Working with a Franchise Coach
Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to leave your corporate job and go into business for yourself. From your research, you have decided that going with a franchise company is the way to go for you and your family. But now what? There are thousands of franchise options out there, how do you even get started in your dream of business ownership?
Many candidates like you get overwhelmed with doing all the research on their own, and that’s why franchise consultants, or coaches, have become so popular.
What is a Franchise Consultant or Coach?
A franchise consultant is someone who helps match your skills, attributes and goals to help you find the best suited business model that will fit you and your needs. Think of it as a “Match.com” but for businesses! It’s the coach’s job to help entrepreneurs navigate through the discovery process into business ownership. It’s important to remember that consultants are not salespeople, they are coaches.
Franchising is a big world within the business world, so working with a coach can help you in the journey of education of how it works and what are the keys to success.
How To Find a Franchise Consultant (and the one that is right for you)
Like many industries, there is a large pool of qualified consultants to work with so it is important to find someone that you can personally connect with and who speaks your ‘lingo.’ An easy way to get started is by Googling “franchise consultant near me,” or you may meet a consultant at a seminar (especially if you are transitioning out of the military) or local franchise shows/exhibits, as an example.
Most consultants are part of a bigger consultant network, such as FranNet, International Franchise Professionals Group (IFPG), FranChoice, FranServe, The Franchise Consulting Company (FCC), The Entrepreneur’s Source (TES) , Franchise Broker’s Association (FBA) and The You Network, just to name a few.
You also should pay attention to the small things like do they show up to meetings on time, are they consistently available when you need them, do they have referrals from others you can speak to, etc.
How Franchise Consultants Help You
Finding Franchisor Matches
Once you have selected a franchise consultant or coach, their process in finding the best possible matches for you will begin. The consultant will ask you a series of questions or even ask you to take an assessment in order to build your profile and align to some franchise opportunities that would be a potential fit.
The consultant will check with the franchisors to ensure they have availability in the area in which you are interested in opening your business. From there, your coach will generally present, on average, four to eight different concepts to you that he or she thinks will be a good fit based on your profile and business goals.
Making the Introduction
After discussing the different options, your coach will introduce you to the franchise development executive within each concept that you are interested in learning more about.
Once this step has been completed, your franchise consultant will also serve as a sounding board to assist you through the due diligence process. They can be invaluable to help you know what is normal and to be expected, and what may not be so that you can navigate the waters accordingly.
It’s important to note that franchise consultants earn their commission once their client (you) has signed a franchise agreement with a brand that they have introduced you to. That’s why the assessment and profile step is so important – they want to ensure that they are setting up the clients with the brands that make the most sense.
Your franchise consultant can also help make introductions to funding partners in the event that you need to secure financing for your franchise.
How the Consultant Works With the Franchisor
The consultant will provide the franchisor with all your profiling data that will help the franchisor understand why you would be a good match. This takes the guess work out of the picture knowing that the consultant has spent significant time prescreening the candidate prior to the introduction.
The consultant will also stay in constant contact with both the franchise development executive, as well as the candidate, at every step along the discovery process. This frick and frack process, as it is commonly referred to, is very important to your consultant, as it allows them to uncover any questions or potential road blocks along the way.
As you progress along your discovery path, eliminating potential franchises from your consideration set, your consultant can deliver that news to the franchise development executive on your behalf. In most cases, you may have already formed a relationship with the franchisor’s executive, but if not, or you find that uncomfortable, the consultant can play the role of the messenger.
Working with a franchise consultant can be a great way to jump-start you dream of business ownership, and eliminate many hours of research in finding the perfect match!