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Choosing the Right Franchise Consultant
Posted on November 11, 2010 by My Franchise Law

Whether you are a franchisor or franchisee, hiring a franchise consultant is an effective way to empower yourself when making business decisions.  These consultants are well-versed on all industry trends, standards, and opportunities, and can be a valuable resource when analyzing the marketplace to make decisions that may affect the success of your business. But when considering franchise ownership, what should you look for when choosing a consultant? Here are some tips to get you started:

Understand your comfort zone: The first question to ask yourself is whether or not a franchise consultant is someone you would feel comfortable working with.  Are you open to suggestions and working with someone who will require you to share specific facts and figures about your business experience, finances, internal operations and franchise contract? If you are not open to providing a clear picture of where you are coming from during the consultation process, you will not be able to benefit from the consultant’s expertise.

Experience counts: When speaking with a potential candidate, ask for references, relevant experience, and past successes.  It will be important to follow up with others who have used the consultant’s services to ensure that they have met their customer’s expectations in the past.  In addition, check out the consultant’s reputation in the industry by asking around and obtaining feedback on their work.

By the book: You will also want to make sure that your franchise consultant, in conjunction with a franchise lawyer, works within the legal guidelines set forth in federal and state law.  You will want someone who follows industry standards to the letter, so that you can avoid any problematic business transactions that may prove detrimental in the long run. Again, ask around and find out about their past performance.

Get it in writing:  Ask for an in-depth proposal before you consider hiring any consultant. This proposal should include pricing, time frame, and a clear plan of action to benefit your business. Go over this proposal thoroughly to ensure that it is the best fit for you and your franchise business.

External Resources

Small Business Administration

A government resource for finding information on planning, mentoring, and strategies for franchises and small businesses.
SBA Small Business Planner

USA.gov Business Gateway

Resources for every step in planning your business or non-profit, from getting your EIN to handling wages.  
USA.gov Business Gateway

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