What to Look for in a Top Franchise Advisor
Business owners interested in franchising as a growth strategy often turn to franchise advisors to help bring their new concept to market.
However, franchise advisors aren’t just a solid resource for first-time franchisors looking to get their opportunity off the ground. An advisor’s guidance can be just as beneficial for emerging and established franchise brands seeking strategies to improve operational efficiencies and grow their footprint.
Franchise advisors are widely-variable in the depth, breadth and level of their expertise and service offerings. Finding the proper fit for your brand and business objectives can be a challenge, so it’s important to perform thorough research to align yourself with the right franchise advisor.
Here are some key areas to look for in a top franchise advisor – whether you seek guidance to franchise your business for the first time or to optimize your existing concept for additional growth:
Extensive Franchise Industry Expertise with Demonstrated Success
An effective franchise advisor should have an extensive background in the franchise industry. They should know the franchise model inside and out and have years of industry-specific expertise informing their strategy to adapt and strengthen your concept within that model. Experience as a franchisor and franchisee provides a well-rounded knowledge base.
For first-time franchisors, franchise advisors should have the proficiency to recognize concepts that are conducive to the franchise model and not be afraid to tell you if your concept is not ready to franchise. Advisors should also possess the bandwidth to develop, manage and optimize the preliminary franchise processes and procedures necessary to launch a successful concept, such as:
- Franchise feasibility studies
- Concept development
- Advisory board formation
- Design, set-up and monitoring of pilot operations
- Design and management of financial controls
- Business model enhancement
- Formation of advantageous vendor and supply-side partnerships
- Insight to overcome market and industry challenges
- Public relations
- Strategic planning and execution
- Due diligence support
They should also have the knowledge and support necessary to help emerging and existing franchise brands grow through various avenues, such as:
- Transaction services, including investment options and strategies
- Due diligence support
- Strategic planning
- Franchisee audits/compliance plans
After years of firsthand experience within the industry, the advisor will be able to offer best practices for every facet of franchising a business or growing an existing franchise.
Beyond impressive industry tenure, the right franchise advisor will also have a proven track record and demonstrated success in franchising. Often, this will come in the form of references, testimonials and case studies from franchise brands that the advisor helped develop and expand.
It’s also important to find a franchise advisor with a proven record of success within your specific vertical, so request references from businesses comparable to yours. This can provide you with a more realistic expectation of your own growth potential based on past outcomes from similar brands.
Specialized Team of Professionals for Every Business Practice and Process
While a reference’s system-wide expansion can be a baseline indicator of the quality of their counsel, it shouldn’t be the only performance metric you use to gauge an advisor’s viability.
Growing a franchise brand is more than just awarding franchises. Successful, sustainable growth requires a foundational approach to business, so it’s crucial to find a franchise advisor with a strong team of other business experts.
This team should be tenured not only in franchise sales and development but also well-versed in marketing, operations, legal, compliance, training and other business practices from top to bottom.
Outdated or inefficient operational procedures present a common roadblock preventing franchise businesses from growing. The practices and processes that worked for smaller franchises may not necessarily be right for a growing one, often putting franchise brands on a path approaching the point of stagnation.
Specialized franchise experts are able to dive deep into every aspect of your business model, pinpointing opportunities for improvement.
Often with franchise brands, this requires a specialized audit into existing processes using key insights to:
- Streamline processes in operations and procedure manuals
- Improve operational and overall organizational efficiency
- Increase unit-level and system-wide profitability
- Refine franchise infrastructure and support plan, including marketing and training
- Create franchisee audits/compliance plans and enhance franchisee relations
- Develop marketing strategies and plan templates for franchisees
- Provide comprehensive franchise and business management training
Armed with laser-focused insights, specialized experts can develop and execute customized strategies to optimize each component of your business structure. This will help perfect your concept at every level, preparing your brand for fundamental growth and continuous, sustainable expansion.
Honesty, Integrity and Strong Guiding Principles and Values
A franchise advisor’s soft skills, such as honesty, integrity and other guiding principles, are just as important as the hard data and evidence pointing to their success.
When consulting an advisor, you need to be able to trust that they’re not just telling you what you want to hear. Instead, they should be honest and transparent in their feedback about the current state of your business, highlighting key opportunities for improvement.
Similarly, they should have the integrity to set realistic expectations about their capabilities and role in your business, as well as what you can expect to achieve throughout the lifecycle of your partnership.
By aligning yourself with a like-minded franchise advisor that abides by a strict set of fundamental values, you can guarantee a strong and enjoyable working relationship that also benefits your business.
Why Winmark Franchise Partners is the Right Choice
When looking for ways to grow or improve operational efficiencies, franchise advisors are one of the best resources to achieve your business objectives.
The right franchise advisor will take a holistic view of your business, working with specialized experts to optimize every aspect of your model and prepare for expansion.
Whether you are a small business owner thinking about franchising as a growth strategy, or a franchisor looking to continue expanding, the team at Winmark Franchise Partners can help you accomplish your goals.
With 30 years of franchising experience and more than 800 franchise owners representing more than 1,250 locations for five brands, Winmark Franchise Partners can help you grow your brand through sound strategy and expert franchising advice. Contact us here or at (844) 452-4600.