My background is in psychology, not business.
I have a master’s in clinical psychology from Harvard University and have spent years helping less powerful populations gain voice when they’re being silenced.
I’m interested in franchise reform because taxpayers being taken advantage of and because illegitimate business expansion is everyone’s business. The conflict inside the franchise world is huge, yet most people outside franchising don’t know it exists.
The extreme power imbalance between franchiSORS and franchiSEES perpetuates the problem. Franchisees remain silent because they are afraid and franchiSORS continue to perpetuate the endemic fraud right underneath the noses of taxpaying United States citizens who have no idea what’s going on.
I also have an interest in informing potential new investors of the dangers in the franchise industry right now. I care about people and families and am horrified how many hard-working people are silently losing everything to this endemic fraud.
I recommend that no one consider purchasing a franchise until the United States cleans up the industry.
Until power is balanced more fairly, franchising will benefit the franchiSORS far more than it will ever benefit the franchiSEES.
In the current environment of power imbalance, the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) approach of supporting self-regulation in the industry can’t ever work. That would be impossible. When the power imbalance is too great, there will always be predators and victims.
The fact that the IFA was lobbying against Senator Cortez Masto’s SBA Franchise Loan Transparency bill before she even introduced it tells us that the franchiSORS have a powerful hold on the IFA. And unfortunately, the IFA has been the only voice representing the franchiSEE to the United States government, most likely sabotaging all efforts for reform that would help franchiSEES.
The Fair Franchising Act of 2017 went nowhere, possibly partially because the franchiSOR-backed IFA lobbied against it.
FranchiSEES need their own voice. They cannot trust the IFA to speak for them and the United States government is not currently protecting them responsibly.
Many franchiSEES lose everything. They save for years in hopes of buying a business, trust the franchise industry because it looks legitimate, then soon find themselves on the street.
This is very dangerous fraud, folks! And it’s happening right here under our noses.
It’s time to DO something.