What You Need to Consider When Investing in a Business Consulting Franchise

Business consulting franchises provide consulting services to businesses on various topics including advertising/marketing, sales training and executive coaching, just to name a few. Franchisors in this category often have a good “toolbox of solutions”, which gives you plenty of flexibility when deciding on the best strategies to grow your client’s business and helps you keep your customers longer. Instead of constantly creating content and solutions, franchisees are more focused on facilitating and coaching. Investing in a business consulting franchise also gives you access to a variety of support networks and gives you the opportunity leverage the experience of other franchisees in the network, thus expanding your capability to satisfy their clients’ needs even further.

This type of franchise can be a great choice for someone who has a good degree of business and leadership experience and derives significant enjoyment from helping others achieve higher levels of success. I often describe these businesses as “lifestyle businesses”, as franchisees enjoy significant lifestyle flexibility and strong work/life balance. They are also a good choice for someone who wants to run their franchise from home. Below are some things to keep in mind before purchasing a business consulting franchise to give you a better idea of what they’re all about.

They’re a great home-based franchise opportunity

Business consulting franchises can be effectively run without investing in an office space, which can save you lots of money on overhead costs. Additionally, many of your home office costs will be tax-deductible, so check with your tax preparer to determine what kind of items are considered business costs.

Relevant business experience is essential

People looking for business consulting services are going to be on the lookout for how much experience the individual franchisee has. Although ideal candidates that match the profile are those that have demonstrated knowledge and experience, this is often misconstrued. For example, to run a business coaching franchise you don’t have to have a lot of experience in coaching and training others, because the franchisor provides this training to its franchisees. Instead, you should possess strong communication skills, which will have been developed through a career of managing people, operations, etc.

They’re not passive engagement businesses

If you’re looking for a business that you can run with minimal effort while you focus on your other business ventures or job commitments, a business consulting franchise is probably not for you. This type of business is definitely a full-time effort – when you are not facilitating solutions, you are networking and doing other sales/marketing activities in order to grow your client base.

Relationships with clients can be very long

When franchisees do a good job, client relationships can last for a long time – often 2 years or more. This means that once you create a steady base of customers, a lot more focus is spent on working with clients than it is on your business generation efforts. Knowing that business consulting is something you enjoy and can succeed at doing for a relatively long time is essential before making the commitment to buying a franchise.

Less scalable

Business consulting franchises are often less scalable than other businesses since a large component of the business relies on the one-to-one relationship between the franchisee and the client. If you are looking for an opportunity to grow your business to the point where you have other people doing the day-to-day work so that you can manage the business, you will want to thoroughly research how many franchisees have done this in the system you are considering, as well as understand exactly what it takes to do so.

Geographical targets might be restricted

Some business consulting franchises have strict geographical locations that you can work within. Research and determine the vertical markets as well as geographical market areas that you’d like to work in, and hone in on potential franchise opportunities based on these preferences. While territorial protection can be great, the last thing you want is to be stuck in a long-term contract within a geographical area that isn’t providing you with the kind of business you want. Of course, the biggest benefit of this is that if you choose a good enough location, you will have complete control over this area and not need to worry about local competition taking your business.

There are also a number of business consulting franchises that have a non-exclusive territory model with no territorial restriction or protection, thus you are more likely to be able to leverage your previous relationships and business networks. It is important that you understand the pros, cons and implications of both models.

The constantly evolving world of business means that there will always be plenty of business owners seeking guidance and support; every professional athlete has a coach. It is my belief that great business owners and leaders also seek a third-party perspective, so I believe professional service franchises will remain a solid business opportunity for years to come. If you have extensive experience in a specific sector of business or past business consulting experience and are strongly committed to helping business owners reach their maximum potential, running a business consulting franchise can be a very rewarding experience.


About Gary:

Gary Prenevost is one of Canada’s leading franchise experts and has been an entrepreneur for more than a quarter century. He has been involved in a variety of successful non-franchised and franchised self-employed businesses. By exploring the ideal solutions that fit an individual’s desires and strengths, Gary helps senior and mid-level executives take a step back and objectively look at whether franchise ownership would be a viable and positive career choice. By playing to the individual’s transferable skills and passions, the franchise owner can enjoy less stress, greater success, more fun, and improved quality of life.  In addition to being one of Canada’s top franchise matchmaking experts, also co-owns a master franchise and unit franchise for Alair homes, a custom home building and renovation company, so he is intimately familiar with the home improvement marketplace.

Jan 16, 2015