To create a viable franchise, a franchisor must first develop the infrastructure for the entire franchise business. Without proper infrastructure in place, a company that is trying to franchise can find itself without adequate resources to support all its franchisees, which is a recipe for business disaster.
The foundation of this infrastructure is a good franchise support team. The Canadian Franchise Association recommends you have the following members in your franchise support team:
- qualified franchise advisors
- real estate experts,
- website developers,
- marketing experts.
All members should have franchising experience.
When a business is getting started in franchising, the need for a franchise consultant is obvious. This person can walk you through the steps of becoming a franchise from the using experience and expertise garnered from working in the franchising field.
Among the crucial items, a franchise consultant can assist you with, are:
- Evaluating whether your business is fit for franchising and what the total cost might be.
- Doing market research on the best way to differentiate your brand from others in the market.
- Helping develop your brand for franchising.
- Developing a profile for ideal franchisees and helping you locate qualified candidates based on this profile.
- Establishing a franchisee application process.
- Developing your franchisee support system.
- Defining systems that will ensure brand consistency across the franchise.
- Preparing operation manuals for the franchise.
- Recommending other professionals that can help you establish your franchise like lawyers or ad agencies.
- Helping you determine a staffing structure as you expand your franchise.
Because a consultant can help you with so much in terms of getting started, this should be the first person you add to your franchise team.
Your lawyer, of course, can help you with the legal requirements of franchising. Laws related to business are in constant flux and having a lawyer on board will make sure you are always compliant with those laws. Any lawyer you hire should have franchising experience.
- A franchise lawyer can help you with:
- Registration of trademarks.
- Creation of a corporate structure.
- Development of franchise agreement.
- Writing of disclosure documents so they meet provincial regulatory requirements.
- Giving you a summary of other laws and licensing requirements you and your franchisees need to be aware of.
- Development of other documents like confidentiality, non-compete, employment, sublease agreements and other documents pertaining to the franchise.
An accountant who has franchise-specific experience can be extremely helpful to a business taking the steps to franchising.
Some areas a franchise accountant can help you with include:
- Preparing of financial models to determine the initial franchising fee.
- Helping to prepare a business plan to ensure sufficient funding.
- Outlining the best corporate structure to help minimize your tax burden.
- Creating a financial control system to facilitate things like royalty payments.
- Developing a standardized chart of accounts for franchisees.
Other Team Members
Other potential team members could include a real estate expert to help franchisees find locations, an advertising firm to help develop branding materials, a public relations firm to help generate brand awareness, a banker to help with financing and a web development firm to help create websites for the franchisor and franchisees.
And, of course, to help you find the best potential franchisees, a franchise brokerage is always a good idea. A franchise broker can connect you with the very best entrepreneurial candidates. For example, FranNet offers entrepreneurs looking for the ultimate franchising experience a free FranNet franchise search and consultation.
When choosing people for your team, be sure they have franchise experience and can deliver results by looking at their past work. A strong franchise support team will help your franchise start off on the right foot and ensure it is around for a long time to help give would-be entrepreneurs the chance at owning and running their own business.