When those with an entrepreneurial mindset decide to begin the franchise investigative process, they can always choose to go about it alone. Or they can enlist the services of a franchise broker or consultant. Essentially, they are one and the same, but with one subtle yet meaningful difference. The easiest way to understand the divergence is this: a broker’s primary mission is to connect brands to buyers, and a consultant’s job is to offer buyers professional advice on the investigative process itself. For the most part, brokers represent franchise brands, while most consultants work directly with franchise candidates.

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To further illustrate the specific duties of both a broker and consultant, here’s a breakdown of specialties that each one brings to the table to help you clarify the distinctions.

The Broker Life

Brokers make a living by vetting and connecting franchisors with qualified ownership candidates. Working on behalf of brands, brokers help franchises save both time and money by presenting interested candidates who already meet and/or exceed the minimum qualifications for ownership. Working with a broker can help a franchise brand speed up the process, while making sure a steady stream of candidates is consistently fed into the ownership pipeline. There are also networks of brokers, such as the International Franchise Professionals Group (IFPG), who elevate the referral landscape of the industry by connecting brands with consultants. They accomplish this through regular and recurring events, seminars, webinars, trade shows and more.

The Consultant Life

Franchise consultants work closely with franchisee candidates, offering expert advice in multiple areas that help tomorrow’s entrepreneurs navigate the steps of the investigative process. Their primary tool is education, though consultants are also well-connected with the type of resources ownership candidates require in completing a thorough investigation. This includes, but is not limited, to franchise attorneys, accountants, CPAs, and even site selection assistance for concepts that call for a brick-and-mortar operation. As the investigative process intensifies, consultants routinely make the proper introductions between franchisor and franchisee, and are also instrumental in coordinating the validation stage, establishing a direct line of communication to the brand and its existing franchise owners. Consultants are typically compensated for their contributions if and when a franchise ownership deal closes.

FranNet representatives fall squarely in the consultant category, which has experienced a sharp increase in demand since the pandemic began and, thanks to the Great Resignation, show no signs of slowing as we enter 2022. The consultation given by FranNet consultants for their clients is always provided at no-cost, and no-obligation. We save people time and money by assessing their readiness for franchise ownership, helping them narrow their choice of concepts, supporting them with the appropriate research, and making the necessary introductions to the brand and its current roster of franchisee owners.

FranNet relies on a simple 7-step process that takes clients through each stage of the investigative process. Our value proposition is a comprehensive one: we work hand-in-hand with our clients, balancing the approach to franchise ownership with an equal share of education and risk reduction—empowering candidates to make sound decisions that provide the best chance of ownership success.

If you’ve got an entrepreneurial mindset and an eagerness to explore business ownership, FranNet can help you get things started off right. We can begin with your personal Entrepreneurial Readiness Profile and then determine which franchise categories and concepts show the most promise in helping you reach your financial and lifestyle goals. You can get started today by making an appointment with one of our qualified FranNet consultants who live and work in your area.