The person you work with is more than a franchise consultant. They are your helpmate, confidant and business partner. They will hold your hand, calm you down when the going gets tough, share their experiences and provide advice on anything from mundane tasks to personal problems that invariably occur in every business.
I have worked with a number of franchise consultants over my career and I am always pleasantly surprised at just how big an influence they actually have had on me being able to successfully run my business. After all it’s not just about providing training courses or recruiting staff but having an ear to bend when needed feels pretty good too!
If you get it right working with a great franchise consultant can get your mind ticking over in new directions, help develop ideas, provide the support you need to take action and importantly give you that kick up the arse when needed.
A franchise consultant should be able to spot potential problems before they become a problem, not just for your business but also for other people in your network too. They can help you set targets that are achievable while at the same time stretching enough to keep you interested and motivated. So if there’s one area of your business that has been dragging or isn’t quite moving as fast as it used to then get in touch with us and we’ll see if we can help with some ideas…
If you’re thinking of buying into a franchise then great! Like any business, working with the right experts will give your business that edge. If I were starting out again there’s no way I would go down the route of buying a franchise without professional help.
With over 30 years in franchising I can tell you there are hundreds if not thousands of franchises out there to choose from and each one will be slightly different. When doing your research, finding the right franchise should be at the top of your list but how confident are you that you have found the best possible opportunity? With so many variables it’s not hard to see why people get excited about potential opportunities only for them to end up being unsuitable later on when they discover problems or things don’t quite turn out as they had expected.
I know for a fact that there are some great franchise opportunities out there and many people who should be working with an expert to help them find the right one. I also know that there are people who have invested fairly big sums of money in their business only to really wish they’d taken more time to make sure they’d done their research properly before taking the plunge! Franchising is a great way to get into business and potentially make your fortune, but if it ends up not being what you thought or ends up being completely unsuitable then at least you can feel good about knowing you had professional support before buying in.
With no disrespect intended here’s my top 10 reasons why you should work with a franchise consultant before buying in.
10 – They know the industry inside out! How many hours research have you put into finding the right opportunity? If it’s anything like less than 10 hours they will likely see your lack of knowledge as inexperience and be careful about investing with you. A good franchise consultant has done their homework, found out who is doing well (and why), who isn’t (and why) and discovered what makes each brand tick in detail. They can then apply that knowledge to you.
9 – You want to do things properly don’t you? Most consultants will insist on an initial meeting for at least 2-3 hours where together they’ll explore all aspects of your business idea and how it fits into the industry. They’ll want to know who you are, where you’re starting from and what your aspirations are for the business…and don’t be surprised if they ask some really tough questions!
8 – You couldn’t afford them? Most franchise consultants charge either an hourly or a success fee (a commission on the sale of your business). The exact structure will vary between individuals but expect to pay around £500-£1k per day for someone professional to sit with you and help find the right opportunity while also enabling you to present yourself professionally too.
7 – It’s easier than doing it all by yourself… Honest! No one says it has to be just one meeting either. If time is tight why not start with a phone call first. Most good consultants are more than happy to have a chat on the phone first, free of charge or obligation before you decide if they’re someone who can help you.
6 – You need to know your numbers! A franchise consultant will ensure that you have financial forecasts for your business which are accurate and realistic based on the space available in the market place. This is crucial to success. It’s not enough to say “I’m going to be bigger than anyone else” because not only is that what everyone says but it doesn’t tell them how you’re going about making that happen either!
5 – All businesses need funding (some more than others). Investors don’t like risks and generally speaking if they think there’s no upside because you don’t know what you’re doing or something hasn’t been fully thought through then they’ll walk away. A good consultant will ensure that your business idea has the necessary financials in place so that any potential investors can see how it’s going to work and the risks involved upfront rather than having their dreams shattered later on due to poor planning.
4 – You need a plan for how you’re going to sell yourself! Every successful business owner knows this but they often don’t take the necessary action needed! Why is that? Is it because they are afraid of rejection or fear that someone else may do it better? Well, I’ve got news if either of those sound familiar…NO ONE ISING TO SELL IT FOR YOU…YOU’VE GOT TO DO IT YOURSELF! The good news is that there are people out there that can help you, the bad news is they won’t do it for free.
3 – Make sure you have a plan to go with the business! As part of your initial discussions my advice would be to ask your franchise consultant about their ‘buy in process’. How long will they expect the negotiations to last? What form does this take? Who are the key decision makers at each stage and how much notice should you give them if something isn’t right? I hope these things are clear now because what’s not clear now might turn into an expensive mistake later on.
2 – need some assurance that what you’re being told is actually true…and who better to give it than someone who’s done all their research? You see with many consultants, if they know what they’re doing, you’ll be the first of many. This means that they have an existing network of people who are prepared to vouch for them. So finding out what others think of them before you meet is a good idea.
1 – They can save you money! Quite simply because having someone on your side representing your best interests will go a long way to negotiating terms that are most advantageous to both parties involved. For instance, some franchisors seem keen to sign up anyone whereas other may be more selective and demand proof of funds etc…in either case this could end up being a costly mistake for you.
I hope this article has helped to explain why you should engage with franchise consultants at the earliest opportunity. If you are thinking of doing it yourself then consider that someone else is already out there working on behalf of your competitors.