Franchise Support: Things to consider before buying a franchise
When looking to buy a franchise, one of the key factors to consider during your decision-making process is what type of support you are going to receive. Franchisee support will differ from brand to brand, but the franchisor’s ultimate goal in terms of support is to ensure that they provide an adequate amount of support to ensure the franchisee is successful.
Congratulations! You have been granted the right to own a franchise. One of the first things that you will be doing as a new franchisee is to begin the training process. The franchisor’s training program is the foundation of a successful operation and is usually mandatory for the franchisee. Successful franchising is all about consistency after all. The training should encompass all aspects of running the franchise. The type of training, duration of the training and many other factors will vary depending on the industry and brand.
Here are some typical examples of the type of training you should receive.
- Initial site selection & buildout
- Operating standards and procedures
- Technical operations for providing the services or products
- Sales and merchandising
- Recruitment, training, management, and retention of employees
- Marketing, advertising, and public relations
- Managing and controlling finances
- Business administration
- working with approved suppliers
- Operating the point-of-sale (POS) system
It’s important to consider that there will be ongoing training provided as well as the initial training. Ongoing training is very important, as business processes, products, expansion and other factors may occur when operating your franchise.
Franchise Operation Manuals
A franchise’s operation manuals define and provide all of the details of the proven business model to the franchisee. Depending on how big the franchise is, there may be a series of manuals.
Below are some typical examples of what an operation manual will cover
- An overview of the company and its mission statement, vision, and values
- Clear roles and expectations for the franchisee and franchisor
- Service procedures – for example, recipes for restaurants
- How to receive and rotate stock
- Opening and closing procedures
- Detailed job descriptions for staff
- How to hire, train and lead staff
- Detailed job descriptions
- Administration, accounting and reporting requirements
- Supplier contracts and purchasing procedures
- Proper use of trademarks and branding procedures
- List of contacts
Franchise Advisory Councils
A FAC (franchise advisory council) is a group of established franchisees who meet with the executives of the franchise. The purpose of having an FAC, is to communicate important concerns, opportunities and recommend ways to improve the whole franchise experience. Franchise Advisory Councils are important for the purpose of improving the system-wide franchise process.
As mentioned earlier, the type of support the franchisee receives will differ between industries and brands. The main goal when developing a support system for the franchisee is to ensure that the franchisee will operate their franchise as successful as possible.
Typical types of support include:
- Annual reviews and audits
- Conferences and regional meetings
- Business planning sessions
- Online discussion forums
- Business coaching calls
- Evolving customer relationship management software
- Centralized call centre
- Shared brand advertising management
- Website development and maintenance
- Research and development
Questions You Should Ask
Now that you have an overview of the type of support your franchisor should be providing you with, here are some questions to consider before officially starting your franchise.
- What happens if the franchisor doesn’t provide any of the items listed above?
- What happens if training is never completed or initiated?
- Is there an adequate amount of support and training provided for me to run my business successfully?
- Is there ongoing support provided?
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