By Eric Parker and Sasha-Lee de Bod

Not all consultants are the same or offer the same services.

Let us run through a couple steps on how you could go about selecting the best consultant for your business expansion.

1. We all generally start off our research in one place, online.

  • Have a look and see what impression you get from their digital presence, be it a Google search, a site directory or directly to their website.
  • Do you get an idea on how new they are or how long they have been in business for?
  • Is there concise information on their website about their services, training, offerings, location and people?
  • Do they have well-presented relationships with experienced outsourced service providers like lawyers?
  • Do the consultants have any other beneficial experience in their careers?

2. Enquire on their website or call them to arrange to meet them.

  • Prior to your meeting, what do the consultants send you? Is it just a meeting request with a map to their offices or do they respect your concept and offer an NDA as well as a concise corporate profile?
  • Ask to see a generic outline of their operations manuals as, obviously each client’s is completely different. A table of contents of a disclosure document they construct can help you see how concise it is and if it is in line with Act and Association regulations. You can also ask for the lawyer’s details to see who would be compiling your franchise agreement.

3. Ask for a list of clients that you can contact to get references. 

Don’t just contact the ones they supply but select a client of theirs at random.

4. Do they jump into getting the job done or do they offer strategic input?

It is of utmost importance that you get an outsider’s professional view and how they can suggest perfecting your concept and have a clear feasibility study and development plan with financial analysis for both the franchisor and the franchisee. This should all happen before you go to the expense of implementing.

When reviewing the quoted fees – like anything in life you can get a cheap and nasty or you can get a visibly, professionally quoted job.  The franchise evaluation and strategic planning for a franchise is so important and the franchise costing should start with this important step. 

5. Ask for a proposal and make sure you understand exactly what the deliverables are. 

Compare prices on a like for like basis. You will need to understand each element of the quote in order to be able to compare them.

6. When it comes to a deliverable that is outsourced like a franchise agreement…

You could ask the following when comparing quotes as this is done by an attorney and not the consultant:

  • Who is the attorney drawing up the agreement?
  • Will I have full access to them and be present in all the meetings/briefings?
  • Will I be invoiced directly by the attorney?

Anyone can give you a generic agreement but how will it stand up when you take it to an attorney to defend you? A consultant should be able to explain everything a long with the attorney so that it is all clear to you.

7. Is the consultant able to assist you in recruiting and reviewing suitable well-defined franchisees? 

Remember you award a franchise, not sell a franchise. This may be an additional service and a decision you can make when you get to the point, but it is worth knowing if they offer this service or not as selecting the right franchisees isn’t general knowledge without the experience.

We all weigh up service quotes in life, be it insurance, plumbing or a surgical procedure. As franchise consultants, we like to help our clients compare like for like and after that, we know that we have allowed a potential client to make their own, informed decision based on knowledge about and quality of services they would receive. This process allows our clients to know what is being quoted and what it means, we don’t ALL understand what each line of our car service quote means and how necessary or important it is. 

By visiting our website, you could start your experience with us. Be sure to read about our team and long-term affiliates’ impressive biographies and take a look at our range of blue-chip clients

We are proud to be the top franchise consultancy in Africa for over 20 years and we look forward to paving the way to your franchise success. Contact Us