Becoming a bfa-qualified franchise professional is one of the best ways to enhance your knowledge of and credibility within the franchising world. But how can you gain this qualification, and what exactly are the benefits of doing so? Let’s find out …
Anyone can become a franchisor or franchisee, and that’s one of the best things about the world of franchising. Even if you don’t have higher education qualifications or are currently on a career path that doesn’t align with your goals, you can set up a thriving business or business network and become your own boss.
Franchising is a legitimate and rewarding business opportunity (you can check out our Mythbusters article for more information). However, as with every type of business, not every franchise is worth investing in or buying from. Gaining a qualification from a regulatory body that’s synonymous with franchising excellence will show your franchisees, customers and clients that you’re a cut above.
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Here are some of the biggest advantages of becoming a bfa-qualified franchise professional (QFP), as well as a quick overview of how to achieve this accolade.
Advantages of becoming a QFP
1. Your credibility will be enhanced
Franchising is a self-regulated industry in the UK; there isn’t a government body assigned to enforcing ethical practice across the franchising world. Before the 1970s, pyramid schemes and other sophisticated scam businesses tarnished the name of franchising. As a result, the bfa was set up in 1977 to set the standards of franchising across the country, making sure customers and franchisees knew its members and affiliates were committed to offering ethical, legitimate franchise opportunities.
Now, franchising is a huge, international industry. It’s worth an estimated £17 billion and provides in excess of 710,000 jobs, over half of which are full-time roles [bfa/NatWest Franchise Survey 2018]. Thanks to reputable industry bodies like the bfa and International Franchise Association, millions of people now recognise franchising as a highly rewarding, legitimate opportunity.
As a result, being associated with such an esteemed organisation will only enhance your reputation. This reputational boost will be particularly useful if your franchise is relatively new or has few franchisees, as it will show customers and franchisees you’re worth taking a chance on.
2. Your franchise will stand out
Whether you’re a franchisor or franchisee looking to build a positive reputation for your brand or a franchise-industry consultant looking to differentiate yourself from competitors, becoming a QFP will help you get noticed.
Some sectors, such as the cleaning franchise world, are already occupied by plenty of well-established brands. Whether you’re a new kid on the block or want to boost the reputation of your locally-successful brand, QFP status will help you do just that. You’ll show that age and size aren’t the only indicators of brand quality and give yourself a fighting chance in new areas and territories against internationally-recognised franchises.
3. You can show your franchising expertise
Not everyone who achieves QFA status is a franchisee or franchisor. It’s also a qualification that solicitors, accountants and other industry advisers can work towards to enhance their reputation within the industry. A QFA qualification could be particularly useful if you specialise in dealing with franchising matters, as it will show you’re an expert on the subject to new and existing clients.
What’s more, you’ll learn lots more about franchising beyond your specific area of expertise. Let’s say you’re an accountant hoping to build a client base of people in the franchising industry. By learning more about how franchising in general works, from marketing to growing a network of franchisees, you can offer tailored financial advice to help your clients manage their finances even more efficiently.
4. You’ll stay at the cutting edge of franchise innovation
Because the majority of the QFP qualification is based on attending bfa training events, workshops and exhibitions, you’ll learn the very best and newest information about operating a successful business in the franchise world. As a result, you can maximise efficiency and innovation within your business to take it to the next level.
If you’re a franchisor, benefits include:
- Access to the most current, up to date thinking and practices in the franchise world
- Tangible financial results
- High-quality, long-lasting network growth
- Attract a higher calibre of franchisee and help them develop world-class businesses under your brand name
And if you’re an advisor or consultant, you’ll be armed with an extensive catalogue of knowledge. You’ll be able to guide your clients out of any situation, no matter how obscure or complex it is, thanks to your qualification.
How to become a QFP
In order to become a fully-qualified QFP, your company must be a member of the bfa, regardless of whether you’re a franchise advisor, franchisee, franchisor or hold a different role. Anyone can complete individual modules of the course, however, which could be useful if you’re just looking to brush up on your industry knowledge.
It will take around three years to achieve the full qualification, as you’ll need to attend core learning events, complete a panel interview and finish your core learning modules before earning QFP status.
You’ll need to pay a one-off £100 + VAT administration fee on registration and could invest up to £3,000 over the three-year period on things like attending learning events. However, if you’ve already attended core learning events, you can submit these as proof to cut down on the cost and time of the QFP process.
Once you’re qualified, you’ll be able to display the bfa QFP letters and logo by your name. You’ll need to make sure you’re committed to continuing your learning, though; you’ll need to achieve a minimum of 600 points from core learning events every year to retain your QFP status.
>> Read more:
- 5 Tips for Developing Your Employees into Future Franchisees
- Being a Successful Franchisee Means Adopting an Entrepreneur Mindset
- 7 Common Habits of Successful Franchisees
- Mythbusters: Common Misconceptions About What Makes a Successful Franchisee
- Five Tips for Boosting Your Self-Confidence as a Business Owner
- Traits of an entrepreneur
Boost your credibility with a QFP qualification
As you see, there are lots of advantages to putting in the time and effort to achieve QFP status. If you’re committed to making your business a success and want to show you exemplify the best of the best in franchising, it’s definitely a worthwhile endeavour.
Want to find out more about franchising? Check out our extensive catalogue of franchise articles for more advice and fascinating industry analysis. Or, if you’re looking for a new challenge in the world of franchising, check out our UK franchise directory. You’ll find more than 300 franchise opportunities right here.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©