For many of us, the idea of owning our own business and enjoying the freedom and independence it can offer is a dream worth pursuing. However, you may often become frustrated by the amount of knowledge and work it takes to build and operate a successful independent business. If a turnkey plan, if not operation, is what you’re after, franchise consultants are your first stop.

Franchising offers the opportunity to own your own business, backed by the knowledge and experience of a franchisor. The franchisor is the person with their team who spent the time developing the concept. They refined the business plan, marketing, processes, and systems. Hopefully, this work in advance will help you hit the ground running as a new business owner.

On the other side of the coin, perhaps you’re already a successful business owner. Maybe you’re seeking to expand your concept into other markets. You’ve developed the systems, have a proven product or in-demand service, marketing strategies, and process. Now you want to attract others who are interested.

What do both scenarios have in common? For both, working with professional franchise consultants might be a good direction in which to head. For people seeking to buy into a proven business, a franchise consultant can provide invaluable guidance and experience. For a proven business seeking to find franchisees, franchise consultants can provide a connection to potential franchisees that may be a good fit.

In this post, we’re going to take a look at franchise consultants, who they are, what they do, how they can help both those looking to buy a franchise, those looking to sell a concept for franchising, and what to look for when seeking a qualified franchise consultant.

What Are Franchise Consultants

A franchise consultant is someone who gives advice and helps to navigate you through the twists and turns of the franchise world. Whether you are a franchisor or a franchisee, there are benefits to working with a franchise consultant.

As a business owner, having a specific person on your team to answer questions about the mechanics of franchising and being successful can work wonders when it comes to developing a franchise. If you’re a potential buyer and are not sure what you want, how to get there, or where to start, a franchise consultant can help you define all of this and more.

To further define the difference between a franchise consultant and a franchise broker; a broker is someone actively trying to sell franchises on behalf of a franchisor, very similar to a real estate agent representing the seller of a house, where a consultant is like a real estate agent who can work for either the buyer or seller in the transaction.

What Do Franchise Consultants Do?

Today, a franchise consultant can be defined in a few different ways. In the past, their job was primarily to assist business owners through the process of developing a franchising system. Today, there is a growing demand for franchise businesses. Franchise consultants help franchises expand, as well as find potential franchisees to invest. A franchise consultant will sit down with potential buyers to discuss their interests and skills to determine what type of franchise is best for them. They help them every step of the way, from defining their interests to guiding them to the right opportunities.

In terms of franchisors, franchise consultants work with business owners to provide ideas and concepts that can expand their buying pool and attract potential franchisees.

Franchise consultants offer immense benefits for both a business seeking to franchise and potential investors seeking a franchise. They can make a difference in the overall success of a business, as well as its franchisees. So how do you find the right franchise consultant for you?

What to Look for in a Franchise Consultant

If you’re a person interested in owning your own business and considering a franchise, the franchise consultants you meet should closely work with you. Careyann Golliver, of Franchise Logic, would start by assessing your goals. She would look at your strengths and areas of interest and understand your reasons for wanting to own a business. There would be discussions of your spending tolerance and exploration of the opportunities within your market to help discover the right franchise fit.

Education is the most important element of the purchasing process. Working with a franchise consultant to better define your goals and expectations can increase your chances of success.

There are literally thousands of franchise systems and most potential buyers find the selection process challenging. Franchise consultants are there to offer guidance. Like any consultant, you need to find the right fit when it comes to choosing a partner to help guide you through the process. Whether you’re a franchisor or a franchisee, here are some characteristics to look for when choosing the right franchise consultant:

  • Experience

You want to work with someone who has years of experience on both sides of franchising – working with franchisors as well as franchisees. They should either have experience as a franchisee or as a key member of a franchisor’s leadership team. Ask to see solid evidence of their experience.

  • Commitment

Sometimes, people will choose to consult as a supplement to their main business. Work with a consultant whose primary focus is consulting. Choose someone who will help you choose the perfect opportunity and give you guidance throughout the process. It should include assistance with paperwork and the initial set-up of your new business.

  • Their Reputation Within the Industry

Reputation is important. You want to work with a consultant that understands the industry. Choose one who has a broad understanding to find the best franchise to meet your individual needs, goals, and strengths. If your consultant only works with a few franchise companies and suggests one even if the fit isn’t right, they don’t have your best interests at heart. Ask for referrals and see what other clients are saying.

  • Financial Requirements

Make sure any consultant you choose to work with is FREE. Look for an independent consultant, not one that is paid by a franchise to help recruit potential franchisees.

  • Strong Roster of Franchisors

You don’t want a franchise consultant to push certain franchises regardless of if they fit. You do want one who has connections and a pre-selected roster of franchises for you to look at. They should have a broad range of contacts, of different types and sizes of investments. They should be knowledgeable about each, having done their research including reviewing their Franchise Disclosure Agreements. You want to make sure that you buy into something that you can truly believe in.

Remember there is a difference between a franchise broker and independent franchise consultants. A consultant is hired directly by you for an established fee. They have no direct interest in any specific franchise but will work with you. Their goal is matching you with your best interest to find the right fit to meet your needs, goals, and skills.