How and Why Franchisees Should Get to Know their Provincial Government Representatives
It’s in the best interests of small business owners for them to get to know their provincial or territorial government representative. The more connections you can make in local, provincial/territorial and federal government, the better it will be for you and small business owners as a whole.
These representatives go by various monikers across the country, Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) or Member of Provincial Parliament, for example. For clarity, we’ll be using “MLA” throughout this post.
Hearing from small business owners, like franchisees, lets government officials know what is important to small business and helps them to shape policy.
According to the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA), many MLAs are unaware of the complexities of the franchise industry. This may explain why only six of the 10 provinces and none of the three territories have legislation governing franchising.
The CFA strongly recommends franchise owners set up meetings with their respective MLAs to forge relationships, give government members a snapshot into the life of a franchisee and advocate on behalf of franchisees and other small business owners everywhere.
If possible, it’s even better to get your MLA to meet with you at your business because this will allow them to see your business in action, meet your staff and understand the everyday dynamics that are involved in the running of your franchise business. It will also give them a more personal connection to your business having been there and will make them more likely to advocate and act on your behalf.
MLAs love shmoozing with their constituents to show that they’re active members of their community and franchise owners can take advantage of this to get on good terms with their MLAs and advocate for small businesses and franchises. Who better to advocate for the franchising industry and the local community than small business owners and franchisees themselves?
Steps to Setting up a Meeting
1. Find your MLA
2. Email or call your MLA’s office and request a meeting
3. Determine speaking notes
Sample Speaking Notes
The CFA suggests you use this meeting with your MLA to explain who you are on a personal level and how that relates to the business you’ve chosen to get into. They further suggest you go into why you chose franchising and how the franchising business model helps not only you, but also your community.
Some examples, the CFA provides for speaking notes are:
- “To give you some context about my business…”
- Why did you choose the franchise model?
- How many people does your franchise system employ?
- What are the benefits of working for a franchisee within your brand?
- Discuss your community involvement (i.e. donations, involvement in local Boards or Chambers).
- “The Canadian franchise industry generates over $96 billion dollars annually, almost 5% of the entire economy of Canada.”
- In this province/territory, the franchise industry contributes $X to the GDP
- “Franchising employs over 1.8 million Canadians, directly and indirectly”
- In this province/territory, the franchise industry generates over X jobs.
For provincial numbers, see the CFA’s Government Primers for the federal government and the individual provincial governments.
By meeting with your provincial government representative, you can give that person a sense of what it means to be a franchisee and how important franchising is for the country as a whole and your individual province.
If you are not yet involved with a franchise, but you think it’s time to take the leap, FranNet can help you find the perfect franchising fit. Sign up for a free FranNet franchise search and consultation