"How much money can I make?" and "Where are the rules...
Nobody ever does anything by themselves. We all need help somewhere along the line to keep us on the straight and narrow. That’s why when you get into a franchised business it’s a good idea to employ the help of various consultants in your journey towards success. Here is what you need to know about what consultants you should consider hiring in your franchising venture.
Franchise consultants are the matchmakers of the franchise world. There are a lot of them out there, but not all of them are good, so you want to be sure you’re getting the best value for your money.
A good franchise consultant will spend many hours with you asking questions and figuring out what makes you tick before they make any suggestions on what franchise opportunity might be good for you. They might also preselect a handful of good opportunities in a variety of fields covering a range of investment levels to present to you at first, just to bring something to the table and see what gets you interested.
The franchise consultant you hire should have a good reputation and solid track record in the franchising world. They should have real industry experience either as a franchise owner, or on the executive level of the franchisors side. Without ample experience they will not have a sufficient background to make suggestions and offer guidance to prospective franchisees.
The consultant that you hire should be full time, dedicated, and reputable. A committed franchise consultant has your success in mind, and will do whatever it takes to get you there with few bumps and bruises along the way.
Once you’ve decided on what franchise you want to invest in, next you have to receive and review the franchise disclosure documents. It would be a fatal mistake to not read it, and it can be daunting as they can be over 200 pages long. Do not let this scare you away as not being fully informed can come back to bite you in the end.
A franchise lawyer will help you understand the information contained in the disclosure documents. They are well versed in franchise law, and stay on top of any changes that might occur in the legal code.
The franchise director might just encourage you to sign the documents, and that nothing is negotiable. But a good franchise lawyer can identify sections where there is room for negotiation and assist you in arranging better terms.
A lawyer can also help you decide what type of business entity your franchise should be. There are many different types and if you don’t know what they all are it will be hard to make a prudent decision.
Most important is that a franchise lawyer will protect you legally.
Accurate and easy to understand books are vital to your franchise. How can you know how well your business is doing if you don’t have reliable methods of revenue and expense tracking? An accountant can help set up your accounting systems and make them easy to use. There are a number of off-the-shelf programs, but your franchisor might have a specific one they use. An accountant can get everything up and running as they will be experts with the software.
It’s important to test the accounting system first before it is officially rolled out, and an accounting consultant can help you with this too. They can spot any errors and perform the necessary tweaks and adjustments to make it work. Your franchise accounting system should produce useful reports that compare current against prior periods, and also against other franchise locations. This is necessary to gauge performance against your peers. To find a good accountant, the best way is to get a referral. Ask your attorney or one of your business colleagues for a recommendation. The accountant that you should be a CPA (certified public accountant). Compile a list of referrals and interview them one by one to determine who you think is best. In this you want to look at their services, personality, and fees.
There you have it. Hire these three consultants and your journey into franchising will be much smoother than going at it alone.