George Cohon, renowned businessman and founder of...
In your Canadian franchise search, you might decide to work with a franchise consultant. These professionals provide guidance and advice as you decide which franchise system to join. In the past, consultants largely helped franchisors expand, but this has been shifting. Today, franchise consultants also help prospective franchisees find their ideal franchise.
A franchise consultant will review your ideas, skills, wants and needs. They will consult and survey based on your preferences. Because the consultant works for you, you'll receive many calls and follow-up questions as you consider your move to franchising.
Naturally, for this arrangement to work to your advantage, you need to partner with the right franchise consultant. Your choice of consultant will have a significant impact on your experience, so here are some things to look for in the franchise consultants you're considering.
Impartial advice at all times
Your consultant should have or have access to a lot of information, and their advice must come from an objective perspective. Having balanced information is necessary for you to make the right decision. You should not feel as if you are being pushed toward a specific brand.
A rounded skillset
Your consultant will be providing guidance on many parts of the franchise process, including location, legal considerations and budgeting. This means your consultant needs to have real experience in franchise best practices and also a well-developed business sense.
Consider how well you're able to understand the information the franchise consultant gives you. Every step of the process must be very clear to you. Sometimes, the consultant might have to teach you a concept or present information in a different way before you are able to make a decision. A good consultant will do this with patience until you truly understand your options.
A personal focus on you
The goal here is to match you with the franchisor who best fits your goals, needs and idea of success. A consultant should still provide alternate ideas, of course, and these ideas should help affirm and solidify your preferences. Essentially, their efforts should all aim to satisfy your goals, both in the short and long term.
Strong money sense
An effective consultant will stay within your budget, find investment sources, offer forecasts and review the impact of each option on your future business. Even the best franchise will struggle in the absence of a solid financial foundation, so you need a consultant who will candidly access all of your financial risks.
Ability to create a connection
You need to be able to trust your consultant; otherwise, you're not going to take their advice. As you consider investing in a franchise, listen to your instincts. If you have doubts or don't feel comfortable with your consultant, it's time to look for someone else. You can't afford to start a franchise without feeling confident.
Choosing from thousands of brands can be difficult. Use a professional franchise consultant to ease that strain so you can find the right system.