MAXIMIZE YOUR SUPPLIER MEMBERSHIP: Suppliers win by donating their time and resources to support IFA and the franchising community at-large.

Author:Fisher, Lome

Each year, the number of individuals and organizations supporting the franchising industry continues to grow. The supplier community--from attorneys and financial experts to public relations firms, marketing agencies and technology providers--is bigger than ever. It makes up a growing presence within IFA's membership, with Supplier Forum members nearly 800 strong!

While all suppliers join IFA to build their business, the most successful ones give back, contributing their time and resources to supporting the IFA's mission and the franchising community as a whole. These suppliers work hard to not only learn about franchising and support the Association's key initiatives, but also to take advantage of the educational and grassroots advocacy opportunities IFA offers--like the Certified Franchise Executive[TM] program and Franchise Action Network (FAN). Specifically, the CFE program educates suppliers on the intricacies of the franchise business model, not just their area of expertise, while FAN engages individuals and their companies as advocates for legislation and other government affairs issues that help protect and enhance franchise businesses.

Those who want to deepen their involvement within the IFA should consider joining one of the Association's many Forums and Committees, which work together to promote the continued growth of franchising through the collective efforts of its members. I've been honored to be a member of the Supplier Forum for 13 years and currently serve as Chairman of the Supplier Forum Advisory Board (SFAB).

The Supplier Forum Advisory Board is made up of 21 IFA supplier members who are committed to representing the interests of the broader supplier community and serving as their voice within IFA. The SFAB always encourages suppliers to engage with the group by attending our meetings and seeking out SFAB members to share their thoughts on how we can better represent them. Ultimately, we are here to serve you.

IFA also hosts a myriad of events throughout the year that suppliers can, and should, get involved in, whether as an attendee, sponsor or both. The biggest event for business development and professional growth is the IFA Annual Convention, which will take place Feb. 8-11, 2020...

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