Friday, 27 November 2009

Selecting the right Franchise Development Consultant

All businesses must continue to grow in order to stay in the game as otherwise they run a risk of stagnating and, eventually, ceasing trading. Those businesses that survive the start-up period inevitably arrive at the point where they need to get to the next level in their life cycle.

As one of growth strategies, franchising allows smaller companies to effectively compete with larger businesses. Franchising provides businesses with the ability to gain market share by increasing their points of distribution. Franchises are generally able to grow and expand their businesses faster than conventional businesses and franchise expansion requires minimal capital as the initial investment at the unit level is covered by franchisees. Franchise brand’s growth is not limited to one or two locations; franchising offers the opportunity to have multiple units throughout the country and the world. Usually, the success of a business depends upon its location and/or the staff. The fundamental principal for the success of a franchise is its ability to replicate its success.

Many business owners make countless regrettable decisions along the way. The decision of expanding a business through franchising is never an easy one and requires careful analysis and assessment of the business and its potential, thorough research and planning. Business owners could achieve the lifestyle they desire in much shorter timeframe whilst retaining that unique feel in their business as it grows and expands nation- and worldwide.

Developing a successful concept and business model is one thing, but franchising a business, developing a much larger network can be a daunting and complex process. Building a franchise is like constructing a building – get the foundation wrong and the results could be disastrous. Understanding franchising in all its aspects is essential before committing resources to its development. Taking professional advice can save a considerable amount of headache, time and money through the various stages of franchise development. An independent third party advisor who has many years of experience can bring great benefits to any individual or company considering franchising.

Selecting the right Franchise Development Consultant for your business should be no different to a selection process of any other supplier. A couple of other things to consider are:

  • Experience: a good and established franchise specialist would have not only an in-depth knowledge of the franchise industry, but also a great deal of experience in developing businesses and should be able to demonstrate a comprehensively professional approach to advising their clients. After all, apart from working on taking your business to franchise, the core business needs to be developed in parallel with the franchise in order to minimise risks and ensure success.
  • Continuity: consider whether your adviser is a stand-alone consultant or a part of a larger organisation or network. Businesses that use services of Business Advisers who are a part of larger networks are more secure in thought that their businesses are well looked after.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that a step-by-step approach is vital.