Raise your voice: join the franchise action network today.

Author:Cresanti, Robert
Position:IFA PRESIDENT & CEO'S COLUMN

Nearly 20 years ago, Guillermo Perales bought his first franchise, a Golden Corral restaurant. Today, he owns and operates 280 Burger Kings, 100 Popeyes, 68 Arby's, 36 Cici's Pizzas, 24 Golden Corrals, 15 Krispy Kremes and 89 T-Mobile locations, as well as 10 restaurants in various airports. This incredible success earned Guillermo the 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year Award presented at the IFA Annual Convention in February. Learn more about the Entrepreneur of the Year Award and Guillermo, a member of the IFA Board of Directors, on page 13.

Guillermo and thousands of others have learned the value of multi-unit franchising. The number of multi-unit franchisees has been steadily growing over the past 20 years to more than 38,000 in the U.S., according to Darrell Johnson, CEO of FRANdata. Today, 55 percent of the franchise sector is comprised of multi-unit franchisees. This growth is expected to continue as more and more franchise systems learn the value of having multi-unit franchisees in their system.

At IFA, we continue to experience the value of multiunit franchisees' involvement in the organization. Eleven out of 35 members of the 2016 IFA Board of Directors are multi-unit franchisees--the largest number in history, including IFA Chairman Aziz Hashim.

Each multi-unit franchisee and each franchisor starts out with one unit. The franchise business model has helped both to grow at faster rates than non-franchise businesses. Plowever, the regulatory environment at both the federal and state levels is making the on-ramp to franchising more difficult to navigate.

If you attended the IFA Annual Convention in San Antonio this past February, you heard Aziz discuss the threats to the franchise business model and the critical need for us to tell our story to lawmakers, the media and the public. Research shows that there are grave misperceptions and a fundamental lack of understanding about the value of our business model to society, our economy and our communities.

So, Aziz is leading an effortto correct those misperceptions and "change the narrative" of franchising (see more on page 8). And the timing is urgent.

The regulatory challenges coming our way this year will make doing business ever more...

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