps to reach the top, but it helps guide you in the right direction, especially in connection with your franchisees. Building trust from the start is crucial in any relationship, so enhance the connection with your current franchisee while creating new relations. By the end of the conference, you will know who you want to play a key role in your business, what you want from them, and where to put them in action.

Some key aspects of the conference that should not be missed are: the “Discussion with Franchise Founder’s and CEO’s”, the notorious “Shark Tank” session (yes you heard it right, get a sense of the deadly tank!), a case study of audience engagement and of course, the infamous roundtable discussions where you get up close and personal with the best in the business.

Don’t just sit in the present to wait for something to happen in the future, take a plunge in this unique educational opportunity offered by IFA and register for the 2014 Emerging Franchisor Conference in Dallas, November 18-19 today! The program brochure is now available, so click here to see what’s in store!

Join Franchise Relations Dialogue Forum’s New “Ask the Expert” Series

Are you looking for a way to expand your understanding of issues related to franchising in a fun and innovative way? The IFA Franchise Relations Committee’s Knowledge Share Task Force is helping IFA members to tap into their peers’ expertise with the creation of a new series called “Ask the Expert.”

Don’t miss the opportunity to participate in this new series that gives you access to franchise experts who will describe how they navigated their paths to success and overcame obstacles.  The first expert is Dwyer Group Executive Chairwoman Dina Dwyer-Owens, CFE.  Dwyer-Owens is a former IFA chairwoman and has more than 30 years of industry experience.

Simply post a question by this Friday, Aug. 15.  About 10 questions will be selected by the IFA Franchise Relations Committee’s Knowledge Share Task Force after sorting and combining all of the questions.  Next Dwyer-Owens will later supply her responses. Questions can include almost anything as long as it is related to franchising. So get in your questions today.

Visit the Franchise Relations Dialogue Forum to stay involved with the ongoing series to take advantage of business strategies that work in today’s marketplace.

Franchising With a Side of Fascinating

When the general public thinks of franchising, popular brands such as McDonald’s, Subway and KFC may come to mind. And why not, 57 percent of franchise businesses involve food — 38 percent are quick service restaurants, 13 percent are table/full service restaurants and 6 percent are retail food, according to IFA’s Franchise Business Economic Outlook prepared by HIS Global Insight.

Here’s a look at just a few members from these franchise categories.

Kat Cole, who today is president of Cinnabon, said she took on leadership roles early, such as serving as class president, and has learned to question what leads to success more than what ends in failure, according to a recent New York Times article.  Auntie Anne’s President and COO Bill Dunn started working in one of his father’s Wendy’s restaurants as a teenager and hopes he’ll be remembered for his push for continuous improvement, he shared with QSR Magazine. And childhood friends and  Zaxby’s co-founders Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley dreamed up the company nearly 25 years ago while shooting hoops in McLeroy’s backyard.

And then there are the industry’s multi-talented, multi-tasking franchisees. This coal miner’s daughter was a part-time cashier for Taco Bell while attending community college and went on to hold managerial positions in several franchise restaurants.  Today Shana Gonzales owns four Checker’s restaurants in Atlanta. IFA Treasurer Aziz Hashim, who is president and CEO of NRD Holdings, LLC, earned a degree as an electrical engineer and then promptly went into franchising. Today he’s one of the top 200 franchise operators in the United States with such high-profile brands as Popeye’s, Subway, KFC, Taco Bell and many others.  IFA board member Mitch Cohen, who franchises more than a dozen Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin’ Donuts locations in Long Island, N.Y., and  co-chairs Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation, is also a Guinness World record holder for most ice cream cones prepared in one minute — 19.

Yes, there are challenges affecting the franchise industry, but unique individuals like these and many others are more than prepared to address them.  You can learn more about industry issues and solutions during the IFA Public Affairs Conference, sponsored by ADP, Sept 16-17 in Washington, D.C.




The Philippines Takes Center Stage with Franchise Asia 2014 and U.S. Franchise Trade Mission


Franchise Asia

A panel including William Edwards, Edwards Global Services CEO and IFA Director of International Affairs Josh Merin take turns speaking to the general session of Franchise Asia about international growth.


Mission participants enjoy a VIP tour of Franchise Asia’s Expo.

The Philippines became an increasing center of the franchising world’s attention when it hosted one of the franchising’s biggest events in Southeast Asia, Franchise Asia 2014 and a U.S. franchise trade mission. The show was originally scheduled to take place July 16-20 at the SMX Convention Center in Manila, Philippines but took place July 17-20 because of the typhoon that hit the Philippines on the 16th.  Recognized as the biggest franchise show in the Philippines each year, Franchise Asia continued not to disappoint, welcoming over 500 exhibitors, including IFA member and trade mission participant Tutor Doctor, and an estimated 50,000 attendees.

Due to the typhoon, the first day of Franchise Asia was cancelled. However, the Philippine Franchise Association’s staff worked diligently through the night to reconfigure the program. Their hard work paid off when Franchise Asia opened its doors on the morning of the 17th and soon saw its convention hall filled with hundreds of attendees from the Philippine franchise community. These attendees demonstrated the remarkable resilience of the Filipino people, by leaving their homes (many without power) and traveling through a city just hit by a typhoon to fill the hall.

The Filipino franchise market is highly mall focused due to weather and pollution. Jan Paul Custodio, Senior Director CB Richard Ellis Philippines told trade mission participants that the Philippines’ has 1/10th the real estate costs of Hong Kong or first-tier Chinese cities.  It also has the lowest mall real estate prices in Asia, 20 times lower than Beijing.  Market challenges include public infrastructure and high energy costs.  According to a US Embassy briefing, the number one drag on growth is corruption, especially outside of Manila.

Bill Edwards, Vice Chair of the IFA’s International Committee and CEO Edwards Global Services and IFA’s Josh Merin addressed the general session of Franchise Asia on July 17. In “Conquering the Global Market with Your Brand” they presented IFA and its experience with international franchising including strategy and tactics for franchising internationally.  The presentation included international development models, what to look for in an international licensee and considerations before going international.   The event included Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) classes and this year’s CFE graduation.

Trade Mission attendees were able to tour Franchise Asia on Saturday, July 19th.

Franchising Making Gains in Manila


Trade Mission participants line up to speak during a reception at the US Embassy in Manila.


The trade mission delegation and U.S. Embassy staff celebrate a successful event.

Ambassador Goldberg

From left, U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg, IFA Director of International Affairs Josh Merin and Senior Commercial Officer Jim McCarthy address a high-level networking reception in the ballroom of the U.S. Embassy, Manila.

As typhoon Rammasan was making its way towards the Philippines, franchise executives from all over the world were headed to make waves in Southeast Asia as IFA, in partnership with Franchise Times and the U.S. Commercial Service, led a delegation to explore opportunities in the Philippine franchise market July 17-20. Mission participants braved delayed and rerouted flights while those who arrived early relied on the Ascott Makati hotel’s generators to get them through the storm.

As the storm calmed and the sun started to shine, the mission kicked off with a visit to the historic US Embassy in Manila. With the Philippines becoming increasingly a consumption-led and service-oriented economy, the franchise sector is a powerful tool for local development. The mission allowed 14 dynamic American franchise concepts to explore the expanding Philippine market. The goal is to investigate partnership opportunities with master franchisees and area developers in the Philippines. Companies such as Edible Arrangements, Jan-Pro, Panda Express, PJ’s Coffee, Russo’s NY Pizzeria, Tilted Kilt, Title Boxing Club, Tutor Doctor, World of Beer, and WOW Café are ready to meet one-on-one with potential candidate companies that can help them expand their product to the region.

There are deep historical and cultural ties between the Philippines and the US.  Currently, there are 4 million Filipinos living in the US and 400,000 US citizens living in the Philippines.  This drives Filipino familiarity with US brands as well as an appetite for them. US Embassy employee, Kelan Evans of the Foreign Agricultural Service, referred to the US as the Philippines’ #1 supplier and consumer of agricultural goods. Kristin Keedler from the Embassy’s’ Public Affairs Section stated that there is a very positive perception of Americans and US culture in the Philippines.

While US franchises takes the lead and are welcomed with open arms, the Filipino market is shifting. According to Samie Lim, Chairman Emeritus, Philippines Franchise Association, “US franchises once dominated the Philippines, but Asian franchises are now coming in very fast.  The Filipino franchise community has grown a great deal in sophistication.” GDP growth is second only to China in the region.  This growth is projected to continue for at least 5 years and looks sustainable. “President Aquino has been an economic reformer and while 40% of the population lives below the poverty line, things seem to be changing,” stated Joel Ehrendriech, Economic Counselor, US Embassy.   With a steadily growing economy, the Philippines’ is a prime franchise market with a growing sophistication of the business community and a desire for US brands. US Deputy Chief of Mission Brian Goldbeck said, “The market is poised, you are right to look at this market now.”

Mission participants spent the day of the 18th in matchmaking meetings with potential business partners arranged by the US Commercial Service.  Companies met with as many as 12 potential partners in one hour blocks over the course of the day.  The meetings were conducted in private rooms at the Ascott Makati hotel.

Afterwards, US Ambassador Philip Goldberg hosted the delegation and leaders from the Filipino business community for a well-received catered networking reception with live music. Attendees included the Philippines’ Secretary of Finance, Cesar Purisma and Chairman Emeritus of the Philippines Franchise Association and “Father of Philippine Franchising” Samie Lim.  Ambassador Goldberg, Senior Commercial Officer Jim McCarthy, and Josh Merin, IFA’s Director of International Affairs, made remarks during the event. Merin then introduced the mission participants who each made brief remarks. Reporters from 12 media outlets, including the two largest newspapers in the Philippines visited the hotel to cover the mission.

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