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Ashfords' Franchising Bulletin - June 2017

Welcome to the June editon of our Franchising Bulletin; a quarterly bulletin containing articles of particular interest to the Franchise Sector. We are always pleased to receive any feedback or suggestions for future topics that might be of particular interest to you; if you have anything that you would like to see explored further please contact Kayleigh Caughey.

News and stories

Branding - Proceed with caution

Trade marks and other intellectual property rights are a key part of franchising. For the franchisor with an established brand, franchising can help build a national or international presence very quickly. However, there can be pitfalls, especially when choosing and putting resources into developing a new brands or sub-brands, explains Tom Phipps, Intellectual Property specialist and part of Ashford's Franchising Team.

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Are Post-Termination Restrictions in Franchise Agreements Enforceable?

The general answer is 'yes', whilst the Courts are generally reluctant to enforce any provision which affects an individual's ability to earn a living, the approach taken in franchising cases is often far more commercial.

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Property Options - The Typical Choices

How business property is held in franchise relationships varies, here property expert, Andrew Worley examines advantages and disadvantages to a Franchisor, of the three most common approaches.

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Avoiding Disputes with Franchisees

Any long term commercial relationship has the potential for friction, but the more complicated nature of franchise relationships make them particularly susceptible to disputes arising. That potential is then compounded by the number of franchises within the network.  Given this, it is perhaps not surprising that so many disputes arise in franchising.

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Events

This week, 28th and 29th June, sees the BFA Annual conference at the ICC, Birmingham with the BFA Franchise Awards taking place on the evening of 28th June. 

We look forward to seeing you there. 

Franchising Products

Document Management Solutions in Franchising

The importance of document management continues to increase as more and more data is shared electronically - the expectation of contracting parties nowadays is for instant access to and transfer of information.  

Look at a franchise relationship and just how much information is stored and shared; franchise agreements, side letters, extensions, variations, operating manuals and revisions, franchisee newsletters, performance data, franchisee updates and communications, policies and procedures dealing with H&S, food hygiene, fire safety, trading standards, data protections etc.  If your network holds properties, there will be a whole further raft of information, including leases, licences, sub-leases, guarantees, and similar.  All of which needs to be safely stored and easily accessible.

Crucial to efficient franchising therefore is a sufficient and secure document management system - and to this end we've been working closely with 'cloud storage' software specialists Ruby Datum to develop the 'Ruby Datum Franchise Solution'.  The cloud based software package enables the storage and sharing of confidential and non-confidential documents at head office level, and with franchisees, advisors and third parties.

The system can be used to store a whole host of documents, ranging from franchise agreements, leases and op' manuals and handbooks, through to board minutes and financial information. All common file formats are supported and documents can either be stored in their native format, or converted to PDF to help prevent unauthorised copying.

The system allows precise control over access levels, including the ability to specify who can view, print or download documents.  Access privileges can be set by appointed supervisors so that, for example, franchisees have access to operating manuals, their FA, newsletters, updates and personal communications, whilst head office staff have access to all franchisee data, master franchisees access to all data relevant to their various outlets.  Common areas can be set to share data/communications with the entire group or with various sectors of it. And 'data rooms' can be created for the confidential sharing of data with potential franchisees, or in relation to other transactions.

Other benefits include the ability to search inside documents as well as full access on mobile, tablet or desktop devices. The platform is web based, meaning that access to the internet connection is the sole requirement. 

The package can be 'white labelled', meaning your own branding can be applied.

For further information, please see www.rubydatum.co.uk.

 

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