Why research is key

FDS Franchise Consultant Nick Williams explains why prospective franchisors should do their research, and attend as many seminars and events as possible in their journey towards franchising.

Over the last 14 years in his role as a Franchise Consultant with Franchise Development Services (FDS), Nick has met many businesses at various stages of their evolution. Some are literally conceptual, others only recently launched, and then there are those that already had a mature business with a number of locations and proven methodologies that they wished to leverage for the benefit of their business overall, through franchising.

No matter where you are in the journey, the starting point for any would-be franchisor is to make sure that they know as much as they possibly can about best practices in franchising, ahead of actually building their franchise model, launching and then recruiting and supporting franchise owners.

Franchising a business is a journey more akin to a marathon than to a short, sharp sprint. Franchisors tend to be in the business for the long-term, looking to build a genuine business brand that they will then develop to a point where they may realise their investment by way of a trade sale, involvement of investors or, in the longer term, selling on to management or potentially, even, passing onto their family. It makes sense to invest time and energy in such an enterprise, because the better the work done at the beginning, the greater likelihood of success, and thus the potential ongoing annual revenues and the ultimate prize, a capital gain.

In the real world of franchising, there are a number of consultants who are likely to encourage everybody who looks at franchising to invest their time and money, whether or not they are suitable. This is not the FDS way.

We want to work with people in a genuine manner to teach them about franchising, guide them, help them to create the best possible professional franchise for success and be with them for the longer term, so that at the end of the journey, we will both be proud of what has been achieved.

Many would-be franchisors find their best first experience is an initial conversation around franchising and then attending one of the half-day seminars that we regularly run at our various regional offices, in London and at our head office in Norwich. Wherever possible, these seminars are supported by a franchise lawyer who is able to bring in the legal and technical perspective that people should be aware of.

Nick has always enjoyed running seminars, believing they are best conducted in an interactive fashion. In that way, the various attendees find that they are able to combine their shared experience and views, with the direction and knowledge that Nick is able to impart, to lead them to a significant gain in their knowledge and understanding. Moreover, the majority leave with a real sense of enthusiasm and energy around franchising, although he has also found that there will be some delegates who say, at the end of the session, that they realise that they are not yet ready or, even, that franchising is not going to be for them. Either way, the session is meaningful to the delegates.

These seminars are at no cost and yet they are incredibly valuable and, for that reason, we do encourage as many as possible to participate.

The format typically covers these key areas:

  • What franchising is
  • Is your business franchiseable?
  • Origins of franchising
  • Business sectors
  • Criteria for successful franchising
  • Reasons for failure
  • Planning and preparation
  • The key phases to follow
  • Understanding the legal aspects of franchising
  • Professional and ethical standards
  • The full detail of the franchise package
  • Motivating and supporting franchisees/franchise owners
  • Timeframes and budgets

If you think your business is franchiseable, then why not pick up the phone and call Nick, in the first instance, for a conversation that you will find warm, professional and informative.

Good luck in your future planning.