Do franchise templates work?

Franchise templates are a useful tool for businesses wanting to expand their brand, but should not be used to replace the services of a Franchise Consultant

Before creating a franchise offering, prospective franchisors must first determine whether or not their business has what it takes to be successful as a franchise model.

By enlisting the services of a Franchise Consultant, you will be able to obtain a realistic and non-biased opinion of your business’ franchise potential and, if the results are positive, proceed to evaluate the best way to franchise your business.

To create a franchise package you can work from a franchise template, which covers only the most basic requirements and can be bought online from £500. This may seem like a money saver but without the correct professional advice to assist with your franchise development, this route could end up being a waste of time and money.

“There is no shortcut to success in creating a genuine business format franchise,” says Roy Seaman, Managing Director of Franchise Development Services. “The reality is that franchise templates are very much like a do it yourself kit, they only provide the guidelines for some of the elements of a very standard package. There has not yet been a single new franchisor that has created a genuine business format franchise using a template that has stood the test of time and been fair to both franchisor and the franchise owner.”

When creating a Franchise Package, the first practical step a franchisor should take is commission an experienced franchise consultancy company to carry out an Evaluation Analysis so all of the basics, covering the essential 21 areas, can be investigated and reported on. Once complete, decisions will then need to be made as to which way the franchisor should be creating their offering.

The importance of a franchise package cannot be overstated, it is the most important legal document franchisor and franchise owner have to sign. If a Franchise Package does not convey a professional, attractive and legally legitimate franchise opportunity, it could affect the franchisor’s future business success and franchise owner recruitment. When dealing with something as important as a Franchise Package, seeking professional advice is always strongly recommended. Franchising your business can result in failure if you do not follow a carefully structured programme.

An experienced Franchise Consultant will work with you to determine the best means and profitability of franchising your business, and – where appropriate – provide you with a comprehensive Franchise Development Business Plan you can take to 
the banks.

“A one size fits all approach to franchising a business simply doesn’t work as each business is unique,” says Richard Holden, Head of Franchising at Lloyds TSB Commercial. “Purchasing template documents for an operations manual or legal agreement are no substitute for the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable Franchise Consultant who is affiliated to the British Franchise Association. It is a false economy to try to franchise your business on the cheap and you are only storing up potential problems further down the line.”

Franchise Consultant Gordon Patterson, who has over 25 years of experience working in the franchise sector, advises that potential franchisors should always seek professional help and not just rely on a franchise template when producing their franchise package.

“In my view, the provision of templates to clients is not the best way to help them, regardless of how good the templates may be,” he says. “There is no substitute for professional and competent consultancy advice and guidance. Many of the decisions that need to be made with regard to such things as the contents of the franchise package, the worth of the licence fee, the ongoing Management Service Fee and franchisor support services can only be accurately determined in face-to-face consultation with the client.

“However, clients engage consultants in order to benefit from their know-how and expertise, experience and the brainstorming of key issues relevant to the franchise success of any brand. A consultant cannot effectively convey his or her experience through templates. It is dangerous for a client to think they can do a DIY job by using correct templates.”

FDS Franchise Consultants provide business owners with a comprehensive, clear and professional Franchise Package, which is specifically tailored to the requirements of their opportunity, quality marketing and recruitment campaigns and dedicated ongoing support.

Written by Tiffany Brooking