Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a franchise, you will likely hear the term franchise consultant. There are many franchise consultancy firms in the UK, and their help is a great asset for both franchisors and people looking to invest in a franchise. But what are franchise consultants and what do they do? Let’s find out.
What is Franchising?
Franchising is where a business grows its operations, extending its reach, by opening up multiple outlets, via franchisees. Franchisees are entrepreneurs who purchase the rights to trade as a business (known as investing) and run the business in their own area. It is the franchisee that purchases the rights to trade and own the business in their own area, whilst following the business system of operation set out by the franchisor. Some businesses are not franchises, in that they open up other units through their own expansion and company cost. But with franchising, this cost falls upon the franchisee so that they can run their own business, with a proven brand name and business model. This benefits both parties because:
- It benefits the franchisor because they can open up units considerably faster at minimal expense to them, often at the same time. They don’t need to raise funds because the business is paid for by the franchisee. Check out the other benefits of franchising for the franchisor.
- It benefits the franchisee because it eliminates many of the mistakes they would have made starting up alone. Also, they get a business in a box, established brand and better recognition.
Whether looking to buy a franchise, or the franchisor is looking to franchise their business, either party may seek the support of a franchise consultant.
What is a Franchise Consultant?
A franchise consultant is someone who uses their knowledge of franchising to help others. There are many franchise consultancy firms around the UK. A consultant will advise on the steps to buy a franchise, or franchise a business. A good franchise consultant will have already been a franchisor or a franchisee themselves, garnering absolute knowledge of the processes involved.
Franchise consultants will usually help business owners prepare their business for franchising and see it through to starting up the first franchisees. The best franchise consultants will really take the time to know the franchisor’s business inside out. This is important, because in most cases, the franchise consultant will be the one who handles franchise enquiries and profiles franchisees.
How Much Do Franchise Consultants Cost?
For someone looking to buy a franchise, it doesn’t cost a penny. Most franchise consultancy firms make money when they convert a franchisee. This means, when the consultant’s help leads to a new franchise unit within the franchisor’s network, they get paid a commission. Does that mean they’re going to try to sell you a franchise if you go to them? No! They’ll offer you the chance to book a discovery call or a discovery day to learn more about the franchise opportunity, but they won’t try to sell you a franchise or ensnare you into buying one. Franchise consultants will be very specific about who they sign up, so will the franchisor. In most cases the franchisor will too, have a decision when it comes to selecting who is the ideal franchisee. The franchise consultant will be profiling you, just as carefully as you are of the franchise opportunity.
In terms of costs for the franchisor, these can vary. Typically a consultant will charge an onboarding fee, money going to promote the franchise and generate enquiries, and then they’ll charge a commission for leads converted or leads attending a discovery day.
Whether a franchisor hires an in-house person to handle leads, or uses a franchise consultant, will depend on a number of factors.
Is a Franchise Consultant the same as a Franchise Association?
No – a franchise association is a trade association which operates on a membership model, where franchises and consultants alike can promote their services within the association’s society. A franchise association may very well employ franchise consultants as a board of administrators, but in many cases, franchise consultants will, like franchises, register to be members to promote and offer their services.
However there will usually be checks made of the franchise consultant joining the association, so it is usually better to seek the help of a consultant that is a member of a franchise association. This way you’ll know that they are approved.
When Might You Need a Franchise Consultant?
If you’re a business owner looking to get in to franchising, franchise consultants can help in a lot of ways. They can help to prepare the necessary franchising documentation, such as the operations manual and a prospectus. They can also advise on how best to map your territories and draft a franchise agreement. If you’re an established business owner, consultants can help when going into an international market through master franchising.
Franchise Consultant FAQ
A franchise consultant is someone who uses their knowledge of franchising to help business owners franchise their business, or help entrepreneurs invest in a franchise.
Usually there is no cost for someone looking to get information or advice to invest in a franchise, however franchise consultants will charge for their services when franchising a business. This will often consist of a setup fee, marketing fee (for franchise directories) and then commission per new franchisee recruited.
If you’re looking to buy a franchise, or franchise a business, you should use a consultant who is a member of a franchise association (such as the BFA). As in any trade, there are companies that can be fraudulent or scam people/businesses, so it is best to employ the help of a British Franchise Association approved consultant.
Franchise consultants will help people invest in a franchise by providing them with information to make an informed decision. They will help franchisors prepare a franchise prospectus, run discovery days and recruit franchisees. Consultants may also provide support when taking a brand into another country.
How much a consultant makes depends on a number of factors. How many clients they work with and how good their franchise recruitment is. A good franchise consultant will work with fewer brands, because they will really take the time to understand the franchise and how it works. If a consultant works with many brands, their knowledge of each may be rather broad. Consultants will make money taking on brands and then a commission per franchisee signed up.
If you have good knowledge of franchising and have been a franchisee or franchisor yourself, there are several ways to become a consultant. You can either join an existing, established consultancy firm, or you can set up your own franchise consultants business.
It is a good idea to pick a consultant that is a member of a franchise association. This way you’ll know their operating procedures have met the association’s requirements as an approved franchising supplier.