How The International Franchise Association Champions a Family-Centric Culture
Families rally together to protect and support each other, and franchise families are no exception. The International Franchise Association (IFA) plays a pivotal role in nurturing the ”franchise family,” a term franchise professionals often use to describe the unique bond they share. IFA exists to protect, enhance and promote its members, supporting a family-centric culture throughout franchising. “There is no doubt that the franchise community is a family — from the business owners to franchisors to suppliers and everyone in between. Once you fully understand the power of the business model and how it works, it’s easy to see why,” says Matthew Haller, IFA President and CEO.
Anyone who is involved in franchising understands the tremendous impact it makes. Franchising has helped people become small business owners and empowered them to create jobs and improve communities. Consider this: The International IFA’s 2023 Franchising Economic Outlook report shows that there are approximately 790,492 franchise establishments in the U.S. that support nearly 8.4 million direct jobs and generate $825.4 billion of economic output. “Franchising provides some of the greatest opportunities for entrepreneurs — lifelong careers, and unmatched products and services — and it’s the people behind it who make that possible,” adds Haller.
IFA’s mission is carried out through government relations, public relations and innovative educational programs. For example, this past September, franchise leaders from across the country came together to meet with more than 250 lawmakers and policymakers in a show of support for franchising during its IFA Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C. C-suite executives, franchise owners and supplier partners comprised the IFA contingent attending the Capitol Hill summit. Just like a family, they came together to better each other and work toward a common goal.
And just as families like to celebrate each other’s accomplishments, so do franchise professionals. Throughout the year, IFA’s Open for Opportunity Roadshow gives franchise owners a platform to share their stories with local officials in towns and cities across the country. They shine a light on local franchise businesses to show how vital they are to uplifting students, neighborhoods, and families. Through storytelling and small group discussions, Open for Opportunity makes local leaders aware that franchises provide essential jobs, income and a true sense of local community.
Of course, no family would be complete without regular get-togethers. Every year IFA’s Annual Convention serves as a giant franchise family reunion, bringing thousands of franchise professionals together to collaborate, network and share best practices with the ultimate goal of helping each other succeed in franchising.
Haller believes that franchising offers a powerful business model that can uplift families and communities and create generational wealth. Everything IFA does is to empower the entire franchise community. “Stemming from the franchisor with a business concept to the franchisee who builds a family-like culture within their own business and the suppliers who support the sector along the way, everyone in this model wants to work together to strengthen it and foster its growth.”
For more about the IFA, visit www.franchise.org/.