I checked their website. Out of an estimated 450 franchisors in New Zealand, 127 are members. That's 28%. A representative body of the franchising industry in New Zealand? Hardly. But that's exactly why you should join. I am.

At the same time there are 61 service provider members. Lawyers, accountants, brokers, bankers and franchise consultants mainly. At last week's Auckland Chapter cocktail party, it was nice to catch up with a few people, but I only managed to talk to one franchisor. Are circling service vultures like me scaring away those on franchising’s coalface?

I have to make a confession at this point. I am not a member of the Franchise Association. Well, I am and I'm not. I am in the sense that I am a director of a franchise system that is a member. I'm not a member in my capacity as a franchise consultant. Why? I've got plenty of work, but networking isn't the main reason I should get more involved. I must say I enjoyed catching up at the cocktail party with some people I hadn't seen for a while. I was looking forward to hearing ASB Bank's Chief Economist speak, but he never touched on franchising once. I was looking forward to the cocktails, but they only had wine and beer. I was looking forward to chatting with some franchisors, but I only came across the one.

My view is that if we're going to be self-regulating when it comes to franchising in New Zealand, we need as franchisors and franchise service providers to take this seriously. It's a big job. The Association as a group needs to actually be representative of the industry. It needs to be vibrant and dynamic, and not afraid to tackle the big issues and changes which are affecting franchising at the moment and, I predict, will continue to affect it for years to come.

The Association needs you.

Article by Robin La Pere, No Ordinary Business and Franchise Consultants

Contact me at robin@noordinary.co.nz.

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Robin La Pere of No Ordinary Consultants has worked in the franchising industry for more than 20 years. He has been a franchise manager, CEO and franchisor, and is now working as a franchise consultant with a number of businesses getting into into franchising and existing franchises looking to improve their performance or expand offshore.






"Robin had a significant and positive
impact ... on Signature Homes as a whole, as evidenced by the fact that our business became one of the fastest growing businesses in New Zealand, winning a Deloittes Fast 50 Business Award in 2003, seeing total sales soar by more than 500%."


          Gavin Hunt, Signature Homes