Choosing the right consultant for your franchise

Selecting a good franchise consultant could make or break the success of your business opportunity. Malcolm Porter, of FDS South East, explains some of the criteria to look for when choosing the right one for your franchise

Franchising a business is a complicated process that needs to be done in the right way by using the services of a reputable, experienced and British Franchise Association-accredited consultant.

With any consultant, you will be investing in their expertise, knowledge and time. It is a false economy to go with the natural inclination of selecting the cheapest option available. The more economical options for franchise consultancy will quite often result in less time dedicated to developing a comprehensive franchise system. Short cuts taken during this process could lead to big problems in the future.

Each business is different and so are each business owners’ goals, so an individual approach is needed to franchise a business. The ‘off the shelf’ approach adopted by some unregulated advisors to franchise development simply doesn’t work.

The legal agreement is a vital element of setting up the franchise. Reputable consultants will only use the services of solicitors who are experienced in drawing up these contracts. As each franchise is different the legal agreement should be tailored to the franchise.

Simply downloading a Franchise Agreement template from the internet will not give your business, brand and network of franchise owners sufficient protection. Beware that some consultants offer little more than a legal agreement template as part of their low cost package, which is often out of date and unenforceable when required.

Understanding franchising in all its various forms is essential before committing resources to the full development phase. As such, taking professional advice initially can save you a lot of heartache, pain and money through the various stages of franchise development.

Not all businesses meet the criteria for a franchise operation and over the decades, Franchise Development Services has helped many companies save substantial capital by revealing why franchise development would ultimately fail for them.

There are a number of essential criteria for expanding a business through franchising:

  • The business should have a tried and tested system which can be clearly documented
  • The product or service offered should be required on either a national or even international basis
  • The product or service should have longevity and staying power within the marketplace
  • The management team should have a professional approach with a truly win-win ethos
  • There should be credibility with the clients or customers of the service
  • There should be a good historical trading history as franchise owners will initially depend on the credibility of the franchisor when they start trading
  • There should be a strong brand, although considering franchising is an ideal time to review and improve the branding for a national or international presence
  • There must be enough profit in the business for both the franchisor and franchise owners. This aspect is often the root of all complaints levied against the franchisor, so careful consideration of the various financial models is paramount

At FDS South East we look at 21 different areas of a business that need to be examined thoroughly and properly structured in order to prepare it properly for professional and ethical franchising.

After helping so many franchisors and potential franchisors to franchise their business over the years, FDS South East offers a proven and effective system for guiding clients through a development programme.

For more information about how FDS can assist with franchising your business please contact Malcolm Porter.