How the BFA Is Supporting Franchisees During the Lockdown

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The British Franchise Association (BFA) is one of the largest organisations governing the franchise industry and has a huge selection of resources for people looking to grow their businesses. Here’s a run-down of how the BFA is supporting franchisees during the Covid-19 pandemic.


The BFA has been helping franchisees and franchisors succeed since 1977. Every year, it delivers informative workshops, talks and networking events, and provides regular updates on the franchise industry, with news articles and business guides. Keep reading to find out how the BFA is supporting franchisees during the lockdown.


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BFA Franchisee Membership

If you run a business under a franchise brand, the best way to obtain all the British Franchise Association’s resources is to become a member. Not only will your business benefit from being affiliated with the BFA, recognised as having ethical strategies and able to attract more customers and partners, but you’ll also access: 

  • The My BFA newsletter - This regular handout keeps franchisees up to date with the latest industry news and insights. 
  • The BFA Franchisee Hub - You can use this online platform to network with other franchisees and promote your business. 
  • Power Hour - The BFA runs this weekly forum to give franchisees the chance to discuss concerns, share experiences and access the organisation’s expert advice. 

We consider the resources that can be accessed through the BFA membership as invaluable, especially for a business that is new to the franchising world.  Cristina Grancea, SylvianCare franchisor

British Franchise Association Events 

Throughout the year, the BFA hosts several high-profile events focusing on various aspects of business ownership in the franchise industry. While many have been moved online and live-streamed in 2020, the organisation has still been able to support its franchisees. 

The BFA-HSBC British Franchise Awards 

The BFA’s prestigious prize-giving ceremony celebrates the achievements of franchisees and franchisors across the industry. This year, it will be live-streamed on the 30th of November. Beating the competition can make a real difference, as Ed Gill, winner of Emerging Franchisor 2019, explains: 

“After claiming the award, we noticed an upsurge in prospective franchise partners enquiring about taking on a franchise. The incredible reputation of the BFA really holds so much weight.”

Empowering Women in Business 

Although this event is next scheduled for October 2021, it’s a key example of how the BFA is supporting franchisees. It provides an opportunity for women to share their journeys and inspire others, with a timetable including panel discussions and presentations covering topics like overcoming obstacles. The BFA CEO, Pip Wilkins, says: 

“This is one of my favourite events on the BFA calendar. Created six years ago, it was a way of recognising the need to advocate the brilliant accomplishments of women in business and also franchising, and how far we have come as a society. The themes change every year to reflect the needs of today.” 

The British Franchise Annual Conference 

This year, the BFA is opening up its annual meeting to both members and non-members. It’s set to go ahead on the 30th November and the theme is ‘evolution - winning the fight for survival’. With so many businesses struggling as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, the BFA is keen to provide franchisees with the insights and motivation they need to reach their targets in 2021. 

Having been a member of the BFA for 13 years, it is an integral part of my business. Being able to meet with fellow members and talk through what is working or not working in their businesses helps me to keep up to date with what is happening in the industry. Shirley Hughes, Executive Recruitment Consultant, The Franchising Centre

British Franchise Association training resources 

The Prospect Franchisee Certificate 

Franchisees can take this course free of charge and come out of it with a certification proving a thorough understanding of the franchise system. The programme covers everything from evaluating current investment opportunities and applying to become a franchisee, to creating a business plan, recruiting employees and adhering to legal regulations. 

The Qualified Franchise Professional (QFP) 

The BFA gives franchisees the chance to show their customers they’re skilled in franchise best practices and keen to boost their knowledge. While you can complete individual modules from the QFP without being part of the BFA, you must be a member to finish the course as a whole and gain your certificate. 

Snap-On franchisee Lisa Law describes her experience with the QFP: 

“I’ve been with Snap-On since 2004 and became franchise manager in 2012. Despite eight years’ experience with one of the UK’s largest franchisors, I felt my knowledge about the wider industry was limited… 

“The [QFP] programme offered the opportunity to learn sound theory to compliment my company knowledge and engage in best practice with other franchisors. So much so that my entire franchising team is now undertaking the QFP. It’s important that our existing network and any potential franchisees have confidence that we are qualified professionals and experts in our field.”

Other training opportunities 

On top of the Prospect Franchisee Certificate and the Qualified Franchise Professional course, the BFA offers many other training opportunities throughout the year. Franchisees can gain additional insight through a series of masterclasses, seminars and virtual events held on a regular basis. Visit the organisation’s website to see upcoming events and book your place. 

British Franchise Association advice and expertise 

The Buy A Franchise seminar

For just £25+VAT, prospective investors can take part in this seminar to work out whether the franchise industry is right for them. Experts at the BFA will talk participants through the process of choosing a business opportunity to suit their skills and lifestyle, with reference to areas like business plans, financing and legal considerations. Plus, all attendees get a free copy of Business Franchise Magazine. 

The Advice Zone 

This section of the BFA website is dedicated to providing up-to-date information on the latest developments in the franchising world. Regular publications discuss topics including financial and legal requirements, training and development opportunities, and PR, marketing and recruitment tips. 

Franchising After Redundancy 

The BFA hopes to inspire would-be entrepreneurs who have lost their job during the Covid-19 lockdown or are facing career uncertainty. To help give prospective investors the confidence they need to make the leap into franchising, this section shines a light on real-life stories of franchisees who have succeeded after facing complications at work. 

Franchise Business Insights newsletter

For even more information on various franchising topics, investors can download the BFA’s free ‘FBI’ newsletters from its website. These monthly magazines have around 15-20 pages of industry news, data and testimonials, so they’re great resources for anyone hoping to increase their knowledge. 

Extra support for franchisees

The BFA also helps franchisees develop their skills and their businesses through its Franchisor Membership scheme. If a franchise is BFA-accredited, its franchisees can access more than 50 annual events, as well as other perks like discounted coaching and mentoring schemes and PR opportunities.



You can find further information on accessing key business resources and advice through the British Franchise Association by visiting its website. 

For more business guides, see our catalogue of franchise articles or use the search box to find specific information. 

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