The franchise world may seem overwhelming and crowded to those exploring it for the first time. There are multitudes of franchise companies offering all kinds of services, with their own individual rules and regulations, spread throughout the country. Through experience, however, you’ll start to notice that the most successful franchise companies have a lot in common when it comes to best practices for a successful and cohesive system. One of these practices involves productive communication between franchisees and the corporate office through a Franchise Advisory Council (FAC).
As the name implies, FACs are designed to provide franchise owners an outlet through which to communicate with the franchisor. They are usually comprised of several franchisees who are either hand-selected by the franchisor, elected (on a rotating basis) by the other franchisees, or a combination of the two. FACs meet with the franchisor several times a year to discuss a variety of topics from operational issues to new product or development ideas and beyond. Below are some more details about the role FACs play in franchising and how each side (franchisees and franchisors) contributes to their overall purpose.
Role of FAC Members
Franchise Advisory Councils are designed to provide an open dialogue between the franchisor and its franchisees. To be most effective, this group should be organized, focused, and energetic. They should be thinking not only of their individual business issues, but of issues that effect many or all franchise businesses in their system. FAC members are chosen or elected to bring suggestions/comments from their fellow franchisees to company headquarters, have a productive discussion, and return feedback to the other franchise owners. Members of the council do not have authority to make system-wide decisions, but are meant to represent their fellow franchisees.
Role of the Franchisor
The purpose of the FAC is to create a two-way street of communication, so responsibility for success lies as much with the franchisor as it does with the members of the council. The International Franchise Association suggests that the key duties of the franchisor to the FAC are: “To consider all ideas with an open mind, encourage the FAC to strive for creative solutions to system issues, accommodate reasonable FAC requests, and recognize that franchisees have provided many a system with valuable ideas for innovation.”
Many FACs have a set of rules to structure things such as communication, confidentiality, and term limits, which help keep everyone on the same page both before and after meetings. Frequency and subject matter of the meetings varies by franchise, but topics might include general industry developments, operational issues within the franchise, new brand ideas, and beyond.
Mosquito Joe Franchise Advisory Council
Mosquito Joe Corporate fosters open communication with our franchisees, and our FAC is just another way of doing so in a more formal manner. The council meets several times a year, in person and over the phone. Members are expected to share any issues or questions from the Mosquito Joe family, bring forth new ideas to the table, participate in productive discussions, and be fair representatives of their fellow franchisees.
Stephanie Simon, Owner of Mosquito Joe of Arkansas, says,
“I love that we have an FAC. It’s a great way for franchisees to talk to another franchisee in the same situation. This validates their thoughts and concerns since we are all going through the same journey. FAC members get to hear the collective questions and concerns and bring them to the Corporate office. Whether it’s about products, marketing, new ideas in making our processes more efficient, introducing us to new vendors, concerns and suggestions – we love to hear it all! Throughout the FAC meetings, we’ve discussed many issues, and Corporate has done a great job listening and responding, which has led to new analyzing software for more accurate reporting, new uniform options, upgrades to many of our programs, and more!”
Mosquito Joe’s franchise advisory council is one of the many benefits to becoming a franchisee. If you’re interested in learning more about us, please visit our franchise information page. Someone from our franchise development team will be in touch shortly to answer all of your questions and get you on the path to becoming part of the Mosquito Joe family!