Something that most franchisees probably don’t ever think they’d need is a FAC – a Franchisee Advisory Council. Though it sounds vaguely like a dirty word, the smartest thing you could do is get yours going before it’s too late.
In a sense, the FAC operates like a restaurant health inspector and a union at the same time. In the former role, it holds the franchisor accountable to do business in an fashion that considers the well being of the customers of the restaurant (in this analogy the franchisees) while in the latter role it makes sure that the ‘voices of the people’ are heard and not suppressed.
Without a formal body to hold the franchisor accountable, there are no limits to the abuses that could occur towards the franchisee, especially considering that many purchase their franchise without any former business experience. Many franchisors know this and will simply have a lawyer write a letter to scare any franchisee that might get a little too ‘noisy’.
Without the FAC it is very easy for a franchisor to intimidate a franchisee knowing that they likely are not having quality dialogue with their fellow franchisees.
This article published by Canadian Business Franchise Magazine covers this topic and more and is definitely worth the read.
By joining as a member of the VCSFA, you will gain access to the people and tools to help form your FAC within your franchise.