Hiring Franchise Business Consultant
If you are contemplating on getting a franchise for a product/trade name or a business format, most business experts would recommend that you do a research before signing up to any franchiser to avoid costly mistakes.
You can search about franchisers from their offering circulars, visiting franchise trade shows, contacting a franchise agent, or talking to people who have set up a franchise.
In the process, you would meet questions like what you should look for and watch out in a prospective franchisor’s disclosure, and finally, which one to choose.
If you find the prospect daunting, you could hire a business consultant to help you evaluate your options, decide on what to choose and start your franchise. Franchise business consultants will inform you of the steps you have to take to prepare for a franchise agreement, inform you what to look for on franchisers’ disclosures, help you understand what a franchise relationship requires of you, and help you ask the right questions to understand what you are getting into. They will assist you with your research, including on how much money will be necessary to get you started, help you narrow down your research, and offer you more choices that are closer to the franchise business that is right for you. Overall, they could help you reduce the time you spent in searching for a potential business.
You can look for franchise business consultants in the Net, the International Franchise Association publications, and from people you know. But first, do your research. Learn about your needs so that you could better select the most appropriate consultant for you. Learn about franchise business consultants’ experience, their size, the type of industry they serve by visiting their Web sites. After reviewing their qualifications, interview a short list. Ask them for the length, variety of their experience, the size of the client they served. Ideally, they should have at least five to seven years of experience, according to Kenneth Franklin of Franchising World.
Look for a consultant that has an understanding of the reputation of a franchise system within its industry and help you ask the right questions. A good franchise consultant should be independent and objective can explain himself clearly and give you the answers you needed in a timely manner. Better still, look for those with an experience in franchising himself, the longer the experience, the better. And that with a broader view of business, one who is knowledgeable about alternative marketing strategies.
But don’t expect them to come with "certifications, licenses, and two- or four-year college degrees that qualifies them as consultant," according to Mr. Franklin.
As a guide to get the most out of your hiring of a consultant, you need to be clear in your goals, expectations and time lines. Be specific on your problem, issue or concern, and on what point are you in your decision.
A business consultant is your representative, and is more likely to be paid on a fee-basis, not on commission. Charges for specific jobs or overall consulting are normally charged on an hourly or per diem basis, with the fee being set or open-ended with an estimate given. If you availed of a package of services, the contract price is usually fixed. You pay when work is completed or when the deadline to complete the work comes.
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