A good franchise consultant is like a matchmaker, getting the right people together with the right concepts. It’s someone who works with franchisors and franchisees day in and day out who has a unique perspective on the kinds of investments and partnerships that work well—and on those that don’t.
How can you identify a competent franchise consultant? A good consultant will have a system in place for evaluating franchise companies, one that helps his or her candidates weed out those that are disorganized, undercapitalized, or unsuccessful on other fronts. This can save you a great deal of time and trouble in your search for the perfect franchise.
If you’re screening consultants, ask these three questions to give you an idea of who you’re dealing with:
1. Is there a charge for your help in finding a suitable franchise investment?
In most cases, the answer should be no. You can absolutely get a great franchise consultant without having to pay anything out of pocket. Much like a real estate agent, a consultant gets paid by the seller (the franchising company) when he or she makes a good match and a new relationship is born. Established, successful consultants receive a referral fee from the franchisor when they successfully place a candidate. They don’t ask candidates for money.
2. What is your professional background and experience with franchising?
There is no standard set of credentials for a franchise consultant, so the answers to this question can be wide-ranging. Things to listen for include professional experience in a franchise business, experience successfully placing candidates, and a professional, ethical approach to the search process.
3. How extensive is your role in the search process?
A good consultant’s role goes well beyond introducing you to a suitable franchising company. Your consultant should be willing and enthusiastic about going through the process with you, helping you understand and prepare for each step. Examples of outstanding consultant service include helping you prepare for validation calls with existing franchisees; helping you connect with qualified experts on capitalizing a business; and being available and responsive to your questions and concerns. Don’t underestimate the value of the trust factor: you should feel comfortable and confident in your consultant throughout the process.
Ready to HIRE YOURSELF? I’ve created a free quick quiz to help you determine if now is the time to get started. Follow this link to get started right away.
[link: QUIZ: The Changing Shape of Success: Is it time to HIRE YOURSELF?]