What Are the Right Times to Seek a Franchise Consultant?
If you’re a business owner thinking about franchising, you will want to meet with a franchise consultant right from the start. Franchising can be very rewarding but is a huge undertaking where every aspect of growing the brand needs to be carefully considered. A franchise consultant will help an entrepreneur map a successful course toward becoming a franchisor.
To Be or Not To Be a Franchisor
A franchise consultant should help business owners decide if their business model is right for franchising and if they would make a good franchisor. A consultant will conduct a franchise feasibility study to help the entrepreneur arrive at the answers. Knowing this will save the business owner time and money before they develop a full franchise program.
“As an entrepreneur with no franchising experience, you don’t know what you don’t know, and there is far too much risk and downside in franchising to do it on your own,” said Steve Murphy, president of franchising at Winmark Corporation and Winmark Franchise Partners™.
Should an entrepreneur decide that he or she and the business model are a good fit for franchising, the franchise consultant can develop a franchise program that includes:
- Brand strategy and planning
- Infrastructure development and support
- Operations and training manuals
- Franchise disclosure document
- Franchise agreement
- Franchise development sales and marketing planning
At the same time, if an existing franchise brand has a handful of units but is struggling to grow, the franchisor should not wait to contact a franchise consultant. A consultant will help identify the obstacles to growth and develop a plan to fix the problem immediately to help the franchisor regain momentum.
What to Expect From a Franchise Consultant
An effective franchise consultant will have industry experience and work with a team. In addition to having experience in franchise sales, the team should be equally well-versed in marketing, operations, legal, compliance, training, and more. It’s also important to have some knowledge of various industries, including food, fitness, retail, home services and more. However, as important as their experience is their level of business ethics.
“They should be open and honest in their opinions and not be afraid to share both the good and the bad news with the franchisor client,” Murphy said. “Honesty, integrity and character are three virtues every consultant should wear on their sleeve.”
Franchisors should expect an honest assessment of where the company stands from a franchise consultant, who should be able to tell the franchisor what they need to do to get to the next level, how much it will cost, what their chances of success are and what to expect along the way. While the franchise consultant can act as a guide, reaching their goals is a team effort that involves the franchisor, franchisees, suppliers and the consultant.
Winmark Franchise Partners as Consultant
With more than 30 years of experience, Winmark Franchise Partners can help with starting, growing, fixing and managing franchises. Winmark Franchise Partners can also help franchisors by:
- Serving on their board of directors or advisory board
- Helping with mergers and acquisitions
- Working as a due diligence partner for private equity firms
At Winmark Franchise Partners, we have the capacity to work in any number of ways with our franchise clients, including investing our own money if the concept is something we wish to be a larger part of in the future.
The bottom line is that the consultant should always charge a fair and equitable fee for a quality service that produces results. The client should always weigh what their needs are versus what they are asked to give up in return. The greater their needs and the more desperate their situation, the more they may have to give up to get the help they need, including equity. But if they find the right partner that will treat them fairly, the end should justify the means.
We can help you decide if you and your business are right for franchising and provide the guidance you need. As a franchise consultant, we have the knowledge, experience, and resources to get your brand on the right track. If you are interested in franchise growth, contact us now or call us at (866) 994-5191.