Pip Wilkins QFP, CEO of the British Franchise Association (bfa), talks about the importance of the Global Franchise Awards and why she is pleased to be a judge this year
Global Franchise is committed to raising the profile of our industry worldwide and will hold its third Global Franchise Awards at the International Franchise Association Convention in Florida in February. I’m extremely pleased to say I will be a judge at the awards, which was created in part because of there not being a ceremony that celebrates international franchising.
I will be judging with six others, including Andrew Brattesani, head of franchising at HSBC, who is also on the judging panel for the annual bfa Franchise Awards, Chantal Zimmer, executive director of the French Franchise Association, and Nicola Broadhurst, partner & head of franchising, retail & hospitality at Stevens & Bolton LLP. They are joined by Kay Ainsley, managing director of franchise advisory firm MSA Worldwide, Torben Brodersen, CEO of the German Franchising Association and Sherry McNeil, president & CEO of the Canadian Franchise Association.
The credibility of the awards
All of the other judges have an incredible level of knowledge about the industry, and their expertise will ensure that all nominees are judged with real scrutiny and that those who really have excelled end up claiming an award from the list of categories. The line-up of franchising royalty besides me really does ensure that the awards are credible, with all of us rigorously looking into the inner workings of all the companies that have applied to make the final shortlist.
This is the first time that I have judged at these awards, and I think it will be useful to be part of the process and contribute to the success of franchising worldwide. From my experience of being a judge for the annual bfa awards, I know that it will be an arduous task in order to agree on the eventual winners.
“The line-up of franchising royalty besides me really does ensure that the awards are credible, with all of us rigorously looking into the inner workings of all the companies that have applied to make the final shortlist”
In total, there are 15 prizes up for grabs, including four new categories, some of which are designed to honor affiliates who go beyond and above for the industry to thrive.
As an accredited affiliate of the bfa, Global Franchise also understands the importance of standards in franchising, with a presence all over the world and a respected publisher in the industry. These awards enhance this reputation.
Entering the awards
I would implore businesses to apply. Recognition from peers is not only a humongous endorsement of your business but from experience from our own annual awards, it can be hugely beneficial for your business in numerous ways, including making yourselves a more attractive proposition for people looking to invest in your franchise. We have found that many of the winners from the bfa HSBC Franchise Awards have an uplift in prospects coming through.
Putting your business through the process of applying, making sure that the nomination is detailed and sells your business, is also helpful for franchisors to understand where their business is at and also in some cases to acknowledge any pain points you may have. Those that do not get shortlisted can also look at how they need to improve on the finer details in the future in order to make the final cut.
Finally, it’s an opportunity for the global franchising community to get together and recognize the brands that are driving the industry forward. And with its truly global outlook, franchise systems from all over the world are championed. Last year saw winners from the U.S.A., Denmark, the U.K. and India, and with more awards on offer this year, I think there’s a very good chance that there will be even more breadth and variation in regards to the those taking home the accolades.