A franchise consultant can be invaluable in helping you decide what franchise would be best for you, saving you time and helping you make the best decision. The consultant’s fee is paid by franchisor so you pay the same price whether you use a consultant or not.
Your Consultant Should:
•Have franchise industry experience. Ask them how long they have been doing this and how many clients they have successfully placed with franchises.
•Be a full-time professional franchising consultant
•Represent a significant number of franchisors of different levels of financial resources needed in a number of different industries. The breadth and quality of the franchisors is more important than the number.
•Spend time with you, asking good guiding questions and then listening well
•Give you a genuine sense that they are there to serve you and are not pushy
•Provide you with references and a bio
Guiding You Through the Process
•Initial conversation – Your franchising consultant will gauge your interest in franchising and ask about your goals, previous business experience, and your financial resources. Different levels of franchises require varying amounts of money.
•Follow-up conversations – Your consultant will ask about your skills and strengths, likes and dislikes, both in terms of tasks and working environments.
•Recommendations – Next, they will recommend franchises that seem to fit. The consultant is not there to do all the due diligence work for you but to narrow down the field and guide you through the process.
•Talking to the franchisors – You will then talk to the franchisors and see which interest you most after more investigation. Let your consultant know if you are having difficulty getting information or your phone calls returned, or have questions. You will want to ask the franchisor how successful other franchisees have been, and what level of franchisee support is provided.
•Final steps – The franchisor will send you their financial disclosure document (FDD) and other materials like a DVD. If you are still interested, they will invite you to attend a discovery day to learn more.
•Decide – The decision is yours to make. However, the franchise consultant is there to narrow the field, give you advice, answer questions and guide you in a decision that will be very important for your future. Don’t go it alone; use a guide that is familiar with the process, the companies and with you. That gives you the best chance for making the best decision.