Franchise Consultant: What Do They Do?

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Franchising consultants

Whether you're in the process of establishing a franchise agreement or already a successful franchisee, a franchise consultant could be vital to the development and sustainability of your business. For franchisees, the ability to chat and network during changes to the industry is vital, but even better is the ability to rely on a professional franchise consultant someone with years of experience to provide advice on the ins and outs of the best franchise opportunities.

But firstly though, if youre not already an established franchisee, you need to consider whether franchising is right for you.

Is taking the franchise route good for my business?

Generally speaking, franchising is usually a better idea for companies that have been operating for at least a year, but really around two or three years. They should have the capital and capacity needed to expand, and the ability to identify a decent market for their products or services in the particular area.

In order for a franchise to be successful, the business model needs to be established, proven and easily replicable. Before you can think about expanding through the franchise system, you need to make sure any unique sector-specific challenges and potential problems have been overcome. The business model has to be tried and tested before recruiting franchisees this isnt the time to be trying new processes and taking risks.

Many franchise consultancy companies will help you assess whether your business is franchisable. A lot of the time, they will be dedicated to the success of their clients, so wont necessarily recommend franchising if they dont think its best for their success.

What Do They Do?

Franchise consultants can assist budding franchisees with both the introductory measures taken to launch a business and some of the more complex, legal nitty-gritty, when it comes to franchise information. Although the best franchise opportunities tend to provide a legally sound and transparent process when it comes to establishing a business, it is, of course, always good to have a secondary eye taking a glance over proceedings, especially given the time, money and personal energy invested into the early stages of a franchise agreement.

In practise, a franchise consultant can assist with every key aspect of the process. This would include reviewing and writing up original material in the contract, establishing training protocol and ensuring every base is covered when a franchise is agreeing on marketing material. The latter is especially useful if the business is more of a regional base within a much larger brand.

Franchise Consultants from the Franchisee

Freelance consultants work to help individuals establish original businesses within the framework of a franchise agreement or ensure that an existing business becoming part of a larger franchise is a relatively painless experience. But there are also franchise consultants who will work for free. These consultants are typically on commission from a larger franchisee, seeking out fledgling businesses or business owners who would perhaps benefit from being part of a larger franchise brand or are in need of a new direction.

The services they provide are comparable to those approaching from the outside looking in. They will assist with contracts, queries and, if a relationship is established, the early days of the franchise agreement itself. As they are commission-driven, they are not as impartial. On the other hand, franchisors do not wish to spend time establishing a business relationship with a difficult or inappropriate franchisee, so this approach usually turns out to be beneficial for everybody. In any case, when dealing with this level of franchise law and contractual obligation, an extra eye (AKA a freelance consultant), might not be a bad idea, despite the additional costs incurred.

Beyond the Paperwork

Given the reams of contracts, fine print and general paperwork, sometimes even the best franchise opportunities can feel more like signing your life away, rather than pushing it forward. Of course, once your franchise agreement is established alongside your relationship with the franchisor, the feeling is quite the opposite. But a good franchise consultant won't just lead you through a forest of bureaucracy. Instead, an open, honest and impartial consultant can help you choose which kind of franchise could work best for you. While you may already have an idea of this and maybe even a successful business a consultant's job is to give franchise information to you straight, hopefully avoiding any disappointment or nasty surprises further down the line.

In fact, even if you are reading this and are already in the latter stages of planning business life as a franchisee, a good consultant may be able to pick useful holes in your plans so far. A good consultant is as much an expert in the human personality as business potential. They can help you work out whether you have the entrepreneurial streak to establish a large number of businesses or whether you'd perhaps excel in a smaller-scale, management-based role.

They might be able to tell whether you're a community figurehead or a corporate sort. They can advise what aspects of your business approach so far could do with some tweaking to prepare you for greater success when the - sometimes intense - communication between franchisor and franchisee is established. Sometimes, when you're in the midst of planning for your future, it can be difficult to 'see the wood for the trees'. A good franchise consultant can be valuable in more ways than you might have anticipated and should be one of the most important people youll come across in the franchising process.

How are they paid?

As weve already mentioned, some franchise consultants will work for free. However, more often than not, they are employed by one or several franchises on a general commission. Therefore, the advice they give you may be somewhat helpful, but it's also likely to be skewed to persuade you to invest in either one or several particular franchises.

Even the best franchise opportunities carry risk. Therefore, you should pay a totally independent franchise consultant a fee, as you might do for any other legal professional. This way, all advice and transactions are totally transparent, and although experts can be pricey, many franchise consultants will price their services competitively, or at least fairly, on a level appropriate to the level of your business and personal circumstances.

Are they totally necessary?

There's no doubting that the initial investment in a franchise agreement is a large financial undertaking, even if it's a risk that typically results in a huge personal and financial reward. As such, a franchise consultant might seem like a potentially unnecessary, rather pricey addition to your budgeting sheet. As franchising becomes a more complex system, it's increasingly difficult for even the most involved and communicative franchisees to do the system, and their business, due service. While the good news is that the best franchises, large or small, fresh or established, have a robust system in place that ensures both franchisor and franchisee mutually benefit from the business, franchising is still just that; business. The quality, care and impartiality of the finest franchise consultants makes them an invaluable and often refreshing component of the modern franchising experience.

Franchise Consultant Companies in the UK

The Franchise Company

This company was established in 1991 specialising in franchise consultancy, in particular developing a robust franchise model. The founder, Julie Waites, set out to help businesses grow their brand with an effective, bespoke franchise model. The successful firm has now assisted over 200 organisations from a range of different sectors in furthering their UK expansion.

The Franchise Company has a highly knowledgeable team of franchise consultants with plenty of expertise in the field. It also is affiliated with the British Franchise Association (BFA) and high street banks.

When an organisation uses the services of The Franchise Company, it will be allocated one consultant who will guide it through the whole process, from the initial stages to the end. This is so consultants can get to know the ins and outs of the business and the direction it wants to go in.

Accenti

This franchise development and consultancy company has offices in Manchester, Birmingham, London, Northampton, Edinburgh and Crawley. With a wealth of experience in the industry, businesses of all shapes and sizes can rely on Accenti to help them use franchising to expand into new national and international markets.

To get more information, check out its website.

Lime Licensing Group

This is another expert franchise consultancy firm operating all over the UK. The team at Lime have been behind some of the nations most successful franchises. To get more of an idea of what the company has achieved, lets look at some impressive statistics. Firstly, it has generated around £50 million in royalties for its clients. It also has almost 30,000 potential franchisees on its books, as well as having designed over 75 franchise models.

Head to its website now to find out more.

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