Millennials, Aussies and the state of the US franchise industry…what’s been going on at the IFA?

Sarah Stowe

Didn’t make it to the IFA convention this year? No worries, we’ve got a sneaky peek at what’s been going on in San Antonio while you and I have been working away at our desks…

The state of the industry

As the latest US Census Bureau statistics reveal the contribution of the franchising sector to the US economy, IFA president and CEO Robert Cresanti said “Franchising plays a vital role in our nation’s economy”.

Figures shows franchising in the US accounted for 560,086 establishments and 10.8m jobs in 2012; total sales were US$1.5 trillion.

A franchisee takes the helm

Multi-brand franchisee Aziz Hashim is the new chair of the International Franchise Association. Hashim has impressive credentials: he’s a multi-state, multi-brand, multi-national franchisee – one of the top 200 operators in the US, the IFA reports.

As a priority for his chairmanship he plans to put in place an “education policy to explain the true nature of the opportunity represented by franchising”. He believes “There is no better business model than franchising to create opportunities for all groups, irrespective of their educational background or financial position.”

Read Hashim’s leadership blog Communicating the positive message of franchising.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie

A group of Australians is among the largest group of franchise professionals to graduate with a Certified Franchise Executive designation.

Big congratulations to:

  • Peter Buckingham, Spectrum Analysis
  • Eric Celik, Pack and Send
  • Jason Gehrke, Franchise Advisory Centre
  • Stephen Giles, Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Daniel Kelland, Little Kickers
  • Rod Laycock, Civic Managed Services
  • Damien Lisney, Pack and Send
  • John Longmire, Black Dot Solutions
  • Erin Nagy, Tutti Frutti
  • Corina Vucic, FC Business Solutions

Here come the Millennials

Tomorrow’s franchisee is taking a different path from the Baby Boomer’s journey from college to corporate career to pension. According to FranData’s president and CEO Darrel Johnson, Millennials are less risk averse and afraid of business failure than their older compatriots. In fact 60 percent of Millennials could see themselves as entrepreneurs.

This will “dramatically change the face of our industry” suggests Thomas Scott, CEO, Brand Journalists.

Because almost one third of the US population is from the Millennial generation, it’s important franchisors learn how to view the world through their eyes, and align themselves with their goals and expectations.

Scott highlights these three takeaways from the IFA conference:

  • Is your website mobile-friendly? Adjust your franchise recruitment to cater for mobile-savvy buyers
  • Review your website content – do you have video, conversational articles, unbiased reviews?
  • Millennials look for authenticity so earn trust, don’t just sell

Winning innovation

And then there’s the next generation of innovators. One of the two Australian winners of the NextGen in Franchising Global Competition has reached the final stage at the summit, held at the IFA convention.

Congratulations to Jai Hobbs from Paleo Caf_ for being named one of three finalists following a successful pitch of the business concept to the judges.