We were recently very excited to read an article written by Mark C. Siebert, “Finding Expert Franchising Help”. This article detailed what professional help you would need when deciding to franchise business. It became apparent (to our delight) that the services which we provide at Franchising Plus are really on a par with that of our international peers.
Here are some guidelines and cautions as to what you should expect from a professional assisting you with franchising your business:
- We recommend you have an initial meeting in order to establish whether it would first be viable to franchise your business.
- Once you have made the decision to franchise your business, the next step is to ensure that your business model and strategy is as close to perfect as it can be, before replicating it to franchises. It is of crucial importance to get your strategy right with the help of consultants as it becomes very difficult to alter your decisions and processes down the line, we always say “you only get a blank piece of paper once”. Strategy will include decisions on fees to be charged; legal implications of the Consumer Protection Act and other relevant legislation; types of franchise to be rolled out; brand positioning; products and services; territory; support infrastructure; country development plan; checks and quality control; systems to be used etc. It is also important to have a clear strategy developed before you brief other professional such as attorneys, marketing agencies etc as this will save you time and money in avoiding unnecessary back and forth due to uncertain instructions.
- Once you have a clear plan on how you will proceed with franchising, you then implement the plan – here a consultant can be involved as much as you need them to be as they will have had previous experience with marketing, legal, landlords etc.
- Whilst implementing your franchise plan, you will need to have the necessary franchise documentation developed, known as “the franchise package”. This includes the operations and procedures manual; the disclosure document and the franchise agreement. Here we point out BEWARE THE CONSULTANT WHO WANTS TO DEVELOP YOUR FRANCHISE DOCUMENTATION BEFORE YOU HAVE A CLEAR FRANCHISE STRATEGY AND PLAN. Some professionals are only too eager to charge you to develop your documentation before you have a clear franchise expansion plan – it is never advisable to develop your documents before you have a foundation of a well-crafted strategy developed. Another caution with regards to your documentation – beware a one size fits all approach where you are provided with generic or template documentation, a franchise consultant will definitely be able to recommend the right specialists who can assist with drafting of your documentation.
- Once you franchise plan is in the process of being implemented and your documentation is completed, you can then start advertising the opportunity and recruitment process. Here another extreme warning – beware of brokers who just want to sell franchises for you, this is the complete wrong behaviour. Franchises should be awarded and not just sold to any willing party, as the franchisee should strictly meet the profile of person you are looking for.