Look For Your Franchisee Survey!


Among independent franchisee associations in the United States, the National Coalition stands out—not only because of its 41-year longevity, its remarkable accomplishments, and its role in safeguarding the rights of franchise owners—but also because of its open and democratic governance structure.

The Declaration of Independence, executed on July 4, 1776, serves as the foundation for the United States of America as a leading democratic nation. The Declaration of Independence asserts that the just powers of every government are derived from the consent of the governed. It has often been said that this principle represents the ideal and highest form of government. So it is with the National Coalition, which operates based on the support of its regional Franchise Owner’s Associations (FOAs) and their franchisee members to serve the goals and aspirations of every 7-Eleven franchisee.

The legitimacy of any franchisee association stems from two primary factors. First, it must represent a substantial enough share of the independent franchisees in the system to claim to be a legitimate representative of the franchisee community. On this score, the National Coalition passes with flying colors, because its FOA members represent more than 62 percent of all the franchised stores in the United States.

Second, the National Coalition consistently advances issues, concerns and positions that reflect the legitimate and deep-seated concerns of the franchisee community, in regard to policies and initiatives of the franchisor, which may have an effect on both their short-term operating results and the long-term value of the goodwill of their stores.

Based upon its structure, with democratically elected FOA presidents and vice presidents sitting on its Board of Directors and providing information regarding the concerns of their members, the National Coalition has attempted to address issues and concerns that matter most to franchisees across the country. However, SEI has on many occasions questioned (without foundation from our point of view), whether the issues advanced by the National Coalition actually reflect the opinions and concerns of the majority of the franchisee community.

For this reason, we asked FranchiseGrade.com and its president, Jeff Lefler, to conduct a preliminary test survey of a small number of 7-Eleven franchisees. Based on those limited results, which were presented to the Board in Portland, Oregon this past March, we recommended to the National Coalition Board that the association undertake a professionally designed and implemented survey of all 7-Eleven franchisees on a wide range of issues. The Board approved this request, and we retained FranchiseGrade.com to create a more comprehensive survey, which would accurately and efficiently measure the concerns and opinions of all franchisees.

Information about FranchiseGrade.com’s franchisee survey work can be found at http://www.franchisegrade.com/index.php/surveys/. (Full disclosure provided to the Board and repeated here: we are U.S. counsel for FranchiseGrade.com). The survey went through multiple carefully considered drafts as we attempted to make sure that we ask the right questions, and that the data generated through the responses would be useful to all concerned.

Among the subject matters covered in the survey are the DVR System, communication with SEI, product selection, franchisee input into system changes, Business Transformation, CDC and McLane product costs, selection and delivery issues, store profitability, the relationship with FM Maintenance, encroachment, relationships with Field Consultants and Market Managers, auditing and accounting issues, gasoline commissions, gasoline store profitability, and franchisee confidence in the future of the system and the financial return on their investment.

One of our primary objectives throughout this project was to create a survey structure that would ensure the confidentiality of every owner who responds to the survey. It is essential that each person who responds feels free to do so, openly and honestly, without fear that his or her answers will be shared with SEI or otherwise end up in the public domain. It is for this reason that we have designed a survey where each franchisee will receive a unique six-digit code by mail. The code is then used to fill out the survey on the FranchiseGrade.com website, via your SmartPhone, tablet or computer. The website has a special landing page where you can insert your unique six-digit code, and then take the survey in a completely confidential manner. The identity of the holder of each unique code will never be shared with SEI, the National Coalition or any FOA.

The process will begin with a mailing to every franchised store in the system that includes information about how to take the survey and the unique six-digit code. If you have not already received your mailing, it should arrive within the next two weeks.

The National Coalition’s executive officers have all taken the survey on a test basis. Our best estimate is that it takes approximately 15 minutes to complete the survey. We hope you agree that this will be time well spent!

To add an additional incentive, the National Coalition Board is offering prizes that will be awarded to three randomly selected franchisees who complete the survey within three weeks after receiving the unique six-digit code: one $500 first prize, one $300 second prize and one $200 third prize. The random selection will be carried out by my law firm in order to assure the continuing confidentiality of everyone’s responses.

Once you receive your unique six-digit code, go www.franchisegrade.com/

7-Eleven and fill out the survey right away! Urge your fellow franchisees to do so as well, because everyone’s opinion counts!