The Ultimate Franchise Checklist: Tools & Resources for Franchisors

There is a lot to keep up-to-speed on in the franchise community, so we have put together a list of resources for franchisors that includes news sources, events, trade associations, social groups, and more. We will continue to update this list as we learn about more resources for franchisors. Happy learning!

(Please note this list is primarily for the U.S. franchise community.)

Associations & Meet-Ups

International Franchise Association (IFA) – The IFA is the most world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through government relations and public policy, media relations, and educational programs to protect, enhance, and promote franchising. IFA members include franchise companies, individual franchisees, and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology, and business development.

Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) – The CFA is the recognized authority on franchising in Canada. It’s the indispensable resource for the franchise community and advocates on behalf of franchisors and franchisees in Canada to enhance and protect the franchise business model. CFA promotes excellence in franchising and educations Canadians about franchising, specific franchise opportunities, and proper due diligence through its many events, programs, publications, and websites.

Franchise Business Network (FBN) – FBN meetings are [generally] scheduled for the second Tuesday of each quarter across the U.S. While networking with others in the franchise community, meeting potential customers, and making new business contacts, participants take advantage of educational programs and legislative information made available to them at no charge.

For a comprehensive list of the world’s franchise associations, click here.

You may also consider joining an association that represents your industry, such as the National Restaurant Association, National Association for the Education of Young Children, or Automotive Service Association. A quick online search will provide you with a multitude of associations to join.

Media Outlets

1851 Franchise Magazine – 1851 Franchise Magazine is produced by No Limit Agency and provides news and information on franchising. Over time, 1851 Franchise evolved to become a comprehensive content marketing and franchise development solution.

The Balance – The Balance delivers clear, practical advice that will strengthen readers’ lifelong relationship with money so they can earn more, spend smarter, invest well, and build a more secure future. In the franchise section, topics include basics of franchising, developing a franchise, choosing a franchise, popular franchises, legal resources, franchise interviews, a directory, and franchise reviews.

Entrepreneur – Entrepreneur is a North American magazine and website that carries news stories about entrepreneurship, small business management, and business. Each year they release their “Entrepreneur Franchise 500” list, revealing the impact of the newest trends and the industries poised for growth. They report on franchise news and list franchise opportunities.

Food Drink & Franchise – FDF World is a digital publication on a mission to bring business executives up-to-date with the latest news, information, and trends from across the food, drink, and franchising industries.

Forbes – Forbes is a global media company focused on business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership, and lifestyle. It includes a bi-weekly magazine and digital content. Each year they create a list of "America’s Best and Worst Franchises to Buy." Check out their sections on entrepreneurship and small businesses for more news on franchising.

Franchise Business Review – Franchise Business Review is the leading market research firm in the franchise industry specializing in franchisee satisfaction and performance. They bring transparency to the franchise industry and help franchise brands achieve performance objectives with actionable data.

Franchise Direct – Franchise Direct’s goal is to provide a reliable, authoritative platform where entrepreneurs can connect with franchisors seeking investors. Their mission is to be the leading online resource for franchise opportunities and the knowledge center of choice for anyone seeking information on the franchise industry.

Franchise Herald – Franchise Herald provides comprehensive content about the most important economies, markets, companies, and industries. Franchise Herald strives to be the most influential source offering in-depth coverage of franchise news, information, tips, and data that is relevant and specific to small business owners and franchises.

Franchise Times – Franchise Times provides franchisees and franchisors with reliable information and resources for building and growing franchise business. They produce 10 magazines per year and focus on the people, companies, and issues that make franchising so interesting.

Franchise Update – Franchise Update is a targeted, quarterly magazine aimed at keeping franchise executives on the cutting edge. Topics include sales, marketing, technology, real estate, legal updates, market news, and more. Its audience consists of CEOs, CFOs, Sales Executives, and Senior Level Managers with U.S.-based franchisors.

Franchising USA Magazine – Franchising USA is a monthly digital publication bringing you all the latest news, expert advice, and information from the world of franchising. Editorial is written by top experts throughout the franchise network.

Franchising WorldFranchising World is the flagship monthly magazine of the International Franchise Association. The primary goal of Franchising World is to keep franchising professionals informed on best practices in franchising and covers franchise development, management and operations, marketing, franchise relations, and new technology. It also includes current events and the overall state of the “World of Franchising,” feature updates on government relations and franchising legislation, international development, and upcoming IFA events.

IFA Insider – The IFA Insider is an e-newsletter produced every Tuesday and provides timely information on the IFA’s strategic priorities – government relations, public relations, education, and professional development.

SmartBrief – SmartBrief is a 3x/week e-newsletter created by SmartBrief, a business news publisher, in partnership with IFA. It provides a snapshot of the franchise industry with news from Bloomberg Businessweek, Entrepreneur, QSRMagazine.com, and other leading sources.

World Franchise Review – This magazine is a large-format, luxuriously produced 150-page publication featuring interviews, articles about new and upcoming international franchise brands, and a catalogue of franchised brands wanting to go international.

Blogs

Expansion Experts – Expansion Experts aims to help small businesses make the next step to expand their business. They offer strategies to owners to help them grow to multiple units, and they also support those who are already franchisors.

Franchise Opportunities – Franchise Opportunities is “the #1 source for franchise information.” The focus of the site is for prospective owners, so you can place your franchise concept in front of highly interested prospects. Their blog includes featured franchises, business resources, finance news, franchise opportunities, and general franchise news.

FranConnect – FranConnect’s blog includes articles and best practices learned from working with over 600 brands and 110,000 franchisees. Categories include franchise news, events, franchise sales and marketing, customer highlights, and franchise technology.

IFA FranBlog – The IFA FranBlog focuses on franchise opportunities by featuring franchisees, community giving, trends, news, and more.

Inc. Franchise Blog – Inc. is where you can find everything you need to know to start and grow you business, and they publish articles specific to franchising on their blog.

Social Media

FranSocial – FranSocial is a forum for IFA members to connect. It’s a place for knowledge exchange, content curation, idea incubation, and professional networking.

LinkedIn Groups – An abundance of franchise-focused LinkedIn Groups exist. Search for active ones that relate to you, and join the conversation.

Events

Emerging Franchisor Conference – Designed for franchisors looking to connect, innovate, and evolve their brands to the next level, the Emerging Franchisor Conference provides you with valuable information and insights from leading franchisors that you will bring back to your business to help you grow and succeed.

Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting – Formerly called the IFA Washington, DC fly-in, this is an integration of IFA’s grassroots advocacy program, the Franchise Action Network, with their annual Public Affairs Conference. This meeting gives you the opportunity to meet with your representatives in Congress to discuss regulations that can affect your business.

Learn why you should join the Franchise Action Network.

Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference – This conference is designed for marketing executives and marketing service providers, packed with discussions focused on the hottest topics in today’s marketing world, from building your brands to the latest technology. Network and learn from the best and brightest marketing executives. You will leave with the materials necessary to establish your brand reputation, essence, and overall identity.

Franchise Expo South – This is the premier franchise expo serving the Southwestern U.S. and Latin America. Meet hundreds of proven franchise opportunities in every industry and every investment level.

Franchise Expo West – This is the largest franchise expo in the Western United States. Meet face-to-face with over 200 proven franchise opportunities in every industry and every investment level.

Franchise Leadership & Development Conference – This exclusive event is designed for CEOs, Presidents, and Franchise Sales and Development Executives. It combines the impact of exciting presentations with peer-to-peer problem-solving workshops and roundtables. This conference is produced by Franchise Update Media.

Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference – This is franchising’s premier lending and dealmaker’s conference. Attendees are invited to meet with franchise lenders and investors throughout the conference and get an inside look at the growth plan of over 50+ successful franchise companies. Franchisors and multi-unit franchisees are invited to attend the conference sessions and network with operators and lenders.

FranTech – Designed to help franchise professionals understand technology options and platforms, at IFA’s FranTech you will hear case studies and learn best practices designed to integrate technologies like GPS, content management, communications, social, local, mobile, and more.

IBA/IFA Joint Conference – Each year, IFA partners with the International Bar Association’s Franchising Committee to develop a program relevant to those in the international franchise law profession. Experienced legal counsel share invaluable information regarding latest developments in international law.

IFA Annual Convention – This is the biggest franchise event of the year. It provides access to thousands of franchise executives and partners; the opportunity to learn from experts hosting more than 50 content-rich educational sessions; networking time to develop strategic partnerships and make deals inside and outside of the 350+ Exhibit Hall.

Check out FranConnect's key takeaways from #IFA2017.

International Franchise Expo – This is the largest franchise expo in the country. Meet face-to-face with over 400 proven franchise opportunities from every industry and every investment level.

Legal Symposium – IFA’s Legal Symposium was designed by a task force of member volunteers with a particular emphasis on how legal and regulatory issues affect the everyday business operations of the franchise system. The program provides value and real-world solutions to both business executives and their franchise legal partners. The focus is on practical use of the law and the how-to’s for navigating today’s business and regulatory environment. You will experience compelling programming that will allow you to engage, discuss, and learn with your peers; valuable real-world solutions from expert speakers; and multiple networking events.

Restaurant Finance & Development Conference – This conference is hosted by Restaurant Finance Monitor and is all about the “business” side of the restaurant business. Attendees have the opportunity to meet with representatives from banks, finance companies, private equity firms, real estate developers, and more. They will attend educational programs and hear from the most innovative restaurant operators and finance experts in the industry. This conference is geared toward owners, operators, and executives of multi-unit restaurant companies – both independent and franchised.

Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit – This summit explores how limited-service chains can leverage innovation in a variety of forms – from experience innovation to kitchen innovation to menu innovation and beyond – as a catalyst for franchise expansion. The Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit will help franchisors be more progressive in many areas of their business to attract both investors and customers. This event is produced by Networld Media Group.

Education

Franchise Development Seminars – Brought to you by the IFA, participants will hear from leading franchise executives offering development solutions and best practices based on real-world scenarios. These are smaller, more interactive programs designed for franchise development professionals to hear from experts on the latest trends and best practices.

FranConnect Resources – In FranConnect’s resource center, franchisors will find best practices, tips, and trends through ebooks, activities, webinars, and more. These assets are written by Certified Franchise Executives and leading franchise executives.

WednesdayWise Webinars – Hosted by industry professionals, IFA’s monthly series of informative, interactive seminars are held on the first Wednesday of every month and will help you run your franchise business better.

You may want to consider investigating industry-specific media outlets and events to stay up-to-date with news and trends happening in your brand’s vertical.

Are there other resources you find helpful? Leave a comment, and we’ll be sure to update the list.

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About the Author

Erin Gifford

Erin Gifford

Erin is the Senior Marketing Communications Manager at FranConnect. She is a creative marketing professional focused on strategy, growth, content creation, public relations, and stakeholder communications with a passion for branding, messaging, and storytelling.

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