More To Franchising Than Just Financial Success
As throngs of franchise folks returned from their annual pilgrimage to the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) franchise convention in Las Vegas, the overwhelming goal for most was determining how to extract more value from using the franchise model. The IFA hosted scores of classes offering insights and know-how for franchisors and franchisees at all levels, an exhibit hall filled with suppliers proffering the latest and greatest tools and resources to support the growing cadre of franchise faithful, and keynote speakers delivering insights to the future of franchising. Out of the thousands in attendance a group of conventioneers convened under the banner Franchising Gives Back to focus a few hours on supporting a local need.
Sprinkled among the agendas of the convention were impact oriented stories where franchising is addressing some social issue, including water scarcity in Africa and leveraging brand value for a cause. These social franchise efforts are generating a different kind of “return on investment” for the participants. For those who were fortunate enough to uncover some of these stories, it may well be the best take-home value of all, as it points to an increasing number of franchise organizations that are focusing on developing results well beyond the bottomline.
Aligning A Cause With The Franchise Impacts Organizational Culture
It’s hard to imagine a household in America that does not have a clothes dryer, and each of them represents a real fire hazard to the homeowner if not properly installed and maintained. Leave it to a franchisor to build a business based on that niche opportunity. Dryer Vent Wizard was formed in 2004 and started franchising in 2006, and with almost a hundred franchises in the U.S. and a few now in Canada, they are proving franchising can leverage entrepreneurs even in the narrowest of markets. And, according to Terry Reuer, Executive Chair, early on they sought to find a cause related to their franchise, which led them to the Children’s Burn Foundation, a nonprofit based in California. “They focus on education in fire safety, which is directly aligned with our franchisees,” said Reuer, “and through our collective efforts we’ve raised $186,000 by conducting various activities across our franchise system.” One of the more fun and entertaining efforts has been the Mudding for Money outing, which allows the franchise team to get down and dirty for a cause.