Industry Expert Weighs in on Franchise Consultants

By Farrah Kennedy

Posted : September 13, 2011

Category : Editorial

Industry Expert Weighs in on Franchise Consultants

Franchise Gator sits down with Dan Martin, Franchise
Strategy Coach & IFX CEO
to get his take on using a Franchise Consultant/Broker as well as some good
advice for someone looking to venture into franchising.

Dan Martin’s franchise experience goes back to
1983 when he started with a Franchise Management company.  This eventually led to his starting his own
Franchise Management and Marketing Firm and later,   becoming a franchisee in a national fast food
franchise âÂ�Â" and owning over 14 locations.

This extensive experience has given him great
insight from both the franchisor’s and franchisee’s vantage point.  He’s also been involved in the International
Franchise Association for many years including serving on the Board of
Directors.   

Using a franchise consultant or broker has become
a hot topic today and we were interested to hear Dan’s take from a Franchisee’s
perspective.

What is a franchise
consultant/broker?

A franchise consultant is an independent representative
who advises a franchisor on how to structure and or implement a new franchise
program in aspects of development, operations or administration or anything relating
to the franchise organization.

A franchise broker is a representative that
is solely involved in the sale of franchises and franchise development.

What are the pros and cons of using a
consultant?

In this economy the pros and cons of
consultants have been inflated greatly.

The pros of using a consultant include:

  • Being able to obtain C-level expertise from a
    seasoned executive at a fraction of the cost of employing them.
  • By using an consultant, you now have expertise available
    to you that crosses brands and industries based on the consultant’s background.
  • Consultant have connections that go way beyond
    those of a hired employee even if they could potentially be at the same level.

Cons include:

  • There is no certification process for a
    consultant. There is a CFE certification but that certifies an expertise and
    understanding of franchising as a whole.
  • Due to layoffs and downsizing, there has been an
    influx of people with no experience that are claiming the title of "franchise
    consultant." It is always important to check out their background before
    working with them.
  • People who have spend their lifetime in a
    business are not necessary capable of being a consultant. It is important to
    remember when selecting a consultant that years in a business is very different
    than advising a company.

How do I find a good
consultant?

It is important to find a consultant that you feel
comfortable with, and most importantly you can trust.

How does a consultant
get paid?

Typically, the franchiser pays the consultant for his/her
services.  Usually, franchisers pay
consultants a percentage of the new owner’s franchise fee that is paid when
they sign on.

How do I ensure that
the consultant is making recommendations that are best for me?

It is important to
find a consultant that works with a variety of brands. It is almost impossible
for a consultant to know of every single available franchising opportunity,
however, they should know about multiple opportunities within multiple
industries.

What qualities do you think make a good
franchisee?

People who are
driven, entrepreneurial, dedicated and patient usually make the best
franchisees. Any quality you need to start and run your own business- you need
to have to run a franchise.

What is your favorite
advice for new franchisees to help them succeed?

I like to tell all
people looking into franchising that it is best to directly follow the
franchisor’s advice. This falls along the same lines as not trying to reinvent
the wheel- if it has been successful for so many others, why fix something that
isn’t broken. Additionally, form a community with the other franchisees-
implement their advice with the advice of your franchisor because working
together is always easier  than working
against each other.

What would you tell
potential franchisees that may be nervous about the financial burdens of
starting a franchise.

Make sure you take into account all expenses. Talk to all
the franchises you are looking at to see what costs may come after the initial
fees and make sure it is still a good financial fit.


About the author:

Farrah Kennedy knows franchise prospecting and knows it well. Having served as the General Manager at Franchise Gator, the leading on-line directory for franchise and business opportunity information, until December 2013, she managed all aspects of the business, including franchisor relationships, franchise leads, P&L and strategic objectives and growth, as well as taking care of Gator Crew who affectionally referred to her as 'GatorMom'.

Farrah began with Gator since almost the beginning - she was the first employee in October 2003. Before Franchise Gator, Farrah started her career in lead generation in 1997 with NewHomesDirect.com, a research site for potential new home owners where she served as the Director of Operations for 5 years.

Farrah now serves as Senior Manager at Mail Chimp.