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Franchise World Insights From IFA 2020

More than 4,000 franchisees, franchisors, and brokers attended IFA 2020 in Orlando last week. The International Franchise Association’s annual conference was stacked deep with networking opportunities and innovative thought leadership sessions dedicated to discussing the future of the industry.

Our team had some fascinating discussions with attendees, listened to their challenges, and educated them about the benefits of mobile lease management. Here are our top three takeaways from IFA 2020:

Franchisors Care About Their Franchisees

While chatting with franchisors at the show, we recognized the strong personal connection and bond they have with their franchisees.

These franchisors were all dedicated to the overall success of their franchisees, and they have a strong mission to help partners build and protect their wealth.

It’s About Finding the Right Fit

As much as franchise system executives want to sell new locations, they often say no to applicants — or at least “not now.” They look for passionate and driven people who possess the right knowledge and skills to run and grow their business successfully.

“Not everyone is cut out to be a franchisee,” said Greg Sausaman, a seasoned franchise executive who held positions with Domino’s, Allied Domecq, and Beef ‘O’ Brady’s before co-founding Topper’s Craft Creamery. “I can spot the ones who might not have what it takes to run their own business, even if they’ve saved up the capital to make the investment.”

Sausaman, who is also a member of the Leasecake advisory board, recommends an attention-getting exercise for potential franchisees who push back and insist they deserve the chance to sign a franchise agreement.

Greg Sausaman

“I tell them to go down to the bank and take out $50,000 in cash, set it on fire, and watch it burn,” Sausaman said. “Then I tell them, ‘I’m doing you a favor, because you’re still ahead of where you’d be in two years if I let you do this.’ ”

We met a gentleman named Pete (we’re not using Pete’s last name or the name of his company in this article) who shared Sausaman’s perspective. He’s the senior vice president of operations for a national franchise brand.

Pete also says no to franchise applicants who aren’t a good fit.

“I won’t do it,” Pete said. “I’m not taking someone’s life savings if I don’t feel like they can make it through the hard times.”

Pete told the story of saying no to a couple that could afford the franchise investment and start-up costs, but wouldn’t have had a cushion once they opened.

“They had the money to get started, and I could have sold them the franchise,” Pete said. “But I could tell that if one thing went wrong, if they had one bad month, then they were going to be in trouble. And I wouldn’t do it, because I have a conscience. I have to sleep at night.”

Franchisors agree: A franchisee candidate needs to possess the right skill set, drive, and determination to weather any storm and ensure the growth and success of the business.

Franchisees and Brokers Want Tech That Manages More Than Leases

It was clear at the conference that anyone who manages multiple locations needs a mobile solution to track more than just lease renewal dates. Franchisees and tenant reps are looking for a full 360-degree platform that enables them to manage all aspects of their business.

In addition to leases, here are just a few of the dates and documents that tenants need to monitor:

  • Business permits
  • Licenses
  • Equipment warranties
  • Maintenance agreements
  • Insurance documents
  • Fire suppression system inspections
  • Waste-hauling contracts

At Leasecake, we provide ‘zees, ‘zors, and brokers with an easy-to-use location management platform that helps them run nearly every aspect of their operation. And to fill in the gaps, we have a group of partners that provide insurance, accounting, and site selection services to the franchise industry.

Ready to learn more about how we help franchisees of Domino’s, Burger King, Planet Fitness, and many other brands operate more efficiently? Schedule a demo with our head of sales, Max Porter: or 310-430-1375.

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