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Designed to help the entire franchise community, a franchise association provides information, resources, networking opportunities and advancement programs to help franchise member businesses. Through a franchise association, a small business owner can network with business colleagues and vendors and acquire information designed to help people starting or running a franchise. Franchise associations also organize fairs, conventions and conferences with meetings, lectures and classes designed to help franchise-related businesses navigate the world of franchising.
A franchise is a business opportunity where a business seeker acquires the right to provide already established goods or services under the name of an existing successful business. The owner of a franchise is called a franchisee. Franchising is common in many types of businesses, including discount retail stores, clothing retail, and especially fast food. The advantage of a franchise is that it gives franchise owners an already recognizable name that they can use to build a successful business. Several disadvantages, including high upfront cost, ongoing royalties, and a lack of control over the business, prevent some small business owners from entering the franchise business.
Beginner franchise owners can find help starting a franchise on a franchise membership website. For those just starting to learn about franchising, franchise association websites provide information to explain franchising, break down the costs of running a franchise, and advise on how to maintain a successful franchise. This type of association can be useful because it provides a central place to find a variety of information provided to business owners who run or work with a franchise.
Although the names are similar, a franchise membership is different from a franchisee membership. A franchisee association is an organization of people who have purchased a franchise. This type of association exists to assist franchisees with business matters and provide advice, legal resources, and help during disputes with the company that sold the franchise, called the franchisor. While a franchise association will only accept franchisees as members, a franchise association will include franchisors, franchisees and franchise providers within the organization.
Many franchise owners find themselves with more franchise questions than the franchisor has time to resolve. When franchise company help is not available, the franchise association can help a franchise owner with general questions and problems associated with running a franchise. This type of organization can also help franchisees establish contact with mentor franchisees in their area, who can help provide specific business advice served in the surrounding region.