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Finding the right advisor for you is crucial to your business and your future business. Specialists will be able to offer you guidance and advice on how to turn your existing business into a workable model. Feasibility Not all businesses,[…]
UK Franchise Consultants
A specialist advisor can assist you with the most powerful way of growing your business.
Even though there are inevitably going to be a few drawbacks along the way, lots of business owners regard franchising as an established and invigorating phase of business expansion.
It is crucial that before hurtling headlong into it, that you have taken in all the advice you can and you are completely prepared. Even a small slipup at an early stage can become a genuine difficulty later on in the process.
With that in mind, there are several things you should think through carefully after you have made the decision to franchise your business
Employ a Specialist Advisor
Franchising is a unique and specific way of carrying out business. The best advisors will have experienced almost every scenario and will therefore save you the stress and anxiety of trying to sort everything out for yourself.
Bear in mind that you are developing your company by teaming up with other individual business owners. This involves a completely distinctive array of business practices and approaches than it would in developing branches of district offices with regional managers, for example.
A quality advisor can be a huge asset for your business as they will provide a superb strategy for you and also be cost saving exercise.
Advisors can offer you many services including –
* Formation of processes, procedures and other manuals
* Assist you in conversing with your lawyer and developing your franchise system
* Dealing with the numerous questions that will surface as you progress
* Instructing you how to become a franchisor
There is a lot of confusion as to what the term “franchise consultant” is in the franchising world.
The term has become associated with marketing professionals that offer a variety of franchises to people looking to get into and purchase a business.
Please take note which type that you are looking for, as they are different.
Below are a few crucial questions that you should put forward to potential UK franchise consultant contenders:
* Have you ever been a director of a franchisor business?
* Have you ever been a profitable and effective franchisee?
* How long have you been active in the franchise business?
* Would I be working with you or another person in your company if I were to employ you?
Specialist Franchise Lawyer.
You can ask any lawyer and they will inevitably tell you that they can produce a franchise disclosure document for you. Even if the lawyer’s field of expertise is property, criminal law, tax, dispute resolution or immigration, they will tell you that they can create one for you.
A franchise disclosure document is a very complex manuscript that regularly surpasses a hundred pages in length and is continually amending industry nuances all standardised by the BFA’s code of ethical conduct.
Don’t be misled or tempted by proposals to create your FDD for a bargain-basement price. If you are considering going online and downloading a generic version and adapt it for your own business, forget it.
What you require to accomplish this exercise is a genuine, dedicated lawyer. If you are not certain about which lawyer to appoint, ask your consultant which lawyer they prefer to use or endorse.
Adapting from a typical everyday business to being a franchisor is a crucial adjustment. One day you are receiving and checking in a purchase order, doing the banking and taking phone calls from ill employees who can’t come in, and the next day you are arranging nationwide seminars, debating agreements and taking minutes at periodical meetings.
It can be quite a difficult adjustment for some people and in some cases, they are unable to remove themselves from their day to day business sufficiently to sustain the new franchise plan.
Discovering how to streamline and concentrate your energies towards franchising takes effort, dedication and preparation. Your new undertaking will turn out to be the backing and success of your franchisees.
Are you ready for a profound transformation?
Get the Word Out
Once everything is in place, it is time to spread the word to let everyone know you are now a franchising business. As soon as the franchise world is aware that you are around, your phone will be ringing constantly with everything related to trade shows, magazines, brokers and internet influencers to name but a few.
They will all profess to have the most innovative and astonishing solutions to satisfy your desire to sell your franchise. Once more, your advisor can assist you in separating the wheat from the chaff and home in on opportunities that meet your budget and give you the most bang for your buck.
Franchising, for many people, is the natural and shrewd progression for their successful business. Plan wisely and envelop yourself with people who are experts in their field.
An Introduction To Franchising A Business:
Approved Franchise Consultants, AFC, provides a comprehensive array of franchise consultancy services for franchisors and those thinking about franchising their company.
It is understood that just about any industry that can be managed as a local office arrangement is able to be franchised. Although not strictly true, if a business is appropriate to do so, you could expand your reach a lot faster and develop your company using someone else’s cash and passion. Franchising a company may be the perfect move for you.
Should I Franchise My Business?
Five-Star Franchising requires:
* A company that is proven to be a success in a recognised arrangement, with a clear method, and a distinguishing name and look
* A venture that can be copied easily. This means it can be established in a enough locations to build a network which is controllable and lucrative
* A business that can be simply absorbed in a realistic amount of time by somebody with the essential expertise, abilities and approach to match the required franchisee profile
* A venture that generates enough profit to appease both the franchisee and franchisor
* A company that has adapted to, or can adjust to, a philosophy of communal support and trust and in which the franchisor acknowledges their duties to help fittingly capable people to build and operate ventures using a mutual brand and method
If the above prompts you into thinking “How will I franchise my business?”, you will need qualified professional advice from experienced franchise consultants such as Approved Franchise Consultants.
How to Franchise
Franchising is not a panacea and it is not right for every business. Before a business starts spending large sums of time and money on it, we suggest an initial meeting to discuss the details on how to franchise a business.
The purpose is to review the proposed franchise and get a preliminary feeling as to whether it is likely to be successful.
This includes comparing the business to known criteria for success, understanding the motivation, how the proposal fits in to the overall long-term strategy of the business and meeting the people likely to be involved.
If there are areas of concern or the proposal clearly does not look suitable for franchising we will say so – it is not our role to “Sell” franchising, but to give honest, straightforward advice.
If however, the business looks as if it may benefit from a strategy for growth we will go on to discuss how to go about it and develop a professional, ethical version and the likely costs.
The next stage would be to put together an initial but essential development plan to test the financial viability for both Franchisee and Franchisor and to set out the game plan if the decision to go ahead with it as a strategy for growth is taken.
Areas covered in this evaluation stage should include:-
* Concept design
* Positioning your company in the market
* Competitor analysis (Franchisors competing for the same franchisees)
* Recruitment profile
* Franchisee business plans
* Project costs and budgets
* Franchisor infrastructure planning
* Resource requirements for implementation
* System development structure and deadlines
* Code of Ethics
Once the decision to go ahead has been made, the development plan already completed becomes the blueprint for the actual development phase.
The initial financial models will have determined the various expenses that are likely to be incurred during the development process and whether or not this will require additional funding.
The plan will also have identified the additional resources required and set the whole project into a timed and costed project plan so that all stakeholders have a clear and unambiguous view of the various responsibilities and deadlines involved.
Franchise Development Plan
This project plan will detail a work programme to include:-
*Development of the detailed business model to include territory planning, business set-up procedures, training and support programmes, IT systems, recording and reporting systems and all the other activities which will be undertaken by the operative
* Advertising and recruiting materials
* Initial piloting launch and developing template franchisee business plans
* Pilot Franchisee Training
* Writing the operations manual
* Preparing the operations manual
* Briefing suitably experienced legal advisors to develop the formal agreement
* Bank arrangements (Franchisor and Franchisee)
* BFA Accreditation
* Recruiting and training support staff
* Preparing and implementing the initial marketing for the launch and the recruitment processes needed to secure good workers
* Assisting newbies in preparing for and launching their new business ventures
In some areas a new franchisor will be able to complete elements of the programme in-house whilst in other areas they will need to employ the services of experienced advisors who can guide and assist them through the processes.
Financial Forecasting and Modelling
As part of creating a development plan, it is essential to ensure that the proposal is financially viable by preparing financial forecasts for a potential franchisee based on the performance of the franchisor’s existing business unit.
As part of this activity, consideration must be given to how the initial and ongoing fees will be structured. This may involve developing a number of financial scenarios before a suitable balance can be determined.
Once it can be shown that the proposed franchise could produce acceptable returns for a potential recruit it will then be possible to develop the franchisor’s financial model.
This will take into account:-
* The development costs associated with taking it to market
* The number of franchisees and the timing of their establishment
* The growth rate of each franchised unit and their contribution to the franchisor’s income
* Ongoing costs such as marketing for and recruiting newbies
* Recruiting and training support staff for the ongoing support and development of the network
At this point the potential franchisor will be in a position to take an informed decision on whether it is the correct strategic route for them to follow.
They will be aware of the likely investment levels of both financial and management resources and will have a clear idea of the potential profitability of the proposed operation.
If the decision is made to proceed the plan complete with this full financial analysis can be put into action.
Franchising can be defined as a business relationship where one party allows the other to operate clones of a proven business system in return for initial and ongoing fees.
It is through these fees that the franchisor often derives the greater part or all of his income from the recruits. It is important, therefore, that these fees are carefully structured during the process of developing the concept.
The initial fee ought to reimburse the franchisor for all expenditure incurred in establishing each individual franchisee and also recover a proportion of the start-up costs of the operation.
Set at too high a level it will deter recruits from signing up, set at too low a level the franchisor will fail to cover his own initial costs.
In order to attract recruits, the initial fee must be seen to be commensurate with the services provided and also appear competitive with the fees charged by similar operations.
It is through the ongoing management services fees that most franchisors derive their ongoing income and profit.
Once again these need to be set at a suitable level…too high and the recruit will not make a sufficient return on their investment… too low and the franchisor will not be able to fund the level of support which the franchisees have a right to expect.
As with all business relationships the balance between the reward for both parties must be achieved.
This complex process of structuring the fee levels is a critical part of the financial modelling .
Franchise Manuals and Operating Systems
The basis of franchising is that a franchisor proves a business model, develops it into an operating system and then details it in a manual as a template for its novices to follow.
Therefore, the manual is absolutely core to the success of any system.
In addition, the manual has important legal significance. The agreement refers to the manual and it is essential that the two documents are consistent.
Also, in the event of dispute with a recruit, it of course very helpful to have the operating system documented. However, despite its practical and legal importance, franchisors rarely pay enough attention to the content of their manuals.
For new franchisors, it is obviously important to start out with a comprehensive manual. For existing franchisors the reasons for updating the manual are less pressing, but no less important.
Franchise systems never remain static – in fact franchisors have a duty to enhance their operating systems over time.
As systems mature the operating system will develop, the legal agreement may change, the profile and nature of the franchisee business may change and the overall culture of the system may evolve.
Therefore, the content of the manual can quickly get outdated.
Approved Franchise Consultants work with many companies, established and new, to ensure that their franchise manuals meet operational and legal requirements.
The process varies from client to client, but can be anything from just a review of the existing manual to a complete rewrite.
Why use Approved Franchise Consultants?
* We bring a breadth of knowledge and experience of manuals that ensures a comprehensive end product
* Clients benefit from an outside view of their business
* The process is quick and efficient – no more staring at blank computer screens wondering where to begin
* We drive the process – it gets done!
Franchise Marketing Plans
Attracting good quality recruits is an issue for all franchisors, whatever stage of development they are at. There are too many franchisors chasing too few good prospective workers!
So, if a franchisor wants to increase their chances of success they need to be as scientific as possible about their approach to marketing.
It is important to work within a structure and in this way marketing is like any other form of marketing. A franchisor should:
* Define the market – the recruit profile
* Think creatively about how you can reach these people
* Set a budget
* Have a plan
* Measure the results
The value Approved Franchise Consultants brings to the process is discipline and market knowledge. We are in the market place, we know what is working and we can guide clients to a structured approach for success.
For many franchisors achieving BFA accreditation is a daunting task. The BFA (rightly) have an extremely thorough accreditation process through which everyone must go in order to convince them that his offering is ethical, sound and viable, and that the executives of the operation are appropriate persons to run such an enterprise.
AFC can prepare everything a franchisor needs to achieve accreditation. As an integral part of this process will examine the systems and structure of the business, identifying any areas which may cause the BFA to reject an application.
If there are areas which would cause concern, we will suggest improvements or modifications in order that the system is correctly structured and operates on a sound and ethical basis.
Once we are happy with the offering we will then sponsor the application, which will give the BFA additional reassurance that the franchisor has had independent advice in structuring their franchise, and we will liaise with the BFA throughout the accreditation process to minimise the demands on the franchisor’s time.
Approved Franchise Consultants can help with all your recruitment needs and help meet your objectives. Every franchise lives or dies by the quality of the workers it recruits.
It is a marriage and like all marriages they can be good, bad or end in acrimony. Therefore, getting the recruitment process right is crucially important.
Approved Franchise Consultants role is to help clients put together a robust recruitment process that achieves certain objectives. These may include:
* Delivers good quality recruits
* Disqualifies unsuitable applicants as early in the process as possible
* Optimises management time and avoids wasted effort on unsuitable applicants
* Is consistent with legal and ethical considerations
* Starts the relationship on a positive note
* Avoids resentment at a future date
* Is cost effective
* Maximises the return on money invested in marketing
With years of experience, AFC helps companies get the most from the recruitment process.
A wise man once remarked, “If you are franchising your business, or thinking about it, the last thing you need is a lawyer”. That doesn’t mean you don’t need a lawyer, it just explains where they come in the process.
If you are developing a franchise, domestically or internationally, the first port of call is an experienced franchise consultant who can take time to understand your business and then select from a comprehensive toolkit to structure an arrangement that will work best for you.
When all the commercial arrangements, fee structures, territory issues, initial term and renewal, rights and obligations of the parties, and so on, have been decided, that’s when you need the lawyer to make sure everything is properly drafted into a sound legal agreement.
If you are having problems with existing workers and need some help with persuading them to fulfil their contractual obligations, it is better to start by having a sensible discussion to get to the bottom of what the issue really is before deciding what to do about it.
Ideally this should be done by the Franchisor, or his managers, depending on the size of the organisation and the size of the problem, but sometimes outside help is required.
An experienced franchise practitioner is ideal for planning and implementing the mediation task and only when impasse is reached, or a formal document needs to be prepared, is it necessary to engage the lawyers.
All Inclusive Packages
Find out how to franchise your business with Approved Franchise Consultants. We can advise on all aspects of starting a franchise to owning a franchise.
Many of the processes handled by AFC are interdependent. If we have been involved in the initial development planning and the actual development, for example, we will already have detailed knowledge of the systems and processes involved in the franchise which gives us a unique insight into the best routes to market.
As we work through the processes with our clients we get to know the key drivers in their business and can ensure that the franchise development continues to fulfil their needs and aspirations.
Many of our clients take advantage of the fact that with a detailed working knowledge of their business from the outset we can take them all the way through to launch without having to revisit old ground, saving them time and money in the process.
They also have the advantage of a continuous relationship with the same consultant throughout who can become the point of contact for all “franchise related” aspects of their business; from legal and marketing through to recruitment and training, effectively giving them an additional team member at an all-inclusive fixed package price.
Independent Franchise Audits
Approved Franchise Consultants Health Check is designed to give an outside view of how a franchisor business is performing.
Typically, this may be of use to:
* The management of the business, in order to help identify areas for improvement
* The shareholders of the business, to get an impartial third party view
* Banks and other investors, to help make an investment decision
* Any other party that needs to know how the business is performing
The health check can be tailored to the requirements of the client but is likely to include a review of:
* Franchisor business strategy and management
* Marketing and recruitment
* The operating system
* Recruit training and support
* Franchisor / franchisee relationship * Franchisor staff resources
* Legal compliance
* Relationships with third parties
The client will receive a report on all of the areas covered with comment on current performance and potential areas for development and improvement.
Franchise Satisfaction Surveys
There are few things more valuable to a Franchisor when monitoring and motivating recruits than knowing with certainty what they are thinking, for example about such things as the profitability of their outlet, and the quality and quantity of the support provided by the Franchisor.
Finding a format through which such information can be gathered simply, accurately and cost-effectively has traditionally been difficult because the output has to be 100% honest – warts and all – if it is to be used effectively to improve your system.
But how can you get total honesty from your franchisees when for a whole variety of reasons ranging from the perfectly reasonable through to the totally unreasonable and emotionally charged they feel inhibited and unable to let you know what they are thinking?
Approved Franchise Consultants Franchisee Satisfaction Survey provides the solution.
You supply us with e-mail addresses of your newbies and we as a third party invite them at arm’s length from you to complete the questionnaire online, giving them a deadline for doing so.
We know the non-respondents and they get reminders to encourage them to take part. Responses are aggregated into the survey database guaranteeing confidentiality.
The identity of the individual respondents is not known and this is what makes your franchisees more likely to respond, and to be open and honest with their answers.
AFC uses questions based on our extensive experience of what you should want to know about the state of contentment within your network.
We are able to process the results quickly, accurately and cost effectively with the report output being presented in an easy-to-read format that can be readily adapted for communicating to your franchisees.
If you want to customise the Survey by removing questions irrelevant to your network, or by adding questions on those topics of particular current importance to you, we can do that too at minimal cost.
* Key questions
* Guaranteed anonymity
* Completed online in less than 15 minutes
* Set deadline to complete
* E-mail alerts to encourage response
* 14 days from order to launch
* Results within 7 days
Franchise Problem Solving – “A stitch in time saves nine”
Every operation will at some time in its life discover a few problems within its network, be they performance related, operational aspects or compliance issues.
However, with many years experience in dealing with a wide variety of different networks there are very few problems we haven’t come across – and successfully resolved – in the past.
We can discuss the issues you face in the strictest confidence and make suggestions for you to implement.
Alternatively we can drive the recommendations through your business and effectively manage the problems out of your system.
As with all of our services, we will tailor our services to fit within your budget and to suit the scale of the issues you face.
One thing you can be sure of is that small problems become bigger the longer you leave them, so we would always recommend acting sooner rather than later.
Talk to our team of experts at AFC – fill out the contact form above.
Animal Smart has been franchised by consultants.