For many individuals interested in buying a franchise, their search begins online where they browse various franchise websites listing opportunities available throughout North America until one catches their eye enough to prompt them to pick up the phone and call for more information. While the process of looking online is definitely beneficial, there’s so much information available on franchise businesses that it might be hard to know where to begin. As you’re making your search, consider reaching out to either a franchise advisor or consultant.
Both franchise advisors and consultants provide helpful services throughout the entire franchise buying process by offering guidance for finding the best opportunity that matches what you desire whether that’s coming up with a business plan, writing an offer letter , processing finances, negotiating terms, obtaining lending options , closing on your purchase deal , understanding post-sale responsibilities, etc. However, they operate differently in two major ways:
1) A franchise consultant can help choose which franchises are right for you (i.e. your budget, qualifications, etc.) and then connect you with the proper opportunity. A good franchise consultant will also provide support to help set up financing for your new business .
2) A franchise advisor is typically hired after you’ve chosen a specific franchise company. And you’ve now come to an agreement with them on final terms before signing your binding contract. Their job is to guide you throughout the entire process so that there aren’t any major hiccups along the way; i.e. they’ll offer advice on how to negotiate certain clauses within your contract, what documents are necessary for filing purposes, who should be included in your management team , etc.).
Here’s another factor to consider when whether or not to hire an advisor or consultant: cost. Generally, franchise advisors charge a flat fee for their services. While franchise consultants typically take a commission from the franchisor for every sale they make.
So when’s the best time to reach out to one of these individuals? The answer is – it depends. If you’re still in the early stages of your franchise research and don’t have a specific business or brand in mind just yet, then hiring a consultant would be more advantageous for you. However, if you’ve already done your research and have a few businesses in mind that you’re interested in, then an advisor would be the better option because they can focus exclusively on your chosen company .
No matter who you decide to work with. Remember that it’s important to be crystal clear about what you’re looking for in a franchise opportunity? What you expect from the buying process. Doing your homework upfront will save you time and money in the long run. If you have any questions along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out to an advisor or consultant for assistance.
Questions to ask Franchise Advisors or Consultants:
1) How long have you been working in the franchise industry?
2) What experience do you have with my specific type of business?
3) Do you have references I can speak to?
4) How will you help me find the right opportunity that meets my needs?
5) What services do you charge and are they negotiable?
6) What are your fees and what do they include?
7) Will you be the one working on my behalf? OR Will I have a more direct line of communication with your franchisor(s)?