The Secrets To Buying A Franchise (advice from a franchise consultant!)
Let’s start with absolute clarity, I am a franchise consultant…there…I said it!
So, some of you reading this may dismiss this article as biased. That is not the intention, the main point that I am trying to demonstrate is to analyse the actual realisation of searching for a franchise and the genuine value franchise consultants bring to the process, surprisingly enough though, this doesn’t necessarily mean using me, there are plenty others out there offering a service, I will happily even refer you to them!
If you are searching for a franchise, entrepreneurs like you will often come across various franchise consultants, like me, and wander: "Why should I use a franchise consultant?” The answer is simple though: "To save time and money." Franchise consultants may not always provide a total solution, but our services usually come at no cost to you (as most of the time we are paid by the Franchisor) and the good news for you is that we regularly spend hours interacting with people who buy and sell franchises, making us a good source of all round information, albeit good and bad!
I bet you probably didn’t know that such a service was available until you started the hunt for a suitable franchise, did you? In addition, there are just not that many franchise consultants around, especially ones with long-standing knowledge and experience, sure, people do come and go, like they do in all sectors but it is a niche profession that was born from the franchisors' constant desire for more qualified potential franchisees.
There are enough franchise consultants out there that will offer to help you, I would imagine you have already spoken to a few if you have been searching for a franchise by now. I often spend hours a day developing new franchises and doing research on behalf of my clients, constantly looking to learn and improve our all-round knowledge. Others spend little time learning and more time steering people towards the companies that they know will pay the highest commissions, rather than finding the best for you. Some work with a small number of companies, others many more. It is not, and never should be, a secret that the majority of franchise consultants work on success fees paid by the franchisors. I, and some other colleagues, provide information at no cost to you with a plan to pass along a qualified potential franchisee to the Franchisor. This is very valuable for both parties.
My advice to someone looking for a franchise is to explore every option available, but, be careful to not just scratch the surface on just about every franchise that exists, that will get you on a never-ending path! But you should always include the services of a franchise consultant. In the same manner I would advise anyone to use the services of a solicitor and accountant during your search.
Not using a consultant will not save you any money that is for sure!
Think of people like me and other franchise consultants as another tool to help you:
- We are best placed to guide you, it’s all we do!
- We are more knowledgeable about the in’s and out’s of franchising than you are.
- You may not like what they have to say, or the franchises being represented though, but for fair judgement.
- At the very least, a franchise consultant will educate you on the process so that you are better represented to the franchisor.
If you are serious about buying a franchise and approach the process thoroughly, a consultant can seriously help to speed up the process for you. As long as you follow the system through the process, just as you would if and when you become a franchisee, so you had better get into the habit early! The information us franchise consultants can provide will help you save time and money. In the end, the choice belongs to you of course. You will still be responsible for the due diligence, analysis and, of course, parting with your own money. However, understanding what franchise consultants do and utilising us as a tool in a franchise search process can be very valuable, indeed.
Richard Pakey is a franchising expert and Regional Director for the award-winning Lime Licensing Group. Lime Licensing Group offers its clients an array of services including franchising advice, recruitment services and franchise equity.