Looking to Take Your Brand to New Countries? GO International With IFA

IFA is bringing a series of improvements and innovations to its international trade missions, creating exclusive opportunities for members to explore new markets, identify top prospects and benefit from first-rate expertise.


By Radim Dragomaca
Going international has unlocked the true potential of many franchise companies. In today’s globalized world economy, the future of franchising isn’t just in your state or even around the country — the future is transnational, and that future is now. Did you know that for the 200 largest American franchise businesses, international has accounted for 80 percent of unit growth over the last three years?
Market-leading brands are already trailblazing the path of franchising around the globe. What do you need to do to start becoming an international brand?  Fortunately, the International Franchise Association and U.S. Commercial Service have resources and opportunities to help turn your brand’s international franchising expansion plans into reality.
For more than 30 years, IFA and the U.S. Commercial Service have been accumulating expertise, building a network of contacts and organizing trips to key markets abroad, connecting franchisors with prospective franchisees and suppliers. In 2017, IFA is raising the value proposition of its trade mission program with GO International.


Introducing IFA’S GO International Program

This year, IFA is building on the successes of past international missions while refocusing on what matters most to members, resulting in a streamlined and efficient trip with a maximized return on investment. Leveraging its network of contacts and a long running partnership with the U.S. Commercial Service, IFA’s new international trips program — GO International — will be all about identifying the most interesting markets for expansion, lining up strictly vetted and highly recommended prospective franchisees and investors, and making the most of your time on the ground.
IFA recognizes that time is highly valuable. That is why the core value proposition of these trips is being refocused, making them shorter, leaner, more concentrated and targeted on getting to the bottom line.
Here are some key elements of the updated international trips program, GO International:
The trips will provide IFA members with strategic insights, line up prospective franchisees and investors, and make sure there’s time for private meetings with those prospects that are the best match for your company. 
The trips can also serve as opportunities to connect with existing prospects and move toward closing deals. Members never pay success fees or share income from the deals emerging from these missions.
The missions abroad are often tailored to the specifications of the companies that travel with IFA.
Criteria for the kinds of contacts IFA member companies would like to make are used by IFA and its partners in the U.S. Commercial Service when screening and selecting prospective franchisees and investors.
The U.S. Commercial Service also helps with travel, accommodations and interpreter services, meaning our delegation of executives can focus on what’s important — identifying growth opportunities, choosing the right partners and walking away with invaluable insider insights about the target market. 

Going International With IFA in 2017

Whether you’re already an international franchise looking for new markets or are preparing or ready to launch your international growth, get in touch with IFA about upcoming trade mission opportunities. Input on future destinations is also welcomed, and more information is available for interested members about the unique and innovative international program. Whether you’re a veteran of IFA trade missions or are looking to attend your first trip, IFA is ready to welcome you to the GO International program in 2017. 

What are CEOs saying about the program?

“I cannot name another development channel as cost-effective as this one. The level of investors that participate would otherwise be almost impossible to get access to. Definitely a must.” 
– Rogelio Martinez, President of Fast Cloud Consulting
“We have been an active participant in IFA trade missions for more than 10 years and attest to their value in helping close deals.” 
– Ned Lyerly, President of CKE Restaurants
“The ROI of franchise trade missions is better than any program, conference or event that I have seen in my career in franchising.”
 – Jeff Sinelli, CEO of Which Wich Superior Sandwiches
Radim Dragomaca is a Manager for VetFran, a strategic initiative of the International Franchise Association.