As we enter a new decade ahead of the 4th Industrial Revolution, the focus of FASA’s 2020 Franchise Manual is ‘franchising for the future’. This informative and valuable annual publication about franchising in South Africa is now available online. Besides listing all of FASA’s members – all of whom have committed to abide by the association’s ethical standards – there are interesting articles on the achievements of franchising, the changes and challenges ahead for the sector and how the business format of franchising can adapt to any new world order.
Perhaps the most dramatic change is occurring on the consumer front as new generations of shoppers come to the fore – like the rise of Gen Z, i.e. those currently aged between 7 and 22. According to HRXchangeNetwork.com, Gen Z typically are the first generation who are digital ’natives’, focused on diversity and social issues; they are pragmatic especially when it comes to money; they are entrepreneurial and prefer face-to-face interaction. Gen Z are particularly concerned with transparency and ethics; for Gen Z – who incidentally already represents one quarter of the global population – dealing with ethical franchisors could in the future be something that would be inherently important.
Another imperative could well be complete transparency – another factor that has come to the fore in the franchise industry in recent years when the Consumer Protection Act’s Regulations was set down. It stipulates that franchise companies must have a disclosure document which is to be written in accordance with the requirements of the Regulations, so that is clearly a call for transparency and upfront disclosure by franchise company owners.
The Franchise Association of South Africa requires that every member provide it with a written undertaking to abide by its Code of Ethics – the document was originally derived from the World Franchise Council – the Association in South Africa is a long standing member of the global body – adjusted for South Africa.
Franchisors in South Africa that still operate without stepping forward to publicly agree to abide by the Association’s Code of Ethics, may well be left out in the cold in the near future as Gen Z grows up and start looking at acquiring franchises. It seems incredulous how any franchisor would not want to be accredited as an ethical franchise company if there is an organisation like the Franchise Association that accredits franchisors and recognises them publicly for being willing to abide by a Code of Ethics – yet there are still such franchisors ‘out there’.
So in your quest to possibly acquire a franchise, I urge you to ensure that you do business with a franchise company that has been accredited by the Association – click here to view members.
Accreditation provides you, the franchisee, with peace of mind should things ever go wrong, whereby you can lodge a complaint with the Association and/or request mediation assistance. These professional services are offered free of charge to accredited franchises.